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Open AccessArticle

A Novel 3D Multilateration Sensor Using Distributed Ultrasonic Beacons for Indoor Navigation

School of Engineering, RMIT University, Aerospace and Aviation Discipline Melbourne, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, NC State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Dipen N. Sinha and Cristian Pantea
Sensors 2016, 16(10), 1637;
Received: 8 August 2016 / Revised: 19 September 2016 / Accepted: 27 September 2016 / Published: 8 October 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasonic Sensors)
Navigation and guidance systems are a critical part of any autonomous vehicle. In this paper, a novel sensor grid using 40 KHz ultrasonic transmitters is presented for adoption in indoor 3D positioning applications. In the proposed technique, a vehicle measures the arrival time of incoming ultrasonic signals and calculates the position without broadcasting to the grid. This system allows for conducting silent or covert operations and can also be used for the simultaneous navigation of a large number of vehicles. The transmitters and receivers employed are first described. Transmission lobe patterns and receiver directionality determine the geometry of transmitter clusters. Range and accuracy of measurements dictate the number of sensors required to navigate in a given volume. Laboratory experiments were performed in which a small array of transmitters was set up and the sensor system was tested for position accuracy. The prototype system is shown to have a 1-sigma position error of about 16 cm, with errors between 7 and 11 cm in the local horizontal coordinates. This research work provides foundations for the future development of ultrasonic navigation sensors for a variety of autonomous vehicle applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: navigation; overdetermined system; trilateration; ultrasonics; distributed sensing navigation; overdetermined system; trilateration; ultrasonics; distributed sensing
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kapoor, R.; Ramasamy, S.; Gardi, A.; Bieber, C.; Silverberg, L.; Sabatini, R. A Novel 3D Multilateration Sensor Using Distributed Ultrasonic Beacons for Indoor Navigation. Sensors 2016, 16, 1637.

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