As the list of anti-air warfare and ballistic missile defense missions grows, there is an increasing need to
coordinate and optimize usage of radar resources across the netted force. Early attempts at this
optimization involved top-down control mechanisms whereby sensors accept resource tasking orders
from networked tracking elements. These approaches rely heavily on uncertain knowledge of sensor
constraints and capabilities. Furthermore, advanced sensor systems may support self-defense missions
of the host platform and are therefore unable to relinquish control to an external function.
To surmount these issues, the use of bottom-up emergent control techniques is proposed. The
information necessary to make quality, network-wide resource allocations is readily available to sensor
nodes with access to a netted track picture. By assessing resource priorities relative to the network
(versus local) track picture, sensors can understand the contribution of their resources to the netted
force. This allows the sensors to apply resources where most needed and remove waste. Furthermore,
simple local rules for resource usage, when properly constructed, allow sensors to obtain a globally
optimal resource allocation without direct coordination (emergence). These results are robust to partial
implementation (i.e., not all nodes upgraded at once) and failures on individual nodes (whether from
casualty or reallocation to other sensor missions), and they leave resource control decisions in the hands
of the sensor systems instead of an external function.
This paper presents independent research and development work on emergent control of sensor
resources and the impact to resource allocation and tracking performance.