Indoor Altitude Determination Using MEMS-based Sensors in Smartphones

Guenther Retscher

Abstract: Apart from GNSS, Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) sensor technology and their integration into smartphones have further enhanced navigation capabilities. In indoor environments, determination of the altitude of the user can be of great importance for the detection of the correct floor in a multi-storey building. Barometric pressure sensors and accelerometers can provide this data, augmenting the other inertial sensors that can usually only provide reliable 2D localization. In this study, these sensors are investigated regarding their performance and achievable accuracy for floor detection. Experiments in two different office buildings using two different Android smartphones are conducted and analyzed. It could be proven that it is possible to determine the correct floor with low-cost MEMS sensors embedded in smartphones. Using an in-house developed Android smartphone App – the so-called Combined Positioning System (CPS) App – the detection of singular floors inside a multi-storey building together with the 2D positions from the other inertial sensors and absolute positioning technologies is enabled.
Published in: Proceedings of the ION 2019 Pacific PNT Meeting
April 8 - 11, 2019
Hilton Waikiki Beach
Honolulu, Hawaii
Pages: 615 - 627
Cite this article: Retscher, Guenther, "Indoor Altitude Determination Using MEMS-based Sensors in Smartphones," Proceedings of the ION 2019 Pacific PNT Meeting, Honolulu, Hawaii, April 2019, pp. 615-627.
https://doi.org/10.33012/2019.16827
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