Quasi-Coherent Phase-Based Localization and Tracking of Incoherently Transmitting Radio Beacons

Sippel E, Hehn M, Kögel T, Gröschel P, Hofmann A, Brückner S, Geiß J, Schober R, Vossiek M (2021)

Publication Type: Journal article, Original article

Publication year: 2021


Original Authors: Erik Sippel, Markus Hehn, Tobias Koegel, Patrick Groschel, Andreas Hofmann, Stefan Bruckner, Johanna Geiss, Robert Schober, Martin Vossiek

Book Volume: 9

Pages Range: 133229-133239

DOI: 10.1109/ACCESS.2021.3115563


The direct measurement of distance-dependent information between wireless units represents a challenge for wireless locating systems, because it requires the exact time synchronization of separate wireless units. To avoid these synchronization efforts, many wireless locating systems only evaluate phase difference of arrival (PDOA) measurements. While simple PDOA localization techniques rely on multiangulation, advanced PDOA concepts like the holographic extended Kalman filter (HEKF) directly evaluate the measured phases without non-linear preprocessing. However, these differential phase measurement approaches are less sensitive than systems that can measure absolute phase variations, which allow the tracking of much smaller position changes than the signal’s carrier wavelength. This paper proposes to extend the HEKF by the evaluation of absolute phases in an incoherent measurement setup, which consists of a continuous wave (CW) beacon and several receivers. The developed quasi-coherent holographic extended Kalman filter (QCHEKF) uses the overdetermined PDOA measurements to estimate the phase–frequency relation between each beacon–receiver pair. Then, the established phase–frequency relations allow the evaluation of absolute phase measurements and, thus, the accurate localization and tracking of a simple, unsynchronized, narrowband CW beacon, even under severe multipath conditions. This novel concept is experimentally validated via 3D localization results in a challenging indoor scenario using a 24 GHz CW measurement setup. Here, the QCHEKF improves the achieved localization accuracy in comparison to the HEKF by 35% from 0.78 cm to 0.51 cm, while the maximum deviation from the trajectory reduces by 68% from 5 cm to 1.6 cm. Furthermore, the QCHEKF enables the exact tracking of fast changes in direction, which is usually a significant challenge for standard wireless target tracking systems.

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Sippel, E., Hehn, M., Kögel, T., Gröschel, P., Hofmann, A., Brückner, S.,... Vossiek, M. (2021). Quasi-Coherent Phase-Based Localization and Tracking of Incoherently Transmitting Radio Beacons. IEEE Access, 9, 133229-133239. https://doi.org/10.1109/ACCESS.2021.3115563


Sippel, Erik, et al. "Quasi-Coherent Phase-Based Localization and Tracking of Incoherently Transmitting Radio Beacons." IEEE Access 9 (2021): 133229-133239.

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