Simulation of an Ultra-Wide Band Enhanced Time Difference of Arrival System

R. Palaniappan, Y. Wang, T. Clarke, and B. Goldiez (USA)


Ultra wide band, Time difference of Arrival, GPS, Matlab


The University of Central Florida (UCF) is working on an innovative scheme to wirelessly synchronize multiple RF receivers using Ultra wide band radios for a Time Difference of Arrival (TDOA) system. UWB signals are very wide frequency band signals that emit short pulses of energy. Pulse widths of several nanoseconds to 200 picoseconds are used, with resulting bandwidths of several Giga-Hertz is possible. As a result this TDOA method does not rely on GPS for time synchronization and is therefore very applicable in urban environment where there is no GPS signal available. Using UWB pulses a time synchronization of less than 1 nanosecond was achieved for two way communication and ranging in line-of-sight and non line-of-sight communication. The technique employs synchronized UWB waveform acquisition at the multiple nodes of the system instead of the conventional GPS stabilized oscillators or cesium atomic clocks that are very expensive and also require a long setup and synchronization time. UCF used Matlab to develop a complete TDOA simulation tool that simulated different wireless channel modes, carrier frequencies, channel fading characteristics such as AWGN, Rayleigh and Rician fading effects and also UWB jitter.

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