A radio location system comprises a wireless transmitter that outputs two megahertz period bursts of two gigahertz radar carrier signals. A receiver system determines the position of the transmitter by the relative arrival of the radar bursts at several component receivers set up to have a favorable geometry and each one having a known location. One receiver provides a synchronizing gating pulse to itself and all the other receivers to sample the ether for the radar pulse. The rate of the synchronizing gating pulse is slightly offset from the rate of the radar bursts themselves, so that each sample collects one finely-detailed piece of information about the time-of-flight of the radar pulse to each receiver each pulse period. Thousands of sequential pulse periods provide corresponding thousand of pieces of information about the time-of-flight of the radar pulse to each receiver, in expanded, not real time. Therefore the signal processing can be done with relatively low-frequency, inexpensive components. A conventional microcomputer is then used to find the position of the transmitter by geometric triangulation based on the relative time-of-flight information.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.