Single-Anchor Positioning: Multipath Processing With Non-Coherent Directional Measurements

M. Rath*, J. Kulmer, E. Leitinger, K. Witrisal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


High-accuracy indoor radio positioning can be achieved by using (ultra) wideband (UWB) radio signals. Multiple fixed anchor nodes are needed to compute the position or alternatively, specular multipath components (SMCs) extracted from radio signals can be exploited. In this work, we study a multipath-based, single-anchor positioning system that acquires directional measurements non-coherently. These non-coherent measurements can be obtained, e.g., from a single-chain mm-wave transceiver with analog beam steering or from a low-complexity ultra-wideband transceiver with switched directional antennas. The directional antennas support the separation of SMCs and the suppression of the undesired diffuse multipath component (DMC) with the benefit that the required signal bandwidth can be drastically reduced. The paper analyzes the Cramér-Rao lower bound (CRLB) on the position estimation error to gain insight in the influence of the system design parameters as well as the impact of the DMC on the position error. The CRLB is compared between the non-coherent antenna setup, a conventional array with coherent processing, and a single-antenna setup. A maximum-likelihood position estimation algorithm is formulated. Its performance is evaluated with synthetically generated data as well as with UWB measurements. We show that the accuracy and robustness are significantly improved due to the processing of angular information. Analyzing the measured data for a line-of-sight link, the median error decreases from 22 down to 7 cm, the measurements better than 20 cm increase from 46 to 95 %, and outliers above 50 cm reduce from 12 to 0%.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9089035
Pages (from-to)88115-88132
Number of pages18
JournalIEEE Access
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020


  • directional antenna
  • Fisher information
  • multipath component
  • non-coherent array processing
  • position error bound
  • Radio positioning
  • single-anchor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Computer Science(all)

Fields of Expertise

  • Information, Communication & Computing

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