Indoor Positioning of Low-Cost Narrowband IoT Nodes: Evaluation of a TDoA Approach in a Retail Environment

Daniel Neunteufel*, Stefan Grebien, Holger Arthaber

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The localization of internet of things (IoT) nodes in indoor scenarios with strong multipath channel components is challenging. All methods using radio signals, such as received signal strength (RSS) or angle of arrival (AoA), are inherently prone to multipath fading. Especially for time of flight (ToF) measurements, the low available transmit bandwidth of the used transceiver hardware is problematic. In our previous work on this topic we showed that wideband signal generation on narrowband low-power transceiver chips is feasible without any changes to existing hardware. Together with a fixed wideband receiving anchor infrastructure, this facilitates time difference of arrival (TDoA) and AoA measurements and allows for localization of the fully asynchronously transmitting nodes. In this paper, we present a measurement campaign using a receiver infrastructure based on software-defined radio (SDR) platforms. This proves the actual usability of the proposed method within the limitations of the bandwidth available in the ISM band at 2.4 GHz. We use the results to analyze the effects of possible anchor placement schemes and scenario geometries. We further demonstrate how this node-to-infrastructure-based localization scheme can be supported by additional node-to-node RSS measurements using a simple clustering approach. In the considered scenario, an overall positioning root-mean-square error (RMSE) of 2.19 m is achieved.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2663
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022


  • angle of arrival
  • indoor localization
  • internet of things
  • positioning
  • received signal strength
  • software-defined radio
  • time difference of arrival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Information Systems
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biochemistry
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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