Asymptotic Performance of TDOA Estimation Using Satellites

Hodaya Halevi, Itsik Bergel, Yair Noam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We present novel lower bounds on the localization error using a network of satellites randomly deployed on a sphere around Earth. Our new analysis approach characterizes the localization performance by its asymptotic behavior as the number of satellites gets large while assuming a dense network. Using the law of large numbers, we derive closed-form expressions for the asymptotic Cramér Rao bound (CRB) from which we draw valuable insights. The resulting expressions depend solely on the network statistics and are not a function of a particular network configuration. We consider two types of estimators. The first uses the exact statistical model, and hence employs both timing and amplitude information. The second estimator ignores the amplitudes and hence uses only time difference of arrival (TDOA) information. The asymptotic CRB indicates that for practical system setup, a TDOA estimator approaches the performance of the ideal estimator. For both estimators, the localization accuracy improves as satellites get closer to Earth. The latter finding is essential in light of the proliferation of low-Earth-orbit (LEO) satellites and motivates a further study of localization-performance in such networks. Besides, we show that the vertical localization accuracy is lower than the horizontal accuracy and is also more sensitive to the receiver field-of-view.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2349-2361
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Signal Processing
StatePublished - 2022

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  • Cramer-rao bounds
  • low earth orbit satellites


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