Optimal Path Planning and Sensor Placement for Mobile Target Detection


Speaker: BRIAN DO ANDERSON(Hangzhou Dianzi University and  Australian National University)

Time and Venue: Apr.6th, 15:00-16:00, N902


Abstract:This talk describes an applications problem originating from Australia’s Defence Science and Technology  Organization,  in which  a  variety  of modeling  and  optimization  issues  present themselves.   For   a flying   military   vehicle,   in   many   scenarios   avoiding   detection   is   a key objective. Given a field of heterogeneous detectors such as radars in fixed positions, flying the least probability of detection path through the field of detectors is a fundamental strategy. Most previous  optimization  methods  for this  problem  have  sought  to  minimize  cumulative  radar exposure; in contrast, we consider a formulation that directly minimizes the probability of detection. We show how a variational dynamic programming method can be applied to this model to allow one to find a locally optimal path with low computational complexity, and then extend the idea in two directions. First, using homotopy methods, we consider how the vehicle can cope with adjustments to  the  detector  field, resulting  from introduction  or  removal  of  detectors,  or  changes  of sensitivity. Then we consider the effect of taking Doppler measurements into account. This poses a challenge both in terms of modeling, and an increase in the dimension of the problem.

 From the point of view of those seeking to detect the vehicle, the positioning of sensor assets is important. The talk considers how this can be done when the vehicle whose detection is desired optimizes its path. A relaxed version of the positioning problem can be formulated as a convex optimization problem and used to determine optimal or close-to-optimal detector positions.



Brian D. O Anderson was born in Sydney, Australia, and educated at Sydney University in mathematics and electrical engineering, with PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford University in 1966.  Following graduation, he joined the faculty at Stanford University and worked as Vidar Corporation of Mountain View, California, as staff consultant. He then returned to Australia to become department chair in electrical engineering at the University of Newcastle. He moved to the Australian National University in 1982, as the first engineering professor at that university. He is now Emeritus Professor at the Australian National University, Distinguished Professor in Hangzhou Dianzi University and Distinguished Researcher in Data61-­‐ CSIRO, formerly NICTA. During his period in academia, he spent significant time working for the Australian Government, with this service including membership of the Prime Minister’s Science Council under the chairmanship of three prime ministers. He also served on advisory boards or boards of various companies, including the world’s major supplier of cochlear implants,  Cochlear Corporation, where he was a director for ten years. His awards include the IFAC Quazza Medal in 1999, IEEE Control Systems Award of 1997, the 2001 IEEE James H Mulligan, Jr Education Medal, and the Bode Prize of the IEEE Control System Society in

1992, as well as IEEE and other best paper prizes, including Automatica. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, Royal Society (London), and a foreign member of the US National Academy of Engineering. He holds honorary doctorates from a number of universities, including Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium, and ETH, Zürich. He was IFAC President from 1990 to 1993, having served earlier in various IFAC roles, including Editor of Automatica. He was President of the Australian Academy of Science from 1998 to 2002. His current research interests are in distributed control, sensor networks and econometric modelling.