Radio navigation

The term radio navigation methods for the ( terrestrial ) are summarized navigation that use radio waves to determine the position. Delineate these, satellite navigation method, but also using radio waves. The radio navigation is generally based on those stations which transmit signals by means of which a receiver can determine its position.

Radio navigation types

One can distinguish between removal procedure and DF methods.

  • The removal process is either the distance from a transmitting station (DME) or the difference in distance between two transmitting stations is determined by hyperbolic. From the signal propagation times and the differences in the signal propagation times, the receiver can determine its position relative to the transmitting stations. Since the positions of the transmitting stations are known, can be derived from the current position. As result from the signals of only two transmitting stations several possibilities for the calculated position, lying on a hyperbola (hence the term hyperbolic ), you need at least three stations. Distance methods are used to GLONASS and GPS, hyperbolic navigation systems in the LORAN -C and ALPHA.
  • In the DF method, the direction of origin of a signal is determined. It is either radiated signal directed from the transmitter ( eg VOR ) or the receiver can determine the direction of origin (eg NDB ) using a suitable antenna. A radio compass is aiming for the station whose frequency is set. The instrument in the vehicle is the angle between the longitudinal axis of the vehicle and the direction in which the channel is targeted to. Gets you the directions of two transmitting stations, so you can derive from its position ( cross-bearing ).

In the radio navigation or radio localization you can use the radio signal by the measurement and subsequent evaluation of different components:

  • Field strength (eg, the field strength of multiple WLAN Access Points - WLAN -based positioning )
  • Direction ( engl. direction of arrival, DOA)
  • Term
  • Transit time difference (german time ( difference) of arrival, T ( D) OA)

Radio navigation systems today have significant importance especially in aviation and shipping. But also applications in logistics, in the sports sector (localization of football and players ), as fair guide or in the security area are conceivable.

Radio navigation maps

In contrast to normal navigation maps that are aligned pointing right, give radio navigation maps the routes described there as ill -looking courses over ground ( engl. magnetic track), since all courses and bearings in the radio navigation are given ill -looking. This is because all the instruments in the cockpit spend ill -looking courses. The following symbols are used on radio navigation maps for the identification of radio navigation systems:

Navigation systems


Long- range navigation systems are usually used in the shipping industry.

  • Alpha
  • CHAYKA ( Soviet equivalent to LORAN -C)
  • Consol (TT)
  • Decca ( ​​at least in Europe TT)
  • LORAN -C
  • OMEGA ( TT)


Short range navigation systems are used in the aerospace industries, where they are used as a navigation aid, for example, the landing approach. We distinguish:

  • Distance Measuring Equipment (DME )
  • Omnidirectional radio range (VOR) and DVOR
  • Instrument landing system (ILS )
  • MLS
  • RSBN
  • Non-directional beacon ( NDB ) / radio compass (ADF )

Satellite Based

Satellite navigation systems are usually distinguished from the ( terrestrial ) radio navigation systems. However, since radio waves are also used for data transmission and positioning satellite navigation, it can be among the radio-navigation systems.

  • Galileo
  • GPS and differential GPS
  • Transit