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Radio frequency ranging - radar perimeter distinction

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Newbie level 6
Apr 11, 2012
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Radio frequency ranging (measuring distance) - radar perimeter distinction

Hi community,

I would like to know what is your opinion within the following problem:

I am trying to understand and develop a radio frequency ranging system, i.e., to measure the distance between a transmitter (which is expected to move) and a receiver or set of receivers in a common place (for example think about an array of antennas). More than in ranging accuracy, I would be interested in detecting when the transmitter is closer than a pre-defined distance from the receiver(s), let´s say 50 cm, or 20 cm. For example, when the transmitter is closer than 1 meter, trigger an alarm. So, I want accuracy at specified distances (may be I would need a pre-calibration stage for a specified distance). Line of sight can be expected to simplify the problem at first stage. Angle of arrival (AOA), Received Signal Strength Indication (RSSI), Time of Flight (ToF) and Round Trip Time (RTT) are some of the techniques I have found to address the problem. I am more inclined for the last one to avoid time synchronization, also because for AOA I seem to understand that more than one receiver would be needed.

My questions are the following:

1) How would you address this problem? I am thinking of transmitting a pulse from the transmitter and detect it with a matched filter in the receiver (or set of receivers). But, how to choose the adequate pulse shape? I would like to know some literature/references about it. Also, I would be interested in seeing the peformance of the system with narrowand systems (let's say 10-20 Mhz of bandwidth). Or instead, do you think another approach would be better?

2) I think a channel modeling stage would be needed. How could I simulate it? Since I am interested in relatively short distances I think it may be easier than other cases. I even have the hardware to take samples and use them as a database.

3) First, I am interested in understanding the problem and I would like to simulate it with Matlab/GnuRadio. Is there anything develop so far as starting point for 2) and 3)?

I seem to understand that UWB systems are good for localization purposes. However, I have only access to narrowand systems and for my problem I do not need accuracy every time, instead at a specified distance, which I think can relax the hardware requirements somehow.

Waiting for your answers to discuss the problem. Thanks in advance!

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