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The highly distributed infrastructure provided by sensor networks supports fundamentally new ways of designing surveillance systems. In this paper, we discuss sensor networks for target classification and tracking. Our formulation is anchored on location-aware data routing to conserve system resources, such as energy and bandwidth. Distributed classification algorithms exploit signals from multiple nodes in several modalities and rely on prior statistical information about target classes. Associating data to tracks becomes simpler in a distributed environment, at the cost of global consistency. It may be possible to filter clutter from the system by embedding higher level reasoning in the distributed system. Results and insights from a recent field test at 29 Palms Marine Training Center are provided to highlight challenges in sensor networks.
Date of Publication: Aug. 2003