MEMS and Wireless Options in Cellular Phones for User Localization

Allison Kealy, Guenther Retscher

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: Navigation has been revolutionized by MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) sensor development, the capabilities of wireless positioning technologies and their integration into modern smartphones. Because of their locating capabilities, which are quickly becoming one of the standard features in mobile devices, more and more people are getting used to the locationenabled life. MEMS accelerometers and gyros, for instance, can be employed for localization in combination with absolute positioning technologies, such as GNSS or other wireless technologies. Wireless technologies have also been under rapid development. Types of wireless technologies being developed range from simple IrDA that uses infrared light for short-range, point-to-point communications, to wireless personal area network (WPAN) for short range, point-to multi-point communications, such as Bluetooth and ZigBee, to mid-range, multi-hop wireless local area network (WLAN, a.k.a. Wireless Fidelity Wi-Fi), to long-distance cellular phone systems, such as GSM/GPRS and CDMA. Using these technologies navigation itself has become much broader than just providing a solution to LBS (Location Based Services) questions, such as “Where am I?” or “How to get from the start point to a destination?” It has moved into new areas such as games, geolocation, mobile mapping, virtual reality, tracking health monitoring and context awareness; all of which have been enabled by MEMS and wireless technology. Typically, the MEMS-based motion (or inertial) sensors are used for continuous trajectory determination of a mobile client via dead reckoning (DR). In GNSS denied environments where the satellite signal is either totally blocked or attenuated Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc., can serve as absolute positioning technology. The combination of the absolute positioning systems and the MEMS sensors exploits their complementary characteristics. These integrated navigation technologies and methods have become indispensable in many applications like car navigation, human motion modelling, first-responder personal navigation, UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) navigation, and portable navigation. In this paper the MEMS sensor potential and application in combination with wireless options are discussed. Their applications range from determination of the distance travelled, heading, altitude, etc., of a mobile user. In combination with GNSS and/or other absolute positioning technology a good performance and positioning accuracies on the few meter level is achievable. The small size, low power and weight, and low cost of MEMS sensors have led to increased use, new applications, increased mobility, increased integration (hence better performance) and extended operation. Current and future developments are expected to lead to an even higher performance. In this paper an emphasis on applicability and performance for navigation of a mobile client is led.
Published in: Proceedings of the ION 2017 Pacific PNT Meeting
May 1 - 4, 2017
Marriott Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa
Honolulu, Hawaii
Pages: 263 - 275
Cite this article: Kealy, Allison, Retscher, Guenther, "MEMS and Wireless Options in Cellular Phones for User Localization," Proceedings of the ION 2017 Pacific PNT Meeting, Honolulu, Hawaii, May 2017, pp. 263-275. https://doi.org/10.33012/2017.15060
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