Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Jason D. Schmidt, PhD


In many cases, optical tracking systems do not have cooperative beacons avail- able. This is particularly true for the case involving tracking a laser illuminated target such as a missile seeker head, where the object of interest is an extended source. Furthermore the extended source is often observed in the presence of noise such as shot and speckle noise as well as atmospheric turbulence which further degrades the signal. This research effort presents the evaluation of an existing algorithm based on the maximum-likelihood technique for tilt estimation in the presence of extended sources and speckle noise, with particular application to the image motion tracking problem. Comparison is made between the performance of traditional centroiding algorithms and the existing projection-based correlation algorithm in simulation. The Maximum Likelihood Estimator using projection-based correlation is shown to offer improved performance in the motion tracking problem.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number