www.radartutorial.eu Radar Basics

Track Initiation

scan n
scan n+3
track history
track established
and stapled

Figure 1: Process of creating a new radar track from unassociated radar plots

scan n
scan n+3
track history
track established
and stapled

Figure 1: Process of creating a new radar track from unassociated radar plots

scan n
scan n+3
track history
track established
and stapled

Figure 1: Process of creating a new radar track from unassociated radar plots

Track Initiation

Track initiation is the process of creating a new radar track from unassociated radar plots. When the radar tracker is first switched on, all of the initial radar plots are used to initialize new tracks. Once the radar tracker is running, only those plots are used to create a new track that couldn't be used to update an existing one.

Typically a new track is given the status of tentative until plots from subsequent radar updates have been successfully associated with the new track. Tentative tracks are not shown to the operator and so they provide a means of preventing false tracks from appearing on the screen – at the expense of some delay in the first reporting of a track.

Once several updates have been received, the track is confirmed and displayed to the operator. The most common criterion for promoting a tentative track to a confirmed track is the “M-of-N rule”, which states that during the last N radar updates, at least M plots must have been associated with the tentative track – with M=3 and N=5 being typical values. More sophisticated approaches may use a statistical approach in which a track becomes confirmed when, for instance, its covariance matrix falls to a given size.

A clutter map may be used to prevent track initiation in areas of strong clutter echoes not suppressed by the Doppler processing. The clutter map may also keep track of large bird echoes, so as to not be reinitiating track on them, repeatedly. Track initiation in a dense clutter environment can be quite demanding on computer software and hardware resources.