Tampere University of Technology

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Signals of Opportunity for Positioning Purposes

Research output: Book/ReportDoctoral thesisCollection of Articles


Original languageEnglish
PublisherTampere University of Technology
Number of pages84
ISBN (Electronic)978-952-15-4280-0
ISBN (Print)978-952-15-4267-1
Publication statusPublished - 4 Dec 2018
Publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)

Publication series

NameTampere University of Technology. Publication
ISSN (Print)1459-2045


O ver the last years, location-based services (LBS) have become popular due to the emergence of smartphones with capabilities of positioning their user’s location on Earth at unprecedented speed and convenience. Behind such feat are the technological advances in global navigation satellite systems (GNSS), such as Galileo, Globalnaya Navigazionnaya Sputnikovaya Sistema (GLONASS), Global Positioning Service (GPS) and Beidou. The easiness of smartphones and the improvement of positioning technology has driven LBS to be at the core of many business models. Some of these business models rely on the user’s location to pick him up on a car, relinquish a meal to him, offer insights on sports performance, locate items to be picked up on a warehouse, among many others.

While LBS are driving the need to continuously locate the user at higher degrees of accuracy and across any environment, be it in a city park, an urban canyon or inside a corporate office, some of these environments pose a challenge for GNSS. Indoor environments are particularly challenging for GNSS due to the attenuation and strong multipath imposed by walls and building materials. Such challenges and difficulties in signal acquisition have led to the development of solutions and technologies to improve positioning in indoor environments.

While there are several commercial systems available to fulfill the needs of most LBS in indoor environments, most of these are not feasible to deploy at a global scale due to their infrastructure costs. Hence, several solutions have sought to build upon existing infrastructure to provide positioning information.

Building upon existing infrastructure is what leads to the main topic of this thesis, the concept of signals of opportunity (SoO). A SoO is any wireless signal that can be exploited for a positioning purpose despite its initial design seeking to fulfill a different purpose. A few examples of these signals are IEEE 802.11 signals, commonly known as WiFi, Bluetooth, digital video broadcasting - terrestrial (DVB-T) and many of the cellular signals, such as long-term evolution (LTE), universal mobile telecommunications system (UMTS) and global mobile system (GSM).

The goal of this thesis is to address various challenges related to SoO for positioning. From the identification of SoO at the physical layer, how to merge them at the algorithmic level and how to put them in use for a cognitive positioning system (CPS).

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