Document Type

Theses, Ph.D


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Communication engineering and systems, telecommunications

Publication Details

Successfully submitted for the award of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) to the Technological University Dublin, December, 2010.


Determining the location of an object or individual using a mobile device (e.g. cell phone) is an important aspect of modern information gathering. Various solutions have been proposed which all have their strengths and weaknesses. To date, no solution has been devised for a mobile device that will work effectively in multiple environments and without assistance from network-provider connections1. To address this, it is argued that the current state of the art can be advanced using a hybrid approach that combines a number of sensor technologies to provide a more reliable, and accurate mobile location determination that functions in multiple environments (indoors and outdoors). This thesis examines in detail current relevant available technology, calculation techniques for location determination, the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and other noteworthy location determination research. It then introduces our solution of a hybrid positioning system that is an open-source, provider-network independent, privacy sensitive, zero-cost and accurate software component. First the overall system design is described and then individual modules are described in detail. It describes in full an algorithm that intelligently combines signals from various technologies, applies weights to these signals and also leverages past signal readings to enhance current calculations. Next, the evaluation section is introduced which discusses how and why the test bed was chosen and deployed. It then discusses individual test results and finally the overall tests are analysed, discussed and summarised. Finally, the conclusions are prepared in detail, the three initial questions raised in the introduction are answered and discussed and the contributions to the body of knowledge are reaffirmed. Future work finishes the thesis and looks at several research paths that can be pursued from this research.