These centers process data from many sources. One source of information is from other shore-based analysis centers. Because track and other data are shared frequently between systems, andbecause the intervening signal processing and transformation steps are extremely complicated, it isimpossible to calculate the degree of common information between the two or more sites. Robustdecentralized data fusion techniques, however, provides a formal mechanism for describing how theinteraction between the different centers can occur.3.3. Tiered SystemsThe previous two examples have shown how DDF can be used to support fusion between piers –whether they are UAVs or entire fusion centers. However, a key enabler of a sustainable military forceis the notion of a tiered system , and is likely one of the more complex decentralized datacollection,informationprocessing and sharing systems.Conceptually, a tiered system isanintegrated,multi-tierintelligencesystemencompassing space and air-based sensors linked to close-inand intrusive lower tiers (Figure4). The lower tiers are not onlythe critical source of intelligence;they can also serve as a keycueing device for other sensors.Given the diversity of the assets,and the fact that information willneed to be shared across thehorizontal and vertical planes,and the environments in whichthe components of a tieredsystem will likely operate, it isnot practical to envision a singledata fusion architecture. Given the diversity of the information and processing nodes that may beparticipating in the network, it is more reasonable to expect that a given “system of systems” should beflexible, and employ a mix of architectures most suited for the operational environment, whilemaintaining interoperability across the spectrum. Future maritime scenarios may involve a collection of components from a tiered-system hierarchy,with both internal communications between the tiered-system components, as well as externalcommunications with shore-based data fusion and analysis centers. Due to the different types ofinformation flowing within the networks ranging from raw measurements to partial estimates, coupledwith decentralized system control due to the size and complexity of such an aggregate system, it islikely that a decentralized approach will provide a robust, scalable and flexible approach to data fusion.4. Summary and ConclusionsProtecting a harbor against intentional and accidental threats is extremely difficult. Because theyare focal points for the movement of people and cargo both in land and on water they are open systems.One means of identifying threats is to develop an accurate MCOP. However, to develop an accurate andconsistent MCOP requires the integration of data / information from multiple sensing systems withdifferent sensing modalities. To be practical, such a large sensing system must be cost effective toFigure 4:Tiered Systems Concept
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install, can be readily upgraded, and should be robust to sensor and communication failures. In thischapter we have argued that distributed data fusion networks exhibit many of these properties. We have
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