Buoys as Maritime Signals of Opportunity

Daniel F. Sturdivant and Scott M. Martin

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: Buoys have been a long-standing source of position and guidance information with usage dating all the way back to the 13th century. While not traditionally designed for navigation, this paper proposes the idea of exploiting modern buoys as a signal of opportunity (SOOP). The goal is to present the efficacy of buoys as compared to other accepted constellations, namely low Earth orbit satellites (LEO). Similar to cellular or radio towers, they are terrestrial emitters that would provide observability overseas. Global DOP analyses are performed to snapshot buoy availability and assess the capability of a buoy-based navigator with respect to the buoy location. A Doppler-INS, tightly-coupled, extended Kalman filter (EKF) model is developed and presented with the navigation performance being assessed by Monte Carlo simulations. When considering a simulation with adequate dilution of precision (DOP) estimates for the buoy constellation, it is found that buoy-based navigator performs comparably to LEO-based SOOP navigator.
Published in: Proceedings of the ION 2024 Pacific PNT Meeting
April 15 - 18, 2024
Hilton Waikiki Beach
Honolulu, Hawaii
Pages: 182 - 194
Cite this article: Sturdivant, Daniel F., Martin, Scott M., "Buoys as Maritime Signals of Opportunity," Proceedings of the ION 2024 Pacific PNT Meeting, Honolulu, Hawaii, April 2024, pp. 182-194. https://doi.org/10.33012/2024.19640
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