When it comes to geolocation performance, you don’t need to compromise

AOA/DF and TDOA are two different methods for geolocating signals over wide areas. You can read more about the mechanics of each technique by clicking on the links, but the key takeaway is that each method performs better on different signal types and in different environments. For many users of RF geolocation systems, the preference for AOA or TDOA may change on an hourly basis. There may even be multiple signals of interest which require geolocating simultaneously, where some would be best located with AOA and others more suited to TDOA.

Doubling infrastructure and operator man-hours to run two separate systems in parallel is obviously not a desirable solution. Deciding which system to use on a case-by-case basis would also be disruptive. A hybrid approach is needed where hardware is capable of performing AOA and TDOA with software then used to optimize the geolocation output by combining the AOA and TDOA data.

Hybrid approach

Fixed and portable RFeye hardware can be networked to provide a flexible and hybrid AOA/TDOA geolocation solution. Fixed monitoring Nodes can be deployed to provide a continuous TDOA monitoring network. Alternatively, Direction Finding Arrays (which are built around Nodes) can be deployed at fixed sites to enable both AOA and TDOA. Direction finding vehicles (fitted with an Array) can also be deployed to locations as required to form additional capacity in response to particular incidents. All of this capacity can be combined to give an overall geolocation result using both AOA and TDOA.

Like all our geolocation solutions, multiple targets can be simultaneously located and tracked in real time. So, even in a complex environment with multiple co-channel signals, which may be wideband or narrowband, low power or high power or suffer from varying degrees of multipath, it is still possible to optimize geolocation performance for all of them.

Additional benefits of the solution

Any hardware used for RF signal geolocation can also be used for general spectrum monitoring and management purposes. Where major events such as political rallies or sports tournaments take place, capacity can also be redeployed and concentrated for security and interference management during the event.

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