Direction Finding & Geolocation

Direction Finding and Geolocation

Vector Geolocation™ is a new QFS method to locate Radio Frequency Emitters such as handheld radios, cellphones, WiFi hotspots and beacons. The technique relies on QFS's proprietary compact, wideband electromagnetic sensing packages precisely configured for various use scenarios. QFS has successfully designed and built systems for both direction finding (determining the general direction a signal is coming from) and geolocation (3D localization of a signal's source). The QFS advantage is compact systems offering precise localization capabilities that can be mounted on large or small aircraft or made man-portable. The technology enables users to locate RF emitters faster, with higher accuracy, and across more frequency bands than can be accomplished with present technology.


QFS has been pursuing innovation in the area of airborne direction finding and geolocation for over a decade. Under funding from various agencies, including the Navy and USSOCOM, we have designed and built a variety of systems for mounting on both manned and unmanned aircraft. The QFS Vector Geolocation™ advantage enables single-station geolocation measurements – meaning 3D localization of the signal source is possible with only one system acquiring signals. Conventional technology generally requires at least two and sometimes three different measurement locations in order to provide precise localization. In addition, QFS technical advances have allowed the construction of a system compact and light enough for mounting on a Small UAV.


The QFS size advantage enables the construction of Vector Geolocation™ Direction Finding systems for man-portable or vehicle-mounted applications. Technology used in ground environments can distinguish emitters on the ground from those in the air. In a local demonstration, the QFS technology successfully detected a test emitter radio 4 km away. In addition, the system is sensitive to the skywave and QFS is currently exploring that capability's range extension potential.


In the maritime arena, Vector Geolocation™ can be used for direction finding and geolocation of transmissions from ships and submarines. In addition, the technology can be configured to find emergency beacons and radio transmissions, assisting organizations such as the Coast Guard in finding boaters in distress.