Radio Localization with Antenna Arrays

Global navigation is supported by satellite systems. Because they may not be sufficiently reliable and precise in certain situations, terrestrial radio localization technology becomes increasingly important. It offers precise positioning of nodes equipped with radio emitters that can be constructed ad-hoc. Furthermore, transmitted radio signals like WiFi or cellular signals, can be opportunistically exploited to determine the position of the source nodes.

In 2003, we started with an EU exploratory project covering the use of ultra-wide-band (UWB) signals. Now, we are focusing on the opportunistic exploitation of existing radio transmissions to save infrastructure costs. Furthermore, we are investigating the usage of massive MIMO arrays for positioning, which looks quite promising.

Andrea Tonello
A typical approach uses a number of base stations (anchors) at known positions and determines the position of the nodes via ranging measurements and trilateration. Another approach is based on the angle-of-arrival (AoA) estimation which co-locates the receiving antennas to form a 2D or 3D antenna array.

“There are a number of applications of localization via AoA measurement that we are investigating: accurate positioning in indoor environments challenged by the severe multipath propagation for instance for the navigation of AGVs in warehouses, locating cars in safety critical situations, precise navigation of UAVs, tracking goods and assets,” Andrea Tonello says and adds, “We are interested in evaluating the performance limits introduced  by radio signal propagation and hardware impairments. For this, we have built hardware prototypes to test the technology.”

Selected Publications

A. Papaiz and A. M. Tonello. Single-Receiver Switched Opportunistic Approach to AoA Estimation in Hardware Impaired Scenarios. In Proc. International ITG Conference on Systems, Communications and Coding, 2017.

A. Papaiz and A. M. Tonello. Azimuth and Elevation Dynamic Tracking of UAVs via 3-Axial ULA and Particle Filtering. International Journal of Aerospace Engineering, 2016.

S. Shaikh and A. M. Tonello. Localization Based on Angle of Arrival in EM Lens-Focusing Massive MIMO.  In Proc. IEEE International Conference on Consumer Electronics, 2016.

A. Papaiz and A. M. Tonello. Particle Filtering with Weight Reshaping for Opportunistic Angle of Arrival Estimation in a Vehicular Scenario. In Proc. IEEE International Conference on Consumer Electronics, 2015.

D. Inserra and A. M. Tonello. A Multiple Antenna Wireless Testbed for the Validation of DoA Estimation Algorithms. International Journal of Electronics and Communications, 2014.

D. Inserra and A. M. Tonello. A Frequency Domain LOS Angle of Arrival Estimation Approach in Multipath Channels. IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology, 2013.