Relative Position Estimates from Terahertz Observables

John Scott Parker and Jason H. Rife

Abstract: This paper presents a state-estimation algorithm for simultaneous range and bearing estimation using measurements from a novel terahertz (THz) frequency sensor. The unique propagation properties of THz signals provide stealth and anti-jamming advantages for the intended application: relative positioning of cargo aircraft flying in formation to perform precision airdrops. Precise bearing angle measurements are necessary to meet the relatively tight cross-track positioning requirements (~50 m, two-sigma) of this application. Currently available THz hardware is not capable of tracking the high frequency carrier phase, making typical phased array methods unviable, so our prior work proposed a novel receiver design that uses a movable diffraction grating to convert the time-varying carrier signal into a spatial pattern. This paper proposes a simple algorithm to generate position estimates from measurements of the pattern and presents simulations demonstrating that the algorithm estimates meet the cross-track positioning requirements for precision airdrop applications.
Published in: Proceedings of the 2017 International Technical Meeting of The Institute of Navigation
January 30 - 2, 2017
Hyatt Regency Monterey
Monterey, California
Pages: 1067 - 1082
Cite this article: Parker, John Scott, Rife, Jason H., "Relative Position Estimates from Terahertz Observables," Proceedings of the 2017 International Technical Meeting of The Institute of Navigation, Monterey, California, January 2017, pp. 1067-1082.
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