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Journal of Control Science and Engineering
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 870890, 15 pages
Review Article

Some Aspects on Filter Design for Target Tracking

Ekelundsvägen 22, 429 42 Särö, Sweden

Received 6 October 2011; Revised 30 January 2012; Accepted 30 January 2012

Academic Editor: Wen Yu

Copyright © 2012 Bertil Ekstrand. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Tracking filter design is discussed. It is argued that the basis of the present stochastic paradigm is questionable. White process noise is not adequate as a model for target manoeuvring, stochastic least-square optimality is not relevant or required in practice, the fact that requirements are necessary for design is ignored, and root mean square (RMS) errors are insufficient as performance measure. It is argued that there is no process noise and that the covariance of the assumed process noise contains the design parameters. Focus is on the basic tracking filter, the Kalman filter, which is convenient for clarity and simplicity, but the arguments and conclusions are relevant in general. For design the possibility of an observer transfer function approach is pointed out. The issues can also be considered as a consequence of the fact that there is a difference between estimation and design. The 𝛼 - 𝛽 filter is used for illustration.