An Analysis of Radio-Frequency Geolocation Techniques for Satellite Systems Design

Daniel R. Barnes


This research 1) evaluates the effectiveness of CubeSat radio-frequency geolocation and 2) analyzes the sensitivity of different RF algorithms to system parameters. A MATLAB simulation is developed to assess geolocation accuracy for variable system designs and techniques (AOA, TDOA, T/FDOA). An unconstrained maximum likelihood estimator (MLE) and three different digital elevation models (DEM) are utilized as the surface of the Earth constraint to improve geolocation accuracy. The results presented show the effectiveness of the MLE and DEM techniques, the sensitivity of AOA, TDOA, and T/FDOA algorithms, and the system level performance of a CubeSat geolocation cluster in a 500km circular orbit.