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Unattended ground sensors (UGS) are widely used to monitor human activities, such as pedestrian motion and detection of intruders in a secure region. Efficacy of UGS systems is often limited by high false alarm rates, possibly due to inadequacies of the underlying algorithms and limitations of onboard computation. In this regard, this paper presents a wavelet-based method for target detection and classification. The proposed method has been validated on data sets of seismic and passive infrared sensors for target detection and classification, as well as for payload and movement type identification of the targets. The proposed method has the advantages of fast execution time and low memory requirements and is potentially well-suited for real-time implementation with onboard UGS systems.