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2010 | 20 | 3 | 459-481

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Sensor network design for the estimation of spatially distributed processes

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In a typical moving contaminating source identification problem, after some type of biological or chemical contamination has occurred, there is a developing cloud of dangerous or toxic material. In order to detect and localize the contamination source, a sensor network can be used. Up to now, however, approaches aiming at guaranteeing a dense region coverage or satisfactory network connectivity have dominated this line of research and abstracted away from the mathematical description of the physical processes underlying the observed phenomena. The present work aims at bridging this gap and meeting the needs created in the context of the source identification problem. We assume that the paths of the moving sources are unknown, but they are sufficiently smooth to be approximated by combinations of given basis functions. This parametrization makes it possible to reduce the source detection and estimation problem to that of parameter identification. In order to estimate the source and medium parameters, the maximum-likelihood estimator is used. Based on a scalar measure of performance defined on the Fisher information matrix related to the unknown parameters, which is commonly used in optimum experimental design theory, the problem is formulated as an optimal control one. From a practical point of view, it is desirable to have the computations dynamic data driven, i.e., the current measurements from the mobile sensors must serve as a basis for the update of parameter estimates and these, in turn, can be used to correct the sensor movements. In the proposed research, an attempt will also be made at applying a nonlinear model-predictive-control-like approach to attack this issue.








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  • Institute of Control and Computation Engineering, University of Zielona Góra, ul. Podgórna 50, 65-246 Zielona Góra, Poland
  • Institute of Control and Computation Engineering, University of Zielona Góra, ul. Podgórna 50, 65-246 Zielona Góra, Poland


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