Radio Navigation

Course Description

Positioning methods using radio waves. Determination of lines of position by measuring direction to the transmitter, distance to the transmitter, or distance difference to the pair of transmitters. Direction finders - single and two channel goniometers. Errors in radio goniometry. Determination of position in multistation systems. Radionavigation. Hyperbolic systems Loran, Decca, Dectra, Omega. Avionics navigation and landing systems NDB, VAR, VOR/DME, TACAN, ILS, MLS. Satellite radio navigation. Global satellite navigation systems (GNSS) Transit, GPS, GLONASS, Galileo. Safety demands and performance of navigation systems. Applications of GNSS systems.

General Competencies

The subject gives an overview of direction-finding and radionavigation systems, and the knowledge of positioning methods. It analyses safety critical aspects in using navigation systems and the applications of user position-fix data in navigation and communication systems.

Learning Outcomes

  1. define positioning methods
  2. identify measuring procedure of radio signal parameters
  3. analyze performance of navigation systems
  4. describe safety criteria in navigation
  5. relate knowledge about positioning systems errors
  6. recognize imperfections of satellite navigation systems
  7. recognize and understand the need for combining more navigation systems

Forms of Teaching




mid-term exam

Laboratory Work

laboratory excersizes



Internship visits

visit to Crocontrol company

Grading Method

Continuous Assessment Exam
Type Threshold Percent of Grade Comment: Percent of Grade
Laboratory Exercises 50 % 15 % 50 % 15 %
Class participation 0 % 5 % 0 % 5 %
Attendance 0 % 5 % 0 % 5 %
Mid Term Exam: Written 0 % 30 % 0 %
Final Exam: Written 0 % 45 %
Exam: Written 0 % 50 %
Exam: Oral 25 %

Week by Week Schedule

  1. Direction-finding and positioning principles - goniometry
  2. Direction-finding methods: amlitude, phasometrical and phase
  3. Antennas for goniometry: loop, omnidirectional rod, and the combination of loop and rod antenna
  4. Antenna switching method, radiocompass, automatic locator
  5. Positioning principles in in multistation systems
  6. Safety aspects for navigation systems
  7. Hyperbolic navigation systems: LORAN – A, LORAN – C, DECCA, DECTRA, OMEGA
  8. Avionics navigation systems: NDB, radio beacon, VAR
  9. Avionics navigation systems: VOR, DME, TACAN
  10. Landing systems: ILS, MLS
  11. Satellite navigation systems: TRANSIT, GNSS
  12. Satellite navigation systems: GPS
  13. GLONASS, Galileo
  14. Applications of user position-fix data in navigation and communication systems
  15. Augmentation of satellite navigation systems, differential GNSS, WAAS, EGNOS, EUROFIX

Study Programmes

University undergraduate
Control Engineering and Automation (module)
Elective Courses (6. semester)
Wireless Technologies (module)
Elective Courses (6. semester)



B. Hofmann-Wellenhof, K. Legat, M. Wieser (2003.), Navigation, Principles of Positioning and Guidance, Springer-Verlag
M.S Grewal, L.R. Weill, A.P. Andrews (2001.), Global Positioning Systems, Inertial Navigation and Integration, John Willey&Sons, Inc.
M. Kayton, W.R. Fried (1997.), Avionics Navigation Systems, John Wiley&Sons, Inc.

Lecturers in Charge

Grading System

ID 34353
  Summer semester
L1 English Level
L1 e-Learning
30 Lecturers
0 Exercises
15 Laboratory exercises


90 Excellent
75 Very Good
61 Good
50 Acceptable