Object Tracking; Radio Direction Finding (RDF) using an aerial platform

We are currently involved in the testing of a new system for tracking objects/vehicles using radio signals. 

This system uses a combination of:

  1. fixed-position receivers to identify movement and direction;
  2. moving receivers on aerial platforms to record relative direction.

When the data is analysed, we are then able to plot the position of the tracked object, usually with enough accuracy to identify a street address. The accuracy depends on the terrain, the distance from the aerial platform and from the fixed receivers, and interference issues, leading to an accuracy range of 10-500m.

If an object remains still for a prolonged period, this allows errors to be averaged, transient interference issues to pass, and the aerial platform to gain access to a clearer LOS, allowing the accuracy to be improved. This 'homing in' process is performed post-hoc using the collected data.

There are a number of other elements to this process which we can't reveal publicly until the testing is complete, but it is looking very promising as a new tracking technology.  

Background:

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_direction_finder
  • http://www.denisowski.org/Articles/Denisowski%20-%20Comparison%20of%20Radio%20Direction-Finding%20Technologies.pdf