A Guide to RF Geolocation Techniques is a technical resource guide by CRFS.

The radio frequency (RF) environment is inherently chaotic, characterized by complexity and diversity, and it’s becoming increasingly challenging to navigate. In light of this reality, a comprehensive understanding of the spectrum and RF environment is paramount. This understanding allows for discerning who operates within the spectrum, identifying legitimate users, and detecting unauthorized or interfering signals.

Geolocation systems play a pivotal role in this endeavor by providing crucial tools for identifying, tracking, and, when necessary, countering activities occurring within the spectrum. Geolocation of RF signals involves determining the physical location or source of specific RF emissions. This process holds significance across various domains, from military and defense operations to regulatory spectrum management and interference mitigation.

This guide identifies three primary methods used to geolocate RF, how each technique works, illustrates the advantages and disadvantages of each method, and identifies which techniques are best for different types of signals. It also describes the optimal geometry for sensor networks to produce accurate geolocations. Last, it explores new methodologies, including synthetic bearings, and how to understand the elevation of targets over vast areas.

The Guide to RF Geolocation Techniques contains the following major sections:

  • The RF environment
  • Applications of RF geolocation
  • At a glance
  • Time Difference of Arrival (TDoA)
  • Factors affecting the accuracy & performance of TDoA
  • Sample-based vs. detector-based TDoA
  • Locating signals outside the coverage zone using synthetic bearing
  • Power of Arrival (PoA)
  • Angle of Arrival (AoA)
  • Conclusion

The guide’s original location is linked at the bottom of this post. The author(s) of the document are given all credit.

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