Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Adaptive Input Estimation for Enhanced Tracking of Maneuvering Targets

Technology #6896

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Dennis S. Bernstein
Managed By
Joohee Kim
Licensing Specialist, Physical Sciences & Engineering 734-764-8202

This technology is a method for accelerating the acceleration of an object using optical or radar technologies. Acceleration cannot be measured directly by these methods, but must be estimated based on position and other data taken over multiple images. Current methods, such as mathematical filtering of data and use of double-differentiation techniques, are ad-hoc and error-prone. Additionally, they can be very computationally intense and slow methods. Because the applications of acceleration estimation are tracking of fast-moving objects, accuracy and speed are extremely important. This technology will improve these measures and influence a large number of sectors.

Accuracy from domestic to military use

This technology uses a retrospective cost algorithm combined with other mathematical techniques to estimate acceleration quickly and accurately. It was tested by comparing the known acceleration of a quadrotor to acceleration estimated from a video of the quadrotor’s movement. Estimation of acceleration was extremely accurate. This technology will improve applications in a wide variety of sectors, including cameras tracking objects of interest in sporting events, prediction of air and land vehicle movements, and missile defense systems. While there are several technologies in these arenas, none uses an algorithm this accurate or advanced.


  • Tracking of aircraft
  • Tracking of land vehicles
  • Tracking of sea vehicles
  • Tracking of other moving objects


  • Easy implementation
  • Greater accuracy than existing methods
  • Optical or radar technology