Joint Time-of-Arrival Estimation for Coherent UWB Ranging in Multipath Environment with Multi-User Interference

Shangbo Wang, Guoqiang Mao*, J. Andrew Zhang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Time-of-Arrival (ToA) estimation becomes extremely challenging for ultra-wideband ranging systems in dense multipath environment with multiuser interference. In this paper, we propose a high accuracy joint ToA estimation (JToAE) algorithm, which can provide dominantly better performance than existing techniques. Based on the requirement of time synchronization among base stations, our proposed JToAE algorithm jointly exploits spatial information of each base station and the ToA of each multipath component of each received signal in ToA estimation. Our scheme is insensitive to the selection of the threshold, and does not require any additional information such as channel, noise power, preamble, or synchronization between transmitters and receivers. We also propose how to effectively distinguish the ToA of the first path of the desired user from the interfering signals in multi-user case without generating error propagation. The proposed JToAE is verified by extensive Monto Carlo simulation that is based on IEEE 802.15.4a channel models, and the simulation results indicate that even in low signal-to-noise ratio and multi-user case, our proposed technique can achieve significantly higher ranging accuracy compared to those in the literature in recent decades.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8712551
Pages (from-to)3743-3755
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Signal Processing
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • IEEE 802.15.4a
  • Joint ToA Estimation (JToAE)
  • Multipath Component (MPC)
  • Search-Back Algorithm (SbA)
  • Time of Arrival (ToA)
  • Ultra Wide Band (UWB)


Dive into the research topics of 'Joint Time-of-Arrival Estimation for Coherent UWB Ranging in Multipath Environment with Multi-User Interference'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this