Radio navigation

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Radio navigation or radionavigation is the application of radio frequencies to determine a position on the Earth. Like radiolocation, it is a type of radiodetermination.

The basic principles are measurements from/to electric beacons, especially


Radio Direction Finding

The first system of radio navigation was the Radio Direction Finder, or RDF. By tuning in a radio station and then using a directional antenna to find the direction to the broadcasting antenna, radio sources replaced the stars and planets of celestial navigation with a system that could be used in all weather and times of day. By using triangulation, two such measurements can be plotted on a map where their intersection is the position. Commercial AM radio stations can be used for this task due to their long range and high power, but strings of low-power radio beacons were also set up specifically for this task. Early systems used a loop antenna that was rotated by hand to find the angle to the signal, while modern systems use a much more directional solenoid that is rotated rapidly by a motor, with electronics calculating the angle. These later systems were also called Automatic Direction Finders, or ADF.

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