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High-Accuracy Reference-Free Ultrasonic Location Estimation

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4 Author(s)
Saad, M.M. ; UCD Complex & Adaptive Syst. Lab., Univ. Coll. Dublin, Dublin, Ireland ; Bleakley, Chris J. ; Ballal, T. ; Dobson, Simon

This paper presents a novel reference-free ultrasonic indoor location system. Unlike most previous proposals, the mobile device (MD) determines its own position based only on ultrasonic signals received at a compact sensor array and sent by a fixed independent beacon. No radio frequency or wired timing reference signal is used. Furthermore, the system is privacy aware and one way in that the receive-only MD determines its own position based on ultrasonic signals received from fixed transmit-only beacons. The MD uses a novel hybrid angle of arrival (AoA)-time of flight (ToF) with timing lock algorithm to determine its location relative to the beacons with high accuracy. The algorithm utilizes an AoA-based location method to obtain an initial estimate of its own location. Based on this, it estimates the timing offsets (TOs) between the MD clock and the beacon transmissions. The average TO and the known periodicities of the beacon signals are then used to obtain a second more accurate MD location estimate via a ToF method. The system utilizes wideband spread spectrum ultrasonic signaling in order to achieve a high update rate and robustness to noise and reverberation. A prototype system was constructed, and the algorithm was implemented in software. The experimental results show that the method provides 3-D accuracy better than 9.5 cm in 99% of cases, an 80% accuracy improvement over the conventional AoA-only method.

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Instrumentation and Measurement, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:61 ,  Issue: 6 )