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Indoor Localization over WLANs and Location-Enabled Communication Services



Indoor geolocation has gained considerable attention over the last decade due to the enormous potential in the technology and the significant challenges facing this area of research.

The geolocation information provides the fundamental basis for a myriad of location-enabled services in different environments such as locating personnel and objects in residential homes, guiding shoppers inside a mall, locating the elderly in nursing homes or locating firefighters inside burning buildings. Extending the success of multilateration techniques used by outdoor GPS systems to urban and indoor environments face two main propagation challenges: multipath and non-line-of-sight (NLOS).

One practical approach to indoor localization is to take advantage of the existing WLAN network infrastructure in indoor environments to achieve the required positioning task. Existing techniques for WLAN, however, are focused on received signal strength based fingerprinting which has practical and performance limitations. Recently, IEEE 802.11v standard has been proposed to enable accurate time of flight/Time of Arrival (TOA) distance measurements between WLAN devices using hardware time-stamping techniques. Since WLAN standards operate at 20-40 MHz bandwidth, the TOA estimation suffers from low-time resolution due to multipath.

The project focuses on developing novel fingerprinting based and TOA based technology solutions using IEEE 802.11 WLAN infrastructure to estimate the location of a mobile device. The research involves developing algorithms that mitigate the multipath and NLOS problems to achieve accurate distance estimation which results in better location estimates.