TOA Estimation of Chirp Signal in Dense Multipath Environment for Low-Cost Acoustic Ranging

Lei Zhang, Minlin Chen, Xinheng Wang, Zhi Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, a novel time of arrival (TOA) estimation method is proposed based on an iterative cleaning process to extract the first path signal. The purpose is to address the challenge in dense multipath indoor environments that the power of the first path component is normally smaller than other multipath components, where the traditional match filtering (MF)-based TOA estimator causes huge errors. Along with parameter estimation, the proposed process is trying to detect and extract the first path component by eliminating the strongest multipath component using a band-elimination filter in fractional Fourier domain at each iterative procedure. To further improve the stability, a slack threshold and a strict threshold are introduced. Six simple and easily calculated termination criteria are proposed to monitor the iterative process. When the iterative 'cleaning' process is done, the outputs include the enhanced first path component and its estimated parameters. Based on these outputs, an optimal reference signal for the MF estimator can be constructed, and a more accurate TOA estimation can be conveniently obtained. The results from numerical simulations and experimental investigations verified that, for acoustic chirp signal TOA estimation, the accuracy of the proposed method is superior to those obtained by the conventional MF estimators.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8419714
Pages (from-to)355-367
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Acoustic ranging
  • iterative cleaning process
  • match filtering (MF)
  • multipath
  • time of arrival (TOA) estimation

Cite this