Unified Geolocation Using Heterogeneous Measurements: Mathematical Framework and Software Architecture, 16-R9743

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Principal Investigator
Michael A. Koets

Inclusive Dates:  07/01/07 – Current

Background - SwRI develops unique and specialized geolocation systems every year. While all of these systems are built on a common conceptual foundation, the types of signals used in the geolocation process and the details of the implementations vary tremendously between systems. The time and effort required to design and construct these systems, as well as the effort required to optimize the systems for the best possible performance, can be extensive. This project is developing a rigorous, general mathematical formulation of the geolocation problem and developing a highly specialized programming language for constructing these systems. The objective of the effort is to develop tools that will enable the rapid construction and deployment of robust, high-performance geolocation systems that may be easily reused, modified, and extended.

Approach - This program is pursuing four major, interrelated research tasks. The first is the derivation of a general, but optimal mathematical formulation of the geolocation problem. This effort will formalize the mathematical elements that are common to all geolocation problems and develop optimal solutions to the problem for any geolocation architecture and any combination of geolocation signal measurements. The second task is the formal specification of the executable elements of a practical geolocation system, which will enable the abstract but complete representation of the components of deployable geolocation systems. This representation will be anchored explicitly to the mathematical framework so that geolocation systems designed using this technique will be guaranteed the benefits of the optimal mathematical solution. The next task will develop a user-friendly notation, or programming language, that will allow geolocation system designers to concisely specify a system using concepts and relationships that are native to the geolocation application domain. The final task will be the development of a compiler technology to process these concise, formal descriptions of geolocation systems in the new language and produce fully executable systems for a variety of platforms. A final evaluation will confirm the accuracy of the systems produced using the new tools and demonstrate decreased development time and improved robustness and adaptability of the systems.

Accomplishments - Efforts so far on this recently initiated program have focused on the development of the mathematical framework and formal specification of geolocation systems. Numerous fielded and proposed geolocation systems have been carefully analyzed to extract their common functional elements. A generalized, formal mathematical notation is near completion that models the geolocation process and allows for the derivation of optimal solutions. This mathematical formulation has been augmented with additional conceptual elements that capture most practical implementation requirements of a geolocation system within the common notational framework.

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