Connected components and temporal association in airport surface radar tracking
April 4, 1994
MIT Lincoln Laboratory, under sponsorship of the FAA, has installed a modified Raytheon pathfinder x-band marine radar at Logan Airport in Boston, Mass. and has developed a real- time surveillance system based on the pathfinder's digitized output. The surveillance system provides input to a safety logic system that will ultimately activate a set of runway status lights. This paper describes the portion of the surveillance system following the initial clutter- rejecting preprocessing, described elsewhere. The overall mechanism can be simply described as a temporal constant false alarm rate front end followed by binary morphological operations including connected components feeding a scan-to-scan tracker. However, a number of refinements have been added leading to a system which is close to being fieldable. Both the special difficulties and the current solutions are examined. The radar hardware as well as the computational environment are discussed. An overview of the clutter rejection preprocessing is given, as well as physical and processing related challenges associated with the data. Algorithmic description of the current system is presented and its real-time implementation outlined. Performance statistics and envisioned algorithmic improvements are presented.