Small UAV Accurate Geolocation and Discrimination

Period of Performance: 02/09/2009 - 05/06/2010


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Scientific Applications & Research Associates
6300 Gateway Dr. Array
Cypress, CA 90630
Principal Investigator

Research Topics


The system-level design of a geolocation system for detecting and locating RF emitters on a small, unmanned aerial vehicle (SUAV) will be competed. The design will include system-level design, sensor subsystem design, RF receiver subsystem design, DSP subsystem design, and geolocation algorithms. The COTS components necessary to fabricate the system under the Phase II program will be identified. A mission-level simulation will be developed so that the systems accuracy can be evaluated. The simulation will allow for characterizing the systems geolocation performance with multiple emitters and various emitter locations. System fabrication and integration onto an Air Force platform will be done during Phase II. Field testing will be conducted during Phase II to demonstrate and quantify the systems geolocation performance. BENEFIT: Miltary uses of this system include locating enemy communication radios, cell phones, data links, jammers, remote detonation transmitters, and radars. Specific applications include Blue Force tracking or Combat Search and Rescue. The technology is platform independent and could be used on manned airplanes, helicopters, tanks, APCs, and as a hand-held unit for troops. For civialian applications, DHS has tasked the FAA to address the risk of US airports being disrupted by RF emitters such as GPS jammers in the midcourse and approach airspaces. A hand-held variant of this system could readily assist DHS enforcement teams in locating such devices. Smaller low cost units could be used at each airport for monitoring FAA communication channels to ensure flight safety. Additional civilian applications include distress situations to locate boaters for USCG Rescue 21 type applications, hikers using their cell phone, and enhanced 911 applications.