Maximum likelihood emitter location estimation using hybrid sensor measurements – Theoretical derivations


  1. Wang, S.
  2. Jackson, B.R.
  3. Inkol, R.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Ottawa, Ottawa ONT (CAN)
Emitter location estimation (geolocation) is often implemented by processing measurements of a single signal parameter, such as angle of arrival (AOA), time of arrival (TOA), time difference of arrival (TDOA), frequency difference of arrival (FDOA) or received signal strength (RSS). In recent years, approaches for utilizing hybrid sensor measurements for improved geolocation accuracy have attracted much interest. This technical memorandum derives a hybrid maximum likelihood emitter location estimator that utilizes geolocation data from a mixture of AOA, RSS and two-channel phase interferometer (ambiguous AOA) sensors. To provide the basis for subsequent derivations, we first formulate the maximum likelihood emitter location estimator for each individual type of sensor data. The hybrid algorithm is then obtained as a corollary under the assumption of statistical independence for the three types of sensor data. The Fisher information matrix and the Cramer-Rao lower bound (CRLB) for the average miss distance are also derived for each of the emitter location estimators. These results provide very useful theoretical benchmarks for the performance analysis of geolocation systems and for the estimation of geolocation performance metrics, such as the CEP (circular error probable) and the EEP (elliptical error probable).

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Report Number
DRDC-OTTAWA-TM-2011-196 — Technical Memorandum
Date of publication
01 Dec 2011
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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