Sensor and data fusion is a data analysis technique and research area that is growing rapidly because it provides a means for combining pieces of information coming from different sources or sensors.
This generally results in a better overall system performance and can be seen in improved decision making, increased detection capabilities, improved reliability and fewer false alarms.
Data fusion finds wide application in many areas of robotics such as object recognition, environment mapping and localization. Applications where sensor and data fusion is particularly useful include medical diagnosis, remote sensing, environmental monitoring and both military and non-military security.
For military applications, the intelligence extracted from data fusion makes it easier for analysts to identify potential adversaries and their targets. By organizing and collecting large volumes of collected data, relevant patterns can be recognized using data fusion.
Multi-sensor data fusion (MSDF) systems use various types of sensors to combine data, obtaining a comprehensive picture of the situation. MSDF may also be programmed to make inferences using given information to create new data.
The goal behind this technology is to increase the effectiveness of military objectives by giving a more complete, integrated view of situations to enable a quicker response while eliminating errors caused by individual failure.
This is crucial because the U.S. military relies upon diverse sensing sources in the battlefield. As a result of the vast resources providing soldiers with information, the military incorporates probability algorithms into sensor fusion systems that effectively process the sensors’ information.
On the battlefield, multi-sensor data fusion technology eliminates uncertainty so no single unit is isolated. This occurs through constant information sharing between field units and the base station, all in different physical locations with different perspectives. A complete picture of instantaneous action is available constantly. Surprise attacks would not be as effective as past attempts, since more enemy locations would be known.
Want to learn more? Tonex offers Sensor and Data Fusion Bootcamp, a 3-day course that covers technologies, tools and methods to automatically manage multi sensor data filtering, aggregation, extraction and fusing data useful to intelligence analysts and war fighters.