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For a multi-sensor target tracking system, the effects of temporally staggered sensors on system performance are investigated and compared with those of synchronous sensors. To capture system performance over time, a new metric, the average estimation error variance (AEV), is proposed. For a system that has N sensors with equal measurement noise variance, numerical results show that the optimal staggering pattern is to use N uniformly staggered sensors. We have also shown analytically that the AEV of the system with N uniformly staggered sensors is always smaller than that of the system with N synchronous sensors. For sensors with different measurement noise variances, the optimal staggering pattern can be found numerically. Practical guidelines on selecting the optimal staggering pattern have been presented for different target tracking scenarios. Due to its simplicity, uniform staggering can be used as an alternative scheme with relatively small performance degradation.