Direct and Indirect TDOA Estimation based Multilateration System Position Estimation Accuracy Comparison


  • Abdulmalik Shehu Yaro Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria
  • Ahmad Zuri Sha'ameri Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Malaysia
  • Sa’id Musa Yarima Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, Nigeria



Accuracy, Minimum Configuration, MLAT, Position Estimation, TDOA


Multilateration (MLAT) system estimate aircraft position from its electromagnetic emission using time difference of arrival (TDOA) estimated at ground receiving station (GRS)s with a lateration algorithm. The position estimation (PE) accuracy of the MLAT system depends on several factors one of which is the TDOA estimation approach. In this paper, the PE performance of a minimum configuration 3-dimensional (3-D) MLAT system based on the direct and indirect approaches to TDOA estimation is presented. The analysis is carried out using Monte Carlo simulation with the transmitter and receiver parameters based on an actual system used in the civil aviation. Simulation results show that within 150 km radius, the direct TDOA based MLAT system performs better than the indirect TDOA based MLAT system. Beyond 150 km radius, the indirect TDOA based MLAT system has the least PE error compared the direct TDOA based MLAT system. Further comparison of the MLAT system based on the two TDOA estimation approaches with other surveillance systems shows that the direct TDOA based MLAT system has the least PE error within 150 km radius while long-range aircraft PE beyond 150 km, automatic surveillance dependent broadcast (ADS-B) outperformed the MLAT system as it has the least PE error

Author Biographies

Abdulmalik Shehu Yaro, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria

Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering Department

Lecturer I

Ahmad Zuri Sha'ameri, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Malaysia

Division of Electronics and Computer Engineering

Associate Professor

Sa’id Musa Yarima, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, Nigeria

Electrical and Electronics Engineering Department

Lecturer II


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