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"Master Thesis: Estimating aircraft position using signals of opportunity

Linköping, Sweden
Closing date: 30 November 2022

Master thesis at Saab Aeronautics, 30hp:

Estimating aircraft position using signals of opportunity


Signals of Opportunity (SOO) navigation is a method of using existing signals emitted from various sources to estimate aircraft position without the need for global navigation satellite system (GNSS). The sources of SOO may for example be cellular network, ATC towers, GNSS jamming devices, TV-signals and many others. The technology has the potential that allows for a robust implementation into any airborne platform that has advanced capabilities of intercepting electromagnetic signals. SOO method enables navigation by calculating aircraft position based on how the intercepted signals intersect each other at the aircrafts current position.

Navigation systems not dependent on GNSS are becoming of increased importance in today’s world. GNSS can be jammed for a few seconds, hours, days or even months and a fighter jet has to still be fully operational if that happens. GNSS denied navigation is a hot topic amongst researchers. With your thesis, you will do your part in this crucial research. Something to be proud of.

What you will do

For this thesis, we propose a fully software/model based approach. You will get the opportunity to implement and evaluate two different ways in which aircraft position is calculated. In the first approach, you will know where the signal sources are located and in the second approach, you will not have access to that information. Given that, it is interesting how the aircraft position is affected with respect to the amount of sources, distance to the sources, aircraft (or source) velocity and the signals accuracy and quality. Other aspects of interest include computational requirements, system constraints and future possibilities based on your approach. Great emphasis must be placed on achieving a software solution that can be implemented in a real-time system. These are just some of the parameters that can be evaluated; if you have some of ideas of your own about this approach, we are glad to discuss them with you and are open to them!

The outcomes of your thesis will be an experimental model and software that can estimate aircraft position together with a scientific report produced for Saab.

Who you are today

This thesis aims at students in their final year of master studies who want to do a master thesis (30hp) during spring of 2023. We are looking for two students with a background or interest in software engineering, signals processing, aircraft systems, Matlab and sensor fusion.

This master thesis may contain information or produce results protected by Swedish defense secrecy act, for this reason we require the students to possess Swedish citizenship and pass a security screening. The work will be performed on site in Linköping.

Last day to apply

To be eligible for this thesis, please apply at the latest on October 18, 2023.

What you will be a part of

You will be part of the Flight Data and Navigation team developing Gripen C/D fighters. We deliver critical data such as airspeed, position and altitude from our multitude of sensors to the rest of the aircraft systems with high requirements on reliability, safety and availability. We also provide landing guidance that safely helps our pilots land their aircraft. Working here will provide you with a wide array of engineering work ranging from hardware to software development.

Flight data and Navigation team is based in Linköping and are a part of Business Area Aeronautics. Feel free to read more about us on our webpage (Business Areas).


Björn Bingerud, Manager


Niklas Weckéus, Technical Manager & Thesis supervisor


If you aspire to help create and innovate whilst developing yourself in a challenging team setting, Saab may well have the perfect conditions for you to grow. We pride ourselves on a nurturing environment, where everyone is different yet we share the same goal – to help protect people