Mobile Positioning with Signals of Opportunity in Urban and Urban Canyon Environments

Chun Yang and Andrey Soloviev

Abstract: This paper presents field test results of mobile positioning with signals of opportunity (SOOP) in urban and urban canyon environments and the lessons learned. The particular SOOP considered in this paper is the digital television (DTV) signals available in the United States, namely, ATSC8VSB. The field tests include runs in downtown San Mateo and San Francisco Financial District, representing typical urban and urban canyon environments. DTV signals from six DTV stations together with IMU and GPS data are recorded aboard a ground vehicle. The field tests show that DTV signals are abundant in urban and urban canyon environments, contrary to a popular concern about signal availability due to blockage by high-risers. Positioning geometry is also not a problem even though the number of transmitters may be limited because the ranges to signal sources are relatively short and the resulting geometric dilution of precision (GDOP) is acceptable especially for the two-dimensional solutions. However, multipath is omnipresent, having two detrimental effects on ranging and positioning. Severe mobile fading is frequent that disrupts continuous tracking and non-line of sight (NLOS) signals introduce large errors to correlation peak based timing. To process multipath-dominant signals, a signal parameter estimation methodology is developed. In this approach, periodic signal patterns (field sync segments at 41 Hz) are searched for via correlation using a constant false alarm rate (CFAR) detector and their times of arrival (TOA) are extracted using the orthogonal matched pursuit (OMP) algorithm amidst multipath to form pseudorange measurements. Both standalone SOOP solutions and integrated SOOP/IMU solutions are generated for the test trajectories, which are then compared to GPS for performance evaluation. The study indicates that the processing algorithms presented in the paper can successfully detect the first arrival of SOOP in urban and urban canyon environments and extract its TOA precisely when the signals are available (out of fading or blockage). However, the timing information carried by such first arrivals, good enough to serve the primary purpose of communications, may not be so for ranging because of NLOS. As such, timing of first arrivals is not sufficient by itself for positioning and has to be used in conjunction with other data such as IMU, which is used in this paper. Yet, distinct and stable multipath signatures may be exploited, together with an environment map for instance, for persistent positioning in urban and urban canyon environments, which is a direction of our future research.
Published in: 2020 IEEE/ION Position, Location and Navigation Symposium (PLANS)
April 20 - 23, 2020
Hilton Portland Downtown
Portland, Oregon
Pages: 1043 - 1059
Cite this article: Yang, Chun, Soloviev, Andrey, "Mobile Positioning with Signals of Opportunity in Urban and Urban Canyon Environments," 2020 IEEE/ION Position, Location and Navigation Symposium (PLANS), Portland, Oregon, April 2020, pp. 1043-1059.
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