USA flag logo/image

An Official Website of the United States Government

AM Broadcast Signal-of-Opportunity Location Device

Award Information

Department of Defense
Air Force
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2009 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
2223 Drake Avenue SW 1st Floor HUNTSVILLE, AL 35805
View profile »
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2009
Title: AM Broadcast Signal-of-Opportunity Location Device
Agency / Branch: DOD / USAF
Contract: FA8651-09-M-0175
Award Amount: $99,808.00


Q-Track has identified the AM broadcast band as the most promising choice for a signal-of-opportunity to improve navigation in GPS denied areas. We propose an asynchronous time-difference-of-arrival (TDOA) architecture using classical direction finding (DF) to resolve the integer ambiguity in phase comparison between AM band broadcast signals. This architecture will also be able to support a high accuracy location system using cooperative low-power beacons using Near-Field Electromagnetic Ranging (NFER). We will develop a preliminary RF and system architecture as well as DF and TDOA algorithms. In Phase I, Q-Track will assess the feasibility of the architecture and the accuracy of the algorithms in the context of real-world measurements of noise and propagation of AM broadcast signals in urban environments. Finally, Q-Track will figure out how our existing AM-band Locator-Receivers might be modified to implement an asynchronous TDOA and DF signal-of-opportunity handheld location device for Phase II. Q-Tracks extensive experience in developing high precision AM-broadcast band Locator-Receivers and in developing compact, high-efficiency antenna systems for handheld and body-mounted applications, helps reduce technical risk and ensure that the project is well-positioned for a successful Phase II prototype system. BENEFITS: The Global Positioning System (GPS) uses 24-32 Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellites to provide location and navigation information to benefit not only our military but also the private sector. GPS signals, however, are not available indoors, in urban canyons, and in dense foliage. This proposal envisions an ancillary navigation and system to provide location capability in GPS-denied areas. Beyond the military benefit (including redundancy), the civilian sector can also benefit from such technology. Examples include firefighters, SWAT teams, sewer workers, and urban vehicles.

Principal Investigator:

Hans Schantz
Chief Scientist

Business Contact:

Jerome Gabig
Chief Scientist
Small Business Information at Submission:

515 Sparkman Drive Huntsville, AL 35816

EIN/Tax ID: 550810580
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No