Optimization of observer trajectories for bearings-only target localization

Yaakov Oshman, Pavel Davidson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

278 Citations (Scopus)


The problem of bearings-only target localization is to estimate the location of a fixed target from a sequence of noisy bearing measurements. Although, in theory, this process is observable even without an observer maneuver, estimation performance (i.e., accuracy, stability and convergence rate) can be greatly enhanced by properly exploiting observer motion to increase observability. This work addresses the optimization of observer trajectories for bearings-only fixed-target localization. The approach presented herein is based on maximizing the determinant of the Fisher information matrix (FIM), subject to state constraints imposed on the observer trajectory (e.g., by the target defense system). Direct optimal control numerical schemes, including the recently introduced differential inclusion (DI) method, are used to solve the resulting optimal control problem. Computer simulations, utilizing the familiar Stansfield and maximum likelihood (ML) estimators, demonstrate the enhancement to target position estimability using the optimal observer trajectories.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)892-902
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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