A Quantified Approach of Predicting Suitability of Using the Unscented Kalman Filter in a Non-Linear Application


A mathematical framework to predict the Unscented Kalman Filter (UKF) performance improvement relative to the Extended Kalman Filter (EKF) using a quantitative measure of non-linearity is presented. It is also shown that the range of performance improvement the UKF can attain, for a given minimum probability depends on the Non-linearity Indices of the corresponding system and measurement models. Three distinct non-linear estimation problems are examined to verify these relations. A launch vehicle trajectory estimation problem, a satellite orbit estimation problem and a re-entry vehicle position estimation problem are examined to verify these relations. Using these relations, a procedure is suggested to predict the estimation performance improvement offered by the UKF relative to the EKF for a given non-linear system and measurement without designing, implementing and tuning the two Kalman Filters.