The determination of constant range-difference curves on a spherical surface and its application to emitter geolocation


  1. Sung, S.H.
  2. Lee, J.P.Y.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Ottawa, Ottawa ONT (CAN)
This report focuses on the problem of emitter geolocation by measuring the range differences of the emitter from a number of receivers. Two receiver arrangements are considered. In the first arrangement, receiver pairs are located on geographically dispersed platforms. An algorithm is developed that traces out, on essentially the Earth’s surface, a curve where each point is at a specified range difference from two receivers. The intersections of such curves, one from the receiver pair on each platform, then yield an estimate of the emitter position. Monte Carlo simulations are carried out to determine the root-mean-square error associated with the intersection point of two such curves. In the second arrangement, several receivers are clustered into an array located on a single platform. Two location estimation methods are employed in Monte Carlo simulations to study the estimation accuracy. In view of the much higher range measurement accuracy required when geolocation is to be performed by a single array, the restriction on the receiver spacing due to space limitations on the platform, and the restriction on the number of receivers due to cost considerations, the first receiver arrangement seems to be the more practical at present.

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Report Number
DRDC-OTTAWA-TM-2009-119 — Technical Memorandum
Date of publication
01 Aug 2009
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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