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VOL. 3 , JULY 1983

Contact Localization and Motion Analysis in the Ocean

Environment: A Perspective
(Invited Paper)

Abstract-This paper presents a perspective on contact localization

and motion analysis (CLMA) in the ocean environment, Such rell-
studied cases as passive bearings-only contact motion analysis, mul-
tipath ranging, and localization/tracking via arrays are used to illus-
tratethe concept. The performance of current CLMA systems is

shown to depend on the type and characteristics of the basic meas- Fig. 1. Basicfunctions.
urements developed by their time delay estimators, the acoustic
channels linking contact and observer, and the type and description of
relative motion between contact and observer. General classes of are processed in time. In principle, joint optimization in both
CLMA schemes are presented. Complexity is shown to depend on the spatialand temporal dimensions is desirable for bestsystem
linearity/nonlinearity of their solution equations, the degree to which
performance. In practice, considerations such as array stabili-
a contact is observable at each sample time, and the relative motion
between contact and observer. Contributions to total system gain, zation, cost, spatial coherence, platform dimensions, etc., limit
biasing issues, and candidate solutions are discussed. Comprehensive the achievable spatial gains, while nonstationarity,the re-
references are provided. quirement to yield an acceptable solution withina given
time, etc., limit temporal gains.
I. INTRODUCTION Elements in a CLMA problem may be stationary (e.g.,
constant statistical measures on signal and noise, no relative
n H I S PAPER discusses the problem of estimating the loca-
motion between contact and observer, a homogeneous envi-
tion and velocity of a sonar contact via observation and
ronment, etc.) ornonstationary. When theelements are
processing of acoustic data. Such data may be considered to
stationary, processing is straightforwardand is accomplished
includea desired signal and unwanted noise components.
Embeddedinthebody of received data are differencesin
by a continualintegration over the observed contact clues
until desired accuracy in the solution is obtained. When the
signal arrival times (time delays) as well as variations (Doppler
elements of the problem are nonstationary (e.g., moving con-
shifts) in the signal. These differences and variations in signal
are functionallydependentupon contact-observergeometry tact/observer, a changing ray path channel, etc.) bias is intro-
and environmental conditions. duced during long a contact observationinterval due to
Contact localization and motion analysis (CLMA) systems smearing of the clue at the output of the time delay estimator.
make use of a received signal’s time delay and its variation in For instance, when the time delay is varying in time due t o
time toestimate acontact’slocation. These processing sys- relative contactlobserver motion, a correlator averaging time
tems basically comprisea signal time delay estimator anda is kept short enough so that the time delay is quasi-stationary
contactmotionestimator (see Fig. 1). Thetime delay esti- andthe smearing effect of thetime delay peak is avoided.
mator maps the received acoustic data into recognizable and Thus observation of the contact must be limited to a brief
measurable clues (a dominant peak, valley, or slope on a curve, timeinterval over which the process may beconsidered
for example). These clues are further processed by the contact locally stationary. In this case, CLMA systems provide what
motion estimator so that estimates of time delays are smoothed may beconsidered “short-memory”or“snapshot” clues,
andmapped into values for contact range, direction, depth, which yield imprecise estimates of contact location and mo-
and velocity. tion. However, with a succession of such brief time observa-
CLMA systems process data spatially as well as temporally. tion intervals, the system’s temporal processorcan extend
That is, they process data received simultaneously at spatially the system memory and remove the biasing non-stationarity
separated sensors, as wellas data received during sequential inthe problem. It doesthis by superimposing the repeated
observationintervals spread outin time. Thetotal system short-memoryestimatesto enhance the invariant contact
gain resultsfrom both spatial and temporal gains. Spatial parameters intheproblem,ultimately developing a well-
definedestimate ofthe contact’s locationandmotion.In
gain is influenced by such factors as size, number, placement,
Section VI, these concepts are developed further in the con-
and configuration of sensors in the acoustic array. Temporal
text of CLMA from a linear array.
gain is influenced by the manner in which the received data
In its totality,then, contact localization and motion esti-
mation constitutes a process that is mathematically nonlinear
hlanuscript received December 6 , 1982; revised March 30: 1983.
The author is with the Naval Underwater Systems Center, Newport
and geometrically nonstationary in terms of contact/observer.
Laboratory. Newport, RI 02841. It is a process not amenable to optimum global system syn-

U.S. Government work not protected by U.S. copyright


thesis, as evidenced bymostliteratureinthe field which observation (sampling) intervals,

and only
generally deals withoptimizationof subsystems as realistic withmotionconstraints placed oncontact
conditions are introduced. Systemsproviding optimal per- and observer.
formance have been developed, but these are only for idealized
Specific illustrations of the preceding classes of problems
conditionssuch as stationarycontact/observer and Gaussian
are given in Section 111. In the ocean context, the latter classes
signal and noise, and extended contact observation times,
are more prevalent thantheformerand are moredifficult
This paper aims to provide the reader who has hadan
to solve. These classes of problems are especially difficult
introduction to theCLMA problem with an overall perspective
to solve when there is a mismatch between physical processes
developed in the context of the oceanenvironment. It pro-
and modeled processes (e.g., type of contact motion, raypath
vides numerous references for those interested in further study
model, etc.) or when there are large errors in the estimated
of this subject. In Section 11, six classes of CLMA problems are
time delay parameters. An expanded discussion .of these dif-
identifiedand the difficultiesin dealing with each of these
ficulties is given in Section IV.In analyzing the various CLMA
classes are mentioned.InSection 111, illustrativeexamples
problemslikely to be encountered, several general state-
for theseproblem classes are introduced. In Section IV, the
ments hold true:
types of errors encountered in the ocean environment, which
tend to make the various classes of problems more difficult Linear problems lend themselves readily to optimal esti-
to solve, arecategorizedandtechniques for reducingthese mationwith resulting minimummean square estimation
errors are highlighted. In Section V, the various points dis- error.
cussed in preceding sections are integrated into three elements
needed to formulate and solveCLMA problems in general. Nonlinearity in‘creases the complexity and the issues
In Section VI, three well-suited CLMA problems are reviewed involved in structuring an algorithmic estimator.
and used to illustrate the concepts developed in the preceding Increased contact observability tends to improve. the
sections. quality of an estimate and speeds estimator convergence.
Redundant observation (sampling) is required to reduce
the adverse effect of measurement errors.
Several types of contact state estimation problems are seen
in the literature available on this subject. These maybe grouped Constraintsonobserverlcontactmotionencumberthe
into general classes on the basis of source/observer motion, estimation process by delaying estimator convergence,
linearity,and observability. That is, theycan be grouped lowering the quality of estimates, and degrading the abil-
according to the degree of relative contact/observer motion, ityoftheestimator to adaptto mismatches between
thecomplexityoftheirsolutionequations (linear ornon- modeled and physical processes.
linear), and the extent to which a contact is observable (Le., Two types of estimatorapplicationsexistdepending on
the extent to which an observer can realize a unique solution whether observation of thecontact is by. active [ I ] , . [2]
from the available data). For a moving observer and/or con- or passive [3] sonar. In the active case, the contact is ensoni-
tact, the problemsincrease in complexity as follows: fied by a signal emittedfromthe observer; estimationof
Problem Class Description contact location and velocity is based on the observation and
processing of the backscattered returns from the contact. In
A Linear solutionproblems
the contact’s
the passive case, the contact itself is an emitter whose signal
state observable over eachobservation (sam-
is received atthe observer and processed forestimationof
pling) interval.
contactlocationand velocity. Forthe active case, contact
B Linear solution
the contact’s localizationand motionestimation falls into classes atthe
state observable onlyaftermultiple observa- beginning of the precedinglist. Forthe passive case, the
tion (sampling) intervals. problem falls into the classes predominantly at the endof the
C Linear solution
the contact’s list, which makestheestimation processa more difficult
state observable onlyaftermultiple observa- one.
tion (sampling) intervals, and only with mo- In either case, the observer is linked to the contact through
tionconstraints placed oncontact and ob- the interveningpropagation medium. When analyzed, the
server. medium is seen to have distinguishable acoustic ray paths lying
D solution
con- within the usable beampatterns of both contact and observer.
tact’s state observable over each observation Distinguishability here refers to the difference in path lengths
(sampling) interval. measured relative to a reference path or reference time. Each
difference in path length is reflected in the time delay incurred
E Nonlinear solution problems with the
con- by the signal as it propagates throughthe different paths.
tact’s state observable onlyaftermultiple In the active case, time delay refers to the difference in arrival
observation (sampling) intervals. time between the reference emission time and reception of a
F Nonlinear solution
con- return. The term “time delay” in this paper also refers to the
tact’s state observable onlyaftermultiple timerequired for asinusoid to repeat itself; i.e., its period.

These various time delays constitute the basic measurements

that a time delayprocessor extractsfrom received signals.
The desired contact state informationis embedded within each CONTACT
time delay, which is characterized by the ray path structure
within the sound channel.
Single Ray Path Channel
Representative problems are now described for a homo-
geneous and noiseless channel to illustrate in a simple context
the various classes of problems. Consider first a problem in-
volving a single path linking the contact to the observer (Fig.
2(a)). For the active case, the range to the contact and the
rateat which the contact's range changes (range rate) are
directly observable fromthe measured time delay through
alinearrelation. This representsa class A or B estimation SURFACE
problem (linear, with a high degree of observability) which is
easily solvable [4] -[8] . The observer emits a pulse signal in
a given direction and measures the time delay 7 for its return.
The range to the contact R is related to the timedelay by
the equation

R = cr/2

where c is the in-water speed of sound. Subsequent time delay id) - le)
measurements yield the range rate R . As the measurements Fig. 2. Basic types of channelsandsensors.(a)-singlechannelpath
becomenoisy, moretime delaymeasurements are required between contact and single sensor; @)-single path per sensor for
two (I, 11) spatially separated sensors; (c)-single path per sensor for
to yield the desired accuracy in range and range rate estimates. three (I, 11, 111) spatially separated sensors; (d)-single sensor with
A second measure of range and range rate between contact two channel paths (1, 2) persensor;(e)-singlesensorwiththree
and observer is described by Doppler shift in the signal, where channel paths (1,2, 3) per sensor.

Here, R , is thecontact'sz-coordinate in the vertical plane.


R = 1 - f(t)/fo)I .
I' f(t)dt

When angular measurements fall in planes otherthanthe
vertical and horizontal planes, the direction angle is called a
conical angle (
3 , (
and is related to and ( 3 ,

Here, At) is the received frequencyand fo is theemitted 0, = cos- cos (

3,cos 0, = cos- R,/R. (5)
frequency. In the active case, fo is known. In the passive case,
other information such as contact direction may be used to In this type of problem only directional information in the
estimate fo. plane containing the ray paths is obtained directly from the
time delay. Within each plane, the contact's state descriptors
Two-Path Channel (location and velocity) may be obtained if motion constraints
are placed oncontactand observer; i.e.,if thecontact is
Anothertype of problem involves nonintersecting,two- presumed to maintainconstant velocity while the observer
path channelslinking contactto observer (Fig. 2(b)). The makes at least one velocitychange [9] -[ 121 . These con-
measured time delay due to the different path lengths yields straints are used to develop contact observability that results
the direction to the contact in the planecontaining sensors in a consistent set of measurement equations from which the
and contact. In the horizontal plane, the time delay T yields contact'sstate is estimated.Inaddition,the usual require-
the far-field direction angle, 0, (known as bearing) where ment for redundant data is needed to minimize the propaga-
tion of time delay measurementerrorsintocontactstate
(3 ,= sin-' ( n / L ) = tan-' (Ry/Rx). (3) estimation errors. Thissituation leads to a class F typeof
estimation problem in which all of the encumbrances on the
Here, L is the separation between the sensors and R , and R, estimation process arise.
are the x- and y-components of the range R in the horizontal
plane. In the vertical plane, the measured time delay gives the Three-Path Channel
direction angle ( 3 ,(known as depression/elevation angle) where The requirement for motion constraints on the estimation
process may be relaxed in a type of problem which involves
a third nonintersecting path linking contactto observer
(Fig. 2(c)). In this case, two time delays T~ and T ~ are
, meas- delay vector 7 and the contact statevector x
ured from whch contact range R and direction /3 are obtained
[131 7 =f ( x ) (8)

R = [ L 2 - 0.5C2(7l2 -I-T 2 2 ) ] / [ C ( T 1 -72)1 where solution for the contact state x = f ‘(7) is straight-
/3 = sin- [ ( c / ~ L ) ( T+
, 7 2 ) + (c2/4LR)(r1 - 72 2)1 . (6) In practice, perfect or nearly perfect observations are rarely
available. Vector errors E, are usually introduced due to the
Successive measurements yield contact velocity. This repre-
time delay measuring system, mismodeling of the environmen-
sents anestimationproblem falling into classes D andE
tal factors in the channel, mismodeling of the contact’s mo-
referred to earlier. Though the problem here is nonlinear, the
tion, or inaccurate monitoring of the observer’s own motion.
relaxed requirementfor observabilityyieldsa more stable
Seldom is the spatial gain of a passive sonarsystemhigh
estimator with faster convergence than the class F problem. enough to warrant neglecting these errors. Equation (8) must
Intersecting Ray Path Channel therefore be modified to account for the vector errors, such
Thus far, nonintersecting sound ray paths have been con-
sidered.A fourthsituation,commonlyknown as multipath 7 = f ( x )+ E , . (9)
problem, involves intersecting ray-paths [ 141. For the simple
two-path channel of Fig. q d ) , the time delay T is related to Regardless of the source of errors, their statisticalchar-
range R and depth R , of the contact relative to the receiver
acter influences selection of a particular contact localization
through the equation:
and motionestimation process. In general, errors are char-
acterized as either biased or unbiased, as discussed in the
T = l / c [ ( R 2 t4HO2 - 4H&z)1’2 - R ] (7) following text.

where Ho is receiver or observer depth. Thisdelayyieldsa Ct’laracterization of Errors: Biased or Unbiased

contactdirection in the vertical plane similar to the one in
This section delineates the sources of biased and unbiased
(4). Asin thehorizontalplane,the measurement equation
errors in ocean-related CLMA problems. In the context of this
contains two unknowns, R and R,. As with the nonintersect-
paper, a biased error refers to the tendency of an estimated
ing three-path case, anadditionalpath tothemultipath
value to deviate from the true value in one direction. Biased
situation (Fig. 2(e)) yields the desired observability orcon-
errors may be constant or variable over a number of contact
sistency ofequations, leading to class D or E estimation
observation intervals. Constant bias maybe due to differen-
problems. Unlike in the horizontal plane situation, however,
tial dispersion in the channel paths (as between a volume and
it happens in practice that contact depth may be known (as
a bottom-reflected path), ray path curvature, or a non-Gaussian
would be the case with asurface contact). When contact
distribution of time delay estimates from the time delay proc-
depth is known, the presence of a third path is unnecessary
essor for a low signal-to-noise ratio or low relative signal-to-
to satisfy the observability condition. The third path would
noise bandwidth. Constant bias may be recognizable as a shift
provide, in this situation, spatial redundancy which along with
in the residual errorbetweenestimatedand measured time
temporal redundancy would allow further opportunity to fil-
delays; itseffectmaythen be compensated for.Variable
ter out errors in the contact’s state estimates. Depending on
bias may be transient (as due to a contact maneuver) or per-
thesituation,themultipath problemmaybelong to classes
sistent (as with a mismodel of the channel’s ray path curva-
D, E, or F.
ture). Once a transient bias is recognized, adaptive control of
In practice, an integration of the preceding cases usually
the process noise may be successfully applied [ 171 . This
occurs with a merging of frequency and bearing data, active amountsto effectivereinitialization of the problem with
sonar time delayandbearing, bearing and depression/eleva-
some a priori information on the contact’s range. If a
tion angle, etc. The integration provides consistency tothe
higher order motion model (one that allows estimation of a
measurement equations and improves the contact state estima-
possible contact maneuver) is used, theestimator is more
tion process. Differential Doppler between two paths, which
prone to instability, especially when only large unbiased er-
provides an indication of time delay rate, is also considered.
rors are present. To deal with persistent variable bias requires
While time delay yields directionalinformation whenproc-
a model of the process. If available, parameter estimation and
essed, timedelayrateyieldsdirect informationoncontact
process identificationmaybecarried outwith diminishing
velocity. Recent research has addressed multisensor process-
success if the estimation problem belongs to the later problem
ing as well as the multicontact problem [ 151, [ 161.
classes; i.e., classes E or F.
IV. MEASUREMENT AND MODELING ERRORS Unbiased errors may have Gaussian or non-Gaussian dis-
tributions. A Gaussian fluctuation of timedelays may be
Causes of Errors due,for instance, to such effects as small perturbations in
To convey the basic CLMA concepts, a homogeneous and ocean sound speed profiles, or due to the ocean surface [18]
noiseless ray path channel has been considered thus far. Such or to the processing of time delays in the presence of limited
a channel yields a direct functional dependence between time noise. Even with a Gaussian error distribution on thetime
, I :*+.. .. .. ..
’. ... -. . . . . . .. . . ~ . ... ....
.. - .. ~ ..-. . .. . .. , ;.- -. ~ . . .. ~- , .. . = . . . -
. ~ . .
I ~~



delay estimates, their direct mapping into the desired contact vertical channels [28],[33], [34]. Additionof a properly
states can result in increasingly non-Gaussian distributions as designed window extends the region of satisfactory perform-
a function of the contact’s range and off-broadside direction ance of a given conventional time delay estimator by lowering
to the observer’s array. From the estimation point of view, the estimators’ operational threshold. Anaverage improve-
it is preferable to maintain an unbiased Gaussian distribution ment of 4 to 6 dB may be accrued. The windows are designed
of errors, since this leads to manageable difficulties in the to remedy or compensate for physical conditions that affect
contact state estimation process. Many of the existing contact unfavorably the performance of theestimator.They are
localization and motion estimator structures are designed on dependent on signal spectra, noise spectra, and channel param-
the basis of best unbiased mean square error reduction criteria. eters. It should be stressed that windowsmustbe designed
to suit the estimator at hand and the situation under consider-
Minimizing Errors ation, since improper windowing will deteriorate performance
Minimizing errors in thetime delay estimator andcon- instead of improving it [33] -[35].
tact location estimator has relied principally on the assump-
tion of unbiasedGaussian errordistribution. This typeof Gating and Filtering
distribution is highly desirable since, as mentioned earlier, The simplistic scheme of independently selecting the domi-
it problem analysis and solution implementation nant clue foreachtime delay estimatoroutput can deliver
easier to accomplish thanwith a biased error distribution. erratic time delay estimates whenever adverse but temporary
However, biased errors do exist, as in the case of. differen- conditions exist at the input [36]. For estimator initialization,
tial dispersion in achannelwhich may lead to “smearing” some ensemble average over a number of successive time delay
of often-usedpeak detectors.Such a situation would result processor outputs can be taken to enhance the clue against
ina biased estimate of time delay even if signal-to-noise mean background noise.
ratio were good. When this type of bias results in large errors Where the clue is identified as having sufficient signal power
in the contact’s state estimate, techniques such as variants on over noise power,atimedelaygate is centered at the cor-
the complex demodulation technique must be used to remove responding output region, and clue estimation is executed over
the bias [19] ; otherwise, the system is not useful as an estima- the gate output for each observation interval. The characteris-
tor in that instance. tics of the gate may be provided by a Kalman filter operating
. Even for ideal channels with additive Gaussian noise, the on the raw time delay estimates [20]. Such gating enhances
distributionof timedelayestimatesbecomesnonsymmetric the robustness of the processor against signal fades and limits
as a functionof decreasing signal spectra to noise spectra the clue search to the most probable region in the processor
ratio [20], [21]. The resulting skewed distribution of, errors output. A successful stabilization process of the estimates
is undesirable and has given impetus to the use of windowing allows forautomaticand quasi-optimal processing of the
and gating techniques to remedy thesituation.Frequency data to estimate contact location and motion. Furthermore,
windowing is incorporated into a basic time delay estimator to the linear K h a n filter for the time delays can detect easily
lower its threshold, while time delay gating is added to limit contact maneuvers that yield a jump in the time delay rate,
the search for the clue to the most probable region in the time and can pass this information on to aKalmanfilter that is
delay estimator output. The induced stabilization of time de- estimating linearized contactstate dynamics. The relation
lay estimates allow the usage of statistical estimators, such as between time delay gates andspatialgates onthecontact
linear weighted least square filters, to improve and assess the increases in complexity in line with the observability of the
quality of the contact’s state estimates. contact’s state. For class A estimation problems, the two gates
are directly proportional.
Windowing has been applied to the various types of time Statistical Smoothing
delay estimators that may be encountered in a CLMA prob- Even when time delays are estimated with unbiased Gauss-
lem. The specific time delay estimator used in a given problem ian errors as would occur with high signal-to-noise spectra and
depends on the number ofsensors available and on the number long observation times (or as may occur following stabilization
of signal arrivals at each point [19], [22]-[32]. In one situa- through windowing, gating, and filtering) directmapping of
tion (Fig. 2(d), (e)), multiple acoustic propagation paths lead the time delays into the contact’s state can lead to biases in
to intersection at a single sensing point. In this case, general- the estimation process. Reduction of this bias (and variance in
ized cepstrum,autocorrelation, or complexdemodulation contact state estimates) can be accomplished by judicious use
techniques may be applied to interpret the resulting composite of statistical estimation techniques over sequential and finite
received data and measure the ‘time delays. In another situa- observations of thecontact signal [13].Thecontactstate
tion, propagation paths do not intersect at the sensing points estimator is an expanding memory filter that mapsimper-
(Fig. 2(a)-(c)). Here, spectral estimation or comparative signal fect time delay estimates into the invariant contact trajectory
analysis may be carried out at each sensing point, and general- parameters (i.e., constant velocity,initial range) over which
ized cross correlation, complex demodulation, or least square smoothing is performed.‘Thesmoothing reduces, jointly,
techniques carried out across sensing points. the variance and the bias in the estimate of contact kinematic
Frequency windowing of time delay estimatorshas been parameters. Such a scheme improves substantially on techni-
thesubject.of extensive studiesforbothhorizontal and ques that process inappropriately mapped time delays, or tech-
THE 141

niques that directly transform the best time delays available the number of measured time delays depends on the number
into contact motionestimates, The latter approachis optimum of spatially separated sensors and on the number of intersect-
only when stationariness of all elements in the problem can be ing ray paths in the sound channel (Fig. 2). TWO time delays
assumed. For this limiting case, the approach using statistical at each observation interval are needed to provide positional
smoothing converges automatically to the optimum estimates. information on the contact. Synthetic diversity must also be
Yetfor generalized cases, it remains a viable approachfor considered; this refers to the orderly assembly of time delays
moving contacts at long ranges, for contact directions off the estimated over successive observation intervals to enhance the
array’s broadside, and for high time delay variances. available estimates and to provide otherwise unavailable esti-
Implicitinthis discussion is a requirementforcorrect mates. With timedelays that yield ateach instant a single
statistical descriptions of the processes at hand. The recovery contact’s direction, the ranging relationship between moving
from an incorrect statisticaldescription in digital systems is contact/observer is quite circuitousandrequiresa series of
aidedby use of coupling loops for detecting such an event. time delay measurements combined with an observer velocity
The ensuing divergence is bypassed and the processes are change.
routed in a degraded mode until the system recovers. When Notwithstanding i the relational complexity, alignment of
thetraditionally separated signal and data processing stages snapshotestimates ofcontact localizationand motion re-
areinteractive [3], further improvementcan take place be- quires a modeling of the nominal underlying processes. This
cause system deterioration is usually local andnottotal. calls for hypothesizinga dynamicmodel of thecontact.
Statistical smoothing as ameans of minimizing errors is Mismatches between real and modeled phenomena lead to
discussed further in Sections V and VI. biased errors, and estimates of these errorsmust be made
along with estimates of the contact’s motion. Bias estimation
V. ELEMENTS IN THE FORMULATION AND SOLUTION remainsadifficult problem, and bias duetothe contact’s
OF CLMA PROBLEMS presumed motion has been most studied. In the underwater
environment,thecontact’s nominal motion is presumed to
Threeelements need definitionintheformulationof a be predominantly constant in velocity interspersed with arbi-
contact’s stateestimation process [17],[37]-[41]. These trary maneuvers. The modeling presumes this type of motion
are encountered regardless of the class that the CLMA prob- with added unbiased perturbations to account for deviations
lembelongs to,and regardless of the application athand. on that motion. The perturbation input levels are varied to
The three elements are: reflect the credibility in the evolution of the motion models.
1) amodel of the relationbetween the contact’s state This control process is used in relation to the functional de-
and the observables (i.e., time delays) as given in Section pendence of contact’s states upon observed time delays. Even
111, when the contact’s motion model is inadequate, the evolution
2 ) a model of the contact’s state (e.g., stationary, constant of the time delays has been modeled locally through nominal
velocity), low-orderpolynomialexpansions that prove helpful over a
3) a criterion to filter out errors (discussed in Section IV) limited number of time delay estimates.
from the observables and models. Given the contact’s dynamicmodel and thefunctional
dependence of its state on the measured time delays, a crite-
Of the various errors that are encountered, some are due rion for “best” estimation of the contact’s states is chosen
tothe timedelay estimation process, some are duetothe which yields the estimator structure. If achoice is made to
modeling of the channel, some are due to the presumed mo- minimize the average mean square errorbetween estimated
tion of the contact or the observer or both, and some are gen- andtruecontactstates,theprocedure is astraightforward
erated by the form of the dataprocessing structure. Regardless mathematical one applicable to varied situations. Other means
of theerror sources, filtering of unbiased errors has been to minimizeerrors,such as the maximumlikelihoodtechni-
dealt with collectively using varied estimation techniques. que, can lead to insurmountable analyticaldifficulties for
These include linear minimum variance, least squares, weighted non-Gaussian statistics. The characteristics ofthe residual
least squares, maximum likelihood,and Bayes estimators. error between estimated and measured time delays is applied
Performance of the resulting estimation procedures varies to weigh theadjustmentsonthe contact’s states estimates
depending upon the available statistical descriptors. For Gauss- until satisfactory minimization of the error is obtained. The
ian error distributions, the linear minimum variance estimates residual errorcontainsthe cumulative error characteristics
results agree with many of the others. In addition, nonlinear (biased or unbiased) which are sifted, either by an operator
problemscan be fittedthrough linearization, andminimum or automatically, so that the estimation process is conducted
variance estimators can accommodate such cases with little o d y onthedataerror characteristics thattheestimator is
or no knowledge of the probability density function of the designed to handle.Residual errorcharacterization remains
errors. Thislatter characteristic
explains the widespread an active area of research; one in which detection of the bias
use of linearizationtechniques since, moreoftenthannot, has been stressed. Much of the attentionhas centered on adap-
a probability distribution is merely conjectured. tation to biasing caused by contact maneuvers [ 171 [42] - ~

As noted in element 1, the estimation problem begins by [45]. However, increasing attention is being paid to biasing
hypothesizing thefunctional relationship between received due to sensor positioning [46] and environmental effects[ 141,
time delays and the contact’s state descriptors. Sensor diver- and also ontheeffectsof certain typesof random errors
sity and channel diversity must be taken into account, since [471, 1481.
. . -
\ - - - ; I . ~.
. ,...
. .


VI. BASIC CLMA ESTIMATION SOLUTIONS hypothesized states fit the measured bearings in some approxi-
Estimationofcontactmotion hasbeen performed ina mate way. This technique remains viable when biased variants
variety of specific applications based on observations of some on the statistical description of the errorsarise so that they are
indirect aspects of contact motion. In the ocean environment, observable by the operator. Such manual techniques pervade
perhaps the most familiar is the two-dimensional tracking of many of the CLMA problems in the ocean environment. With
a noisy contact by using bearings-only observations. In this statistical descriptors, automatic estimation algorithms may be
case, an observer monitorssequential bearings to a contact applied. Recursive and batch processing algorithms are often
as it proceedsata constant velocity. From these bearings, used. Kalman filtering [ 171, [37] -[41] has found widespread
the observer estimates the contact’s range, course, and speed application since it accommodates nonstationary process
[12],[49]-[S3].Bothcontact and observer motions are noise and more general types of contact/observer motion.
presumed to be in the horizontal plane where the sequential In the bearings-only problem, most of the estimation dif-
bearing observations are gathered. Estimator convergence oc- ficulties that could be expected to arise do so. To minimize
curs only after a well chosen velocity change by the observer. filter divergence the most observable contact states must be
This requirement can be unwieldy, and may result in lengthy identifiedand isolated fromthose whose observabilities are
convergence time and unacceptableerrors. The presence of developed synthetically through a motionconstraint. Also,
the noisy bearings must not be submitted t o nonlinear func-
another spatiallyseparated sensor enhances the convergence
tions operationsfollowed by expectation operators; thiswould
process and has given impetustocontact localization and
lead to residual biases. Finally, mapping and smoothing must
tracking by means of sensor arrays.
be performed over the contact’s state parameters withthe
For three-dimensional tracking, it is well known in radar-
longest time invariance. With these factors having been men-
sonarwork that seriousdegradation of depression/elevation
tioned, some additionalcommentsonthe CLMA process,
measurements is caused by multipath propagation. This occurs
with references to the pertinent literature,are now presented.
when the contact is at near-horizontal grazing angles or occurs
Theextended Kalman filter,formulated in aCartesian
within a beamwidth or so of a bounding surface. Several
state-space, can develop divergence problems caused by a
techniques have been investigated to reduce multipath errors,
premature convergence of the covariance matrix prior to the
but these are generally ineffective, especially for contacts
observer’s maneuver.Remedies forthe divergence problem
within one beamwidth of the bounding surface [54]. In the
have been initially heuristic and call for rotation of thecovari-
oceanenvironment, the difficulty with antimultipath techni-
ance matrix to align with the estimated bearing [ 111, or for a
ques is compounded by the presence of two bounding surfaces
gating on the range estimates. Such techniques have yielded
and the focusing effect of volume inhomogeneity. Instead of
aiming to overcome themultipatheffect,one alternative is erratic results. Another technique calls for the use of a pseudo-
to capitalize onthe resulting consistency in the system of measurement made up of the component of the correct range
equations relating the measurements to the contact’s position. perpendicular to the measured bearing line. This measurement
More importantly, no limit on vertical beamwidth is set, thus is linearly related to the contact state. This approach avoids
relaxing the beamwidth constraint in many techniques. In the the covariance collapse and ensuing divergence problem
following sections, thecontactmotionestimators for the but produces biased state estimates that may not be negligible
preceding problems are considered. [491, [ 5 11, 1551-[67l.
Recent approaches have considered the effect of the co-
ordinate system andthelocationofthenonlinearity [SO],
Noisy Bearings-Only CLMA
[58] -[61] on the bearings only CLMA problem. It has been
Bearings-only contactlocationandmotion analysis re- found that modified polar (MF)’ coordinates yield stable and
presentsa class F problem.It is a fundamentaland well unbiased estimates. The state vectorsare bearing rate, range
studiedestimationproblem in theunderwater environment rate divided by range, bearing, and the reciprocal of range.
(Fig. 2(b)), and is the most often encountered and the most The first three states are observable, while the fourth remains
difficult to solve. Generally, contact velocity is assumed unobservable until an observer maneuver occurs. The degree
constant, observer motion is unrestricted,andcontact and of observability in the MP formulation is the reason for the
observer are assumed to be moving in thehorizontal plane. resulting stability. The estimated range is separated from the
The problem is inherently nonlinear because of the bearing covariance computation until the observer’s maneuver occurs.
measurements.Onlythree elements in the contact’s states Unlike for linear filters, an appropriate choice of coordinate
are observable prior toan observer maneuver,andneither system is fundamental to the good performance of nonlinear
spatial nor channel diversities are available to develop a con- filters that estimate contact states subject to observer motion
tact location estimation.Therefore,a synthetic sensor diver- constraints. It has been found that an indirect stability meas-
sitymustbe developed to provide the observabilityand ure based on a bound for the decay rate of a Lyapunov func-
redundancy needed to filter out bearing errors. tion[61] yields, forthe bearings-only Cartesian extended
the bearings-only CLMA problem K h a n filter, the worst possible value for the stability crite-
relied primarily on geometric constructions. With the introduc- rion.
tion of the computer, it became possible for an operator to Finally, analysis of atwo-sensor, omnidirectional array
hypothesize acontact’s range, course,andspeed, andthen yields a contact tracking problem not in the horizontal plane.
test each hypothesisuntilthe resulting bearing fromthe This problem is unobservable [62] prior tothe observer’s
THE 143

first maneuver. In addition, there is a sign ambiguity on the smoothingofthetime delays over successive observation
estimate of contact depth. An iterative, least squares algorithm intervals [74]. Otherwise, the bias can be substantial in various
was proposed to generate the contact estimate that uses the practical contact locations relative tothe receiving array.
Householder transformation to solve the Gauss-Newton equa- Recently, this bias has been calculated in various forms [ 131,
tions.For thistrackingproblem, other algorithm structures [74] -[76].
utilizing spherical [63]and M P polar coordinates have also For a zero mean Gaussian noise on the time delays and a
been employed. Suchalgorithms have been used to process homogeneous channel, lower
a boundonthe range bias
noisy conical angles only. As expected, their behavior is simi- ( R b ) and corresponding variance uR are [ 131
lar to those processing bearings-only measurements.
(R,) = ( ~ U , ~ ~ * R ~cos4 ) / (p),L ~
CLMA fionz a Linear ArraJJ
UR = -k 8 ab)) (10)
CLMA from a linear array, a class D problem, deals with
the location and motion of a contact in the plane containing where or2 is thetime delay noise variance. Equation (10)
a linear array and contact [13], [64] -[68]. For the sake of shows the explicit dependence of the range bias on time delay
simplicity, consider an array having three spatially separated variance, contact range, andeffectivearray length;it also
elements (Fig. 2(c)). Two noisy time delays or two bearings to shows that the range variance is inherently dependent on the
the contact are available ateachobservation of the contact residual bias. For the favorable conditions of Gaussianity and
over a short enough observation interval to permit the assump- homogeneity, Fig. 3illustratesa rapid deterioration in the
tionof local stationarity. Bearing ambiguity as tocontact contact range estimation process as a functionof increas-
position (to the right orleft of the array) is considered re- ing contact range, off-broadside direction, and time delay
solved. estimator errors. Again, an improvement in performance
In contrast to thebearings-only problem where the observer requires thatappropriatetemporal processing beapplied to
monitors at each observation interval a single angular direction develop a synthetic array aperture. Though the biasing issue
tothecontact, inthisinstance the observer simultaneously hasbeenexplainedin thecontext of CLMA from alinear
monitors the direction from two spatially separated positions. array, it is relevant to both the noisy bearings-only CLMA and
Spatial diversity of the observer’s sensors yieldsa contact multipath CLMA problems.
range estimateat eachobservation interval. Thoughthe Minimizing the error in the preceding range estimates has
estimation problem remains nonlinear, the troublesome issues been accomplished for a single observation interval by increas-
of contact observability are minimized. Those issues resurface ing array length L and/or by minimizing rhe time delay vari-
as the contact range increases relative to the effective separa- ances. Practical considerations such as array dynamics, availa-
tion of sensors (sensor baseline) in the noisy ocean environ- ble space, and signal coherence eventually impose limitations
ment. As range increases, sensor baseline is, in effect, reduced on the permissible array size. There is therefore an interest in
so that reliance on synthetic aperture techniques again is re- pursuing the alternative of extendingthe usefulness and ef-
quired. .fectiveness of an existingarray by increasing thetemporal
Time delay measurements are usually imperfect; this causes processing gain. For variance reduction of a stationary contact,
fluctuations in range anddirection values, andsubsequent several maximum likelihood localization estimators have been
errors in velocity estimates. When a Taylor expansion is car- developed [48], [77] -[81]. These techniques are optimal for
ried out on the range and only the linear term is relevant, the negligible bias and sufficientlylongobservationtimes. Their
mean values of contact range and direction are considered results yield the most optimistic performance of the system
unbiasedand their variance is a linear function of thetime and provide measure bounds for improvement possibilities.
delay variance. Foran effective sensor baseline, minimiza- In practice, signal andnoisecharacteristicscan slowly
tionofcontactlocation variance leads to minimization of vary. Also, time delays from a moving contact may be con-
timedelay variance. To effectthisminimization,different sidered only quasi-stationary over a fmite observation inter-
windowsareadded to the basic time delays estimators with val. These constraints limit the observation time of the time
varying effectiveness [20],[28],[35],[69]-[73].Such a delay estimators, hence deteriorating their performance from
ranging approach presumes stationarycontact and sensor theoptimalcondition. Considerationhasbeen given [82] -
positions, as well as stationary signal and noise statistics. [86]tocontact/observer induced nonstationarity onthe
This linear analysis is physically relevant at ranges close to time delays. Estimation of the Doppler effecthas allowed
the expansion point in the Taylor series and/or at small vari- some increase in the observationinterval [87]. However,
ances of the time delays. Bias in range becomes significant as the interval must remain short enough so that the time delays
the contact range increases, as the contact moves aways from vary according to a low order polynomial form. Complications
sensor array broadside, and as the time delay variance deteri- arise due to the presence of noise and the unknown orderK of
orates with signal and noise conditions. When bias in range is the polynomial. The order K is not known a priori since it is
not neghgible, the relation between the variances of range to a function of the relative range and the number of observa-
time delays becomes quite nonlinear. It has been found that tion intervals. Over a limited number of observation intervals,
the problems of range bias and variance with the limited ob- however, ~ ( t . is ) likely to vary in a linear or parabolic fashion
servation intervals in the cross-correlator become intertwined. and parameterestimationmay becarried outwith a short-
Theymust be minimizedsimultaneously through sequential memoryfilter[20],[36],[78]. Thisfilterhas other bene-
. . . . .~ . . ..,. . .. . .. ~.
. . ~.
.. .. - . . . . . ~. .. . , . .>...- . . . . . . ..
., ,,.... . .._
. .


RANGE [Yards)

RANGE (Yards)
Fig. 3. .Rapid deterioration in wavefront ranging errors as a result of
direct mapping of time delay estimates into contact range estimates
UT/[.@ cos2p1 = 5 x 10-10 s/ft2.

fits, since it can aid in the estimation of time delays through When variants develop on the otherwise constant contact
the design of agatingmechanism [20] or through apeak motion parameters,adaptivefiltering techniques have been
search in the correlator output. In addition, the resulting de- applied to transition the state estimates to the newly evolving
crease intime delay variance allows anextended region of invariant parameters.Accordingly, totalcontactmotion is
operation away from a given array before the need arises to described piecewise, i.e., as consisting of nonmaneuvering
precede the triangulationschemebyspatial gating. Such portions andmaneuvering portions.The maneuvering por-
gating can be helpfulin theestimation processwheninde- tions have beenmodeled as randomvelocity perturbations
pendent information is available to define the most probable resulting in the use of adaptivefdtering techniques [88]-
region of contact location. [ 9 0 ] , or as unknown but deterministic inputs resulting in the
For further smoothing beyond the few observation inter- use of estimationlidentification techniques 1911. Theob-
vals in theshort-memoryfiiter,the assumption of constant servability of the contact’s state allows the application of
contact velocity is essential. There are only four unknowns to estimation techniques toidentifythe bias due tothecon-
estimate over all the successive observation intervals. Then tact’s maneuver. For the bearings-only problem,detection
the noisy timedelays are coptraineg withinaprocessor to of the contact maneuver andadaptivereinitialization of the
point to an estimate k,(O), R,(O), V,, p,, with a minimum estimation process have been used most often.
mean square error. The highly expandedmemory system
provides the desired redundancy to yield an enhanced estima- rblultipath arzd &“isensor CLMA
tion of the unknown parameters. In such estimationproblems, Tracking of a moving contact via noisy observation of
it is desirable to ultimately map the time delay observations multipath timedelayshasbeen made bya single sensor, as
onto the invariantandunbiased contact motion parameters opposed to spatially separated sensors (Fig. 2(d), (e)). Depend-
over which smoothing is performed to reduce both the vari- ing on the details of the situation, this problem may belong to
anceand the bias inestimating contactlocation [13]. This classes D, E, or F. Trackingin the vertical plane is affected
mappingimparts stationaritytotheproblem,thus allowing by the oceaninhomogeneities. When the region ofinterest
an effective increase in the averaging time of the localization hasalayered structure, precise ray path modelsmustbe
system beyond that allowed in the time delay estimator. derived fromray-path studies. When formulating the track-
THE 145

ing problem, it is highly desirable to choose a simple mathe- the improved range rate estimate. The degree of improvement
maticalmodelthat describes theprominent characteristics in range and range rate estimation over bearings-only CLMA
of the propagation paths [92] [93]. In near-isospeed waters,
is proportional to the quality of D/E data or to the size of the
one convenientalternative is to represent theactual sound D/E angle. When given perfectD/Emeasurementsor large
speed profile by a series ofconstant gradients, and then D/E angle with small error,the range variance for the five-
toapproximatethe resultant byan effective sound speed; stateestimator approaches approximately1/4that of the
this replaces the curved ray pathswith equivalentstraight bearings-only algorithm.
lines. However, itmayhappenthatthe chosenrepresenta- Recently, three-dimensional CLhIA has beenintroduced
tion is not equivalent totheactualsituation. This causes using time delay measurements from an array that yields con-
a bias in the time delay observation model, which translates tact conical angle, DIE angle,
and inverse range measurements. A
into a steady state error or causes the fiiter to diverge [14]. modifiedsphericalsystem arises that is applicable tothe
Oneapproach to compensateforthe effects of medium bearings-only maneuvering contact problem [63].
inhomogeneity hasbeen to generate real time propagation
paths bymeans ofmodified, constant-gradientraytracing
algorithms. Ocean features can also be of help for time delay Thispaper has providedageneralperspective on contact
estimation and contact localization purposes. Certain features localization andmotion analysis (CLMA) in theoceanen-
formpatterns,and these can be used inconjunctionwith vironment.It haspresentedrepresentative CLMA problems,
measured time delays to recognize thechannel sub-space and in doing so illustrates that the difficulty in solving these
whose attached set oftime delays matchesthoseextracted problems increases as the geometricrelationship between
by the time delay estimator[94],[95]. Thisleads to ray contact and observer becomes nonstationary, as the equations
path identification and ultimately to an estimate of contact defining the problems become nonlinear, and as constraints are
location and motion. placed on observer and contact motion. Varioussources of
Inmultipath tracking, similar issues to those discussed estimation errorsare discussed, andthe ability n to identify,
previously arise as to observability and nonlinearity. A major characterize, and controlthem is shown to beasignificant
difference, however, arises in the possibility of conducting, via part of the overall estimation process.
single time delays measured recursively, contact range estima- The total gain in CLMA systems is the result of spatial,
tion without the requirement for an observer maneuver. This environmental, and temporal factors. That is, gain depends on
occurs whenthe contact’s depthhappensto be known. In a system’s spatial aperture (array size, number and placement
multisensor CLMA merges time delay of sensors, etc.), on the sound ray paths in the propagation
measurementscollectedin various planes. Bearing and/or channel, andonthetemporal processing techniques used
multipath time delay measurements are included in the estima- to convert the sequentially received signal time delay informa-
tion processors. The contact’s stateestimation process is tiontocontactstate estimates. The spatial aperture and
greatlyaided by twomultipath timedelaymeasurements, propagationchannel provide, withtemporal processing over
which impart consistency to the observation equations at each each basic observation interval, rough estimates or snapshots
instant of time. In contrast to the noisy, bearings-only case, of a contact’s location and motion. Although the quality of
tracking is performed in a three-dimensional frame with con- thesesnapshots is not necessarily enhanced by successive
comitant advantages [14],[89],[90],[95]-[97]. Princi- observation intervals, temporal processing aligns, superim-
pally, the depth parameter canbe estimated, and the unwieldy poses, and fiters themto enhance the contact’s stateestimates.
requirement for a velocity change (needed for Kalman filter Such temporal processing techniques are seen to yield an in-
convergence) is eliminated. The convergence time for the fiiter creasingly greater percentage of overall system gain as contact
is greatlydiminished and,furthermore,the filter displays a observability decreases, as signal-to-noisespectra deteriorate,
low operationalthreshold. In addition,its stability is main- and as contact range to array size increases.
tained when mismodeling exists in the observational or kine-
matical models. ACKNOWLEDGMENT
With multipath-inducedtime delay measurements, an ap- TheauthorthanksDr. S . Nardone, K. Gong,and W.
propriate state vector can be defined such that an equivalent Golembewski for their comments on themanuscript.
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J. C. Hassab, B. Guimond, and S . Nardone,“Commentson in- Joseph C. Hassab \*as borninJounieh,Leb-
herent bias in wavefront curvature ranging,“ IEEE Trans. Acousr. anon, on January I , 1941. He received the B.S.
Speech, Signal Processing, vol.ASSP-30,no.1,pp.99,Feb. degrees in electricalengineeringandincivil
1982. engineering, the M.S. degree in electrical engi-
E . J. Hilliard. Jr. and R. F. Pinkos, “An analysis of triangulation neering. and the Ph.D. degree from Drexel Uni-
ranging using beta density angular errors,” J . Acousr. Soc. Amer.,
, ,
j ., , > versity,
PA, in 1966,
vol. 65. pp. 1218-1228, May 1979. and 1970, respectively.
W. R. Hahn, “Optimum signal processing for passive sonar range From 1970 to 197 1, he was an Assistant Pro-
and bearing estimation,” J . Acoust. Soc. Amer., vol. 58, no. 1, pp. fessorofPhysicsatLaSalleCollege:Philadel-
201-207,1975. phia. PA. In 1971, he joined the NavalUnder-
W. J . Bangs. and P. M . Schultheiss,“Space-timeprocessingfor waterSystemsCenter,Newport,RI.Whileat
optimalparameterestimation,” in Signal Processing, J. W. NUSC,has
conducted research
consultingresulting in
Griffiths,P.L.Stocklin.and C. VanSchoonveld,Eds. New approximately one hundred journal publications in the varied aspects of
York:Academic.1973. signal processing, target motion analysis, scattering, wave propagation,
G. C. Carter, ”Variance bounds for passively locating an acoustic channel modeling, and numerical analysis. He has been, respectively, the
source with a symmetric line array,” J . Acoust. Soc. Amer., vol. Head of the Advanced Systems Analysis and Assessment Division, the
62,pp.922-926,1977. Advanced Development Division. the Advanced Systems Division, Act-
J. Hinich and P. Shaman, “Parameter estimation for an r-dimen- ingDepartmentHead:andChiefEngineer.Presently, he headsthe
sionalplanewaveobservedwithadditiveindependentGaussian Systems Architecture and Targeting Division. Since 1973, he has been an
errors,” Annals Mathemarical Staristics, vol. 43, no. 1 , pp. 153- Adjunct Professor at Roger Williams College, Bristol, RI. and since 1979
169, 1972. at Southeastern Massachusetts University, North Dartmouth, MA, teach-
P. M. Schultheiss,“Locating a passivesource with arraymeas- ing courses on radar, sonar, speech and seismic signal processing, elec-
urements:Asummaryofresults,’’ in ICASSP-79Conj.Rec., tromagnetics, engineering instrumentation, digital signal processing, and
Catalog 79CH1379-7ASSP, IEEE Press, Piscataway, NJ, pp. 967- control systems.
970,1979. Dr. Hassab is a member of Eta Kappa Nu,Phi Kappa Phi, Tau Beta Pi,
8 21 R. L. Kirlin, D. F. Moore, and R. F. Kubicheck, “Improvement of Pi Mu Epsilon, Sigma Pi Sigma, and Chi Epsilon. He is listed in the 1976
delay measurements from sonar arrays via sequential state estima- edition of Who’s Whoin the United States. In 1979, he chaired the Office
tion,” IEEE Trans. Acoust. Speech,Signal Processing, vol. ASSP- of Naval Research Conference on Time Delay Estimation and Applica-
29, no. 3 , pp. 514-519, June 1981. tions and has been Session Chairman at several IEEE and NATO confer-
831 G . C. Carter and P. B. Abraham, “Estimation of sourcemotion ences.