Skip to Main Content
In this paper, we describe a global distributed solution that enables the simultaneous performance of time synchronization and positioning in ultra-wideband (UWB) ad hoc networks. On the one hand, the proposed synchronization scheme basically relies on cooperative two-way-ranging/time-of-arrival transactions and a diffusion algorithm that ensures the convergence of clock parameters to average reference values in each node. Although the described solution is generic at first sight, its sensitivity to time-of-arrival accuracy imposes the choice of an impulse-radio ultra-wideband physical layer in the very context. On the other hand, a distributed algorithm coupled with this synchronization scheme mitigates the impact of non-line-of-sight ranging errors on positioning accuracy without any additional protocol hook. More particularly, the realistic UWB ranging error models we use take into account UWB channel effects, as well as detection noises and relative clock drifts. Then, it is demonstrated that a cooperative and distributed maximization of the log-likelihood of range estimates can reduce the uncertainty on estimated positions in comparison with classical distributed weighted least squares approaches. Finally, the proposed distributed maximum log-likelihood algorithm proves to preserve a reasonable level of complexity in each node by approximating asynchronously the positive gradient direction of the log-likelihood function. For both distributed synchronization and positioning algorithms, simulation results are provided to illustrate the relevance of such a solution.