Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

First Advisor

Kenneth Baker

Second Advisor

Timothy X Brown

Third Advisor

Thomas Schwengler

Abstract

The FCC E-911 mandate places strict requirements on the accuracy and precision of mobile telephone user positioning. When in the open, with a clear view of the sky, these requirements are met satisfactorily by using a combination of ranging measurements to the Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites. GPS measurements are generally not available when in a tunnel or inside a building. In these conditions, the network and mobile rely solely on ranging to base stations in the neighborhood of the mobile device. Accuracies suffer when insufficient base station measurements are available to the mobile.

Currently, there is no viable solution to the problem of poor indoor positioning performance. Alternatives include Wi-Fi RF fingerprinting. This solution is applicable exclusively to indoor positioning and would require standardization before it can be deployed for E-911. Wi-Fi fingerprinting is an expensive and time consuming process. This leads to the question of whether further improvements can be extracted from the current technology?

This research investigates an alternative solution for CDMA networks that is compliant with existing standards and is relatively simpler to deploy since it does not require an upgrade of the user's mobile handset capabilities. Experiments were conducted to determine the efficacy of using pilot beacons to improve the positioning of mobile users within indoor environments. The test bed and the theory of pilot beacons for aiding position determination of CDMA cellular users is described. The results of the testing indicate that pilot beacons can improve the accuracy of positioning cellular terminals in an indoor environment.

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