Direct position determination of narrowband radio frequency transmitters

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The most common methods for location of communications or radar transmitters are based on measuring a specified parameter such as signal angle of arrival (AOA) or time of arrival (TOA). The measured parameters are then used to estimate the transmitter location. Since the AOA/TOA measurements are done at each base station separately, without using the constraint that all measurements must correspond to the same transmitter, they are suboptimal. We propose a technique that uses exactly the same data as the common methods, except that the estimation of location is based on exact maximum likelihood, and the location determination is direct. Although there are many stray parameters, including the attenuation coefficients and the signal waveform, the method requires only a two-dimensional search. Monte Carlo simulations indicate that the accuracy is equivalent to AOA, TOA, and their combination for high SNR, while for low SNR, the accuracy of the proposed method is superior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)513-516
Number of pages4
JournalIEEE Signal Processing Letters
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2004


  • Angle of arrival (AOA)
  • Array processing
  • Emitter localization
  • Matched-field processing
  • Maximum likelihood
  • Time of arrival (TOA)


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