Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Andrew J. Terzuoli, PhD.


Estimating the direction-of-arrival of incident electromagnetic plane waves (a.k.a. direction finding or DF) has typically been accomplished in the past using arrays of spatially separated antennas. The spatial separation produces a delay in each antenna's measured voltage due to the finite propagation time as the wave strikes each antenna in succession. In this thesis, we approach the problem differently by using three antennas that have been oriented in orthogonal directions but are co-located at the origin of a coordinate system. Being co-located, this mutually orthogonal arrangement of antennas cannot detect the propagation phase delay and must rely solely on the polarization properties of the incident waves. Using the vector effective height concept, three algorithms are formulated. The first algorithm estimates the direction-of-arrival by computing a vector that is perpendicular to the locus of the instantaneous electric field vector. The second and third algorithms are based on the well-known maximum likelihood and MUSIC algorithms. Simulation results show that each algorithm can estimate the direction-of-arrival with a root-mean-squared error within 1° or less when the incident wave is circularly polarized, the antennas are small compared to wavelength, and the signal-to-noise ratio is above 20dB.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number