Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

William R. Michalson, Advisor




Three main elements for an indoor positioning and navigation system design are the signal structure, the signal processing algorithm and the digital and RF prototype hardware. This thesis focuses on the design and development of RF prototype hardware. The signal structure being used in the precise positioning system discussed in this thesis is a Multicarrier-Ultra Wideband (MC-UWB) type signal structure. Unavailability of RF modules suitable for MC-UWB based systems, led to design and development of custom RF transmitter and receiver modules which can be used for extensive field testing. The lack of RF design guidelines for multicarrier positioning systems that operate over fractional bandwidth ranging from 10% to 25% makes the RF design challenging as the RF components are stressed using multicarrier signal in a way not anticipated by the designers. This thesis, first presents simulation based performance evaluation of impulse radio based and multicarrier based indoor positioning systems. This led to an important revelation that multicarrier based positioning system is preferred over impulse radio based positioning systems. Following this, ADS simulations for a direct upconversion transmitter and a direct downconversion receiver, using multicarrier signal structure is presented. The thesis will then discuss the design and performance of the 24% fractional bandwidth RF prototype transmitter and receiver custom modules. This optimized 24% fractional bandwidth RF design, under controlled testing environment demonstrates positioning accuracy improvement by 2-4 times over the initial 11% fractional bandwidth non-optimized RF design. The thesis will then present the results of various indoor wireless tests using the optimized RF prototype modules which led to better understanding of the issues in a field deployable indoor positioning system.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Electrical & Computer Engineering

Project Type


Date Accepted





RF System Design, Indoor Positioning, Wireless communication systems, Radio frequency, Indoor geolocation systems