Multistatic passive coherent location using multilateration techniques

Sean A. Kaiser, Andrew J. Christianson, Ram M. Narayanan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

7 Scopus citations


Passive Coherent Location (PCL) is a developing radar field, in which the system processes reflections from opportunistic illumination sources in the environment for detection and tracking. Many developments and improvements of PCL implement pseudo-monostatic and bistatic radar configurations; however, with the proliferation of commercial communication systems, the spectrally dense environment proves to be in favor of a multistatic PCL system. In the multistatic case, it can be shown that geolocation of a target is a unique extension of multilateration algorithms. In multilateration, the receiver location is unknown and calculated by exploiting the intersections of distances from receiver to transmitters; in multistatic PCL, an object location is unknown and the intersection of transmitter distance to receiver and reflection distance to receiver are utilized. Multilateration is a well-studied topic where there are many developed techniques that can be applied after the reflection distance is derived with ray tracing principles. The framework for a time-of-arrival based multistatic PCL is provided using time-difference-of-arrival (TDOA) as a measure of propagation time and path length. A nonlinear multilateration solver using a least means square algorithm calculates the geolocation of the object within a tolerable error. Using a frequency modulated (FM) test signal, simulated results show comparable results to a bistatic PCL system using angular measurements for geolocation. Furthermore, a multistatic multilateration system is more tolerant to timing errors compared to a bistatic system with angular inaccuracy. The developed multistatic PCL system is realized and verified using an FM signal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRadar Sensor Technology XX
EditorsArmin Doerry, Kenneth I. Ranney
ISBN (Electronic)9781510600706
StatePublished - 2016
EventRadar Sensor Technology XX - Baltimore, United States
Duration: Apr 18 2016Apr 21 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


OtherRadar Sensor Technology XX
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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