Document Type

Theses, Ph.D


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


Communication engineering and systems, telecommunications, 5.8 MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS

Publication Details

Sucessfully submitted for the award of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) to the School of Media, Technological University Dublin, 2012.


Spatial awareness is fast becoming the key feature on today‟s mobile devices. While accurate outdoor navigation has been widely available for some time through Global Positioning Systems (GPS), accurate indoor positioning is still largely an unsolved problem. One major reason for this is that GPS and other Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) systems offer accuracy of a scale far different to that required for effective indoor navigation. Indoor positioning is also hindered by poor GPS signal quality, a major issue when developing dedicated indoor locationing systems. In addition, many indoor systems use specialized hardware to calculate accurate device position, as readily available wireless protocols have so far not delivered sufficient levels of accuracy. This research aims to investigate how the mobile phone‟s innate ability to produce sound (notably ultrasound) can be utilised to deliver more accurate indoor positioning than current methods. Experimental work covers limitations of mobile phone speakers in regard to generation of high frequencies, propagation patterns
of ultrasound and their impact on maximum range, and asynchronous trilateration. This is followed by accuracy and reliability tests of an ultrasound positioning system prototype.
This thesis proposes a new method of positioning a mobile phone indoors with accuracy substantially better than other contemporary positioning systems available on off-theshelf mobile devices. Given that smartphones can be programmed to correctly estimate direction, this research outlines a potentially significant advance towards a practical platform for indoor Location Based Services. Also a novel asynchronous trilateration algorithm is proposed that eliminates the need for synchronisation between the mobile device and the positioning infrastructure.