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  • Research Article
  • Open Access

Two-Step Time of Arrival Estimation for Pulse-Based Ultra-Wideband Systems

  • 1Email author,
  • 2,
  • 2,
  • 3 and
  • 3
EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing20082008:529134

  • Received: 12 November 2007
  • Accepted: 14 April 2008
  • Published:


In cooperative localization systems, wireless nodes need to exchange accurate position-related information such as time-of-arrival (TOA) and angle-of-arrival (AOA), in order to obtain accurate location information. One alternative for providing accurate position-related information is to use ultra-wideband (UWB) signals. The high time resolution of UWB signals presents a potential for very accurate positioning based on TOA estimation. However, it is challenging to realize very accurate positioning systems in practical scenarios, due to both complexity/cost constraints and adverse channel conditions such as multipath propagation. In this paper, a two-step TOA estimation algorithm is proposed for UWB systems in order to provide accurate TOA estimation under practical constraints. In order to speed up the estimation process, the first step estimates a coarse TOA of the received signal based on received signal energy. Then, in the second step, the arrival time of the first signal path is estimated by considering a hypothesis testing approach. The proposed scheme uses low-rate correlation outputs and is able to perform accurate TOA estimation in reasonable time intervals. The simulation results are presented to analyze the performance of the estimator.


  • Arrival Time
  • High Time Resolution
  • Wireless Node
  • Practical Scenario
  • Multipath Propagation

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Authors’ Affiliations

Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Bilkent University, Bilkent, Ankara, 06800, Turkey
Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs, 201 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
Department of Electrical Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA


© Sinan Gezici et al. 2008

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.