Radio telemetry tracking, triangulation from two known points using an excel spreadsheet.

Recently we’ve been involved in an asset tracking project for a client.

The assets were small enough that a GSM/GPS device was likely to be too large to be able to be hidden effectively, when the necessary battery for long-term unattended use was included. As a result, we installed small radio beacons, designed for the tracking of small animals.

To locate the tracking beacons, we use either a yagi antenna with a receiver, or a car-mounted radio-direction-finding set-up with a series of aerials mounted to a vehicle in a plane.

Tracking multiple objects over a prolonged period of time, we end up with a large amount of data in a “position, bearing” format, or more precisely, “easting, northing, bearing”.

I scoured the internet in vain looking for a spreadsheet which contained the formulas necessary to turn two position/bearings into a third position - namely the location of the tracked asset. The trigonometry is not especially difficult, but nowhere was a pre-configured excel spread sheet to be found!

Sitting down to build one, I feared it would be a difficult and time-consuming process (I’m not particularly mathematically inclined) but was pleasantly surprised to have it constructed and tested within the hour.

I expect it will be of assistance to other investigators, zoologists/ecologists etc who are tracking birds, mammals or other animals, people involved in vulnerable person tracking operations, and perhaps even to the amateur radio direction finding crowd.

I include it here, as an attachment, under a Creative Commons AU 3.0 licence.

To download the file, click HERE or right-click and choose save-as.