Localization for Next Generation Wireless Communication Networks

Project Summary


Over the last decade there has been an increasing interest of the research community in alternative Position Estimation Methods (PEM) that do not rely on satellite-based systems, such as the Global Positioning System (GPS). The main reasons driving this type of research are the high power consumption of GPS receivers, which are integrated into modern mobile devices such as mobile phones, as well as the severe attenuation or blockage of satellite signals in dense urban areas (urban canyons) and especially in indoor environments. According to recent statistics people tend to spend 80-90% of their time inside buildings, including shopping malls, museums, libraries, airports etc, where GPS geolocation is infeasible. This fact combined with the massive availability of mobile devices that offer wireless connectivity have motivated the development of PEMs that rely on the existing Wireless Communication Systems (WCS) infrastructure, such as cellular networks (GSM/3G) or Wireless Local Area Networks (WLAN). Following the availability of location information, new location aware services and applications have emerged, including in-building guidance, asset tracking in warehouses or hospitals and navigation inside shopping malls or airports.

The main objective of this project is to train the Young Researcher on the functionality of the modern WCS in order to identify and understand the parameters that can be used to infer user location. We will analyze the PEMs that have been presented in the literature and propose several techniques to improve the performance of some PEMs. Another objective is to develop novel methods that are applicable in both indoor and outdoor places and exploit the Beyond 3rd Generation (B3G) communication systems, where multiple WCS coexist and overlap, providing numerous measurements that may be used to improve the accuracy. Our focus is on the development of indoor PEMs that rely on the existing WLAN infrastructure, i.e. Access Points (AP), already deployed in many buildings. These PEMs utilize Received Signal Strength (RSS) measurements from neighboring WLAN APs collected by a mobile device.

During this project we will try to publish several research articles and at the same time design, implement and demonstrat an indoor positioning application for tracking a user inside the premises of "KIOS" Research Center for Intelligent Systems and Networks at the University of Cyprus.