Faculty Advisor

Kaveh Pahlavan

Faculty Advisor

Lifeng Lai

Faculty Advisor

Thomas Eisenbarth

Faculty Advisor

Allen H.Levesque




In Time-of-Arrival (TOA) based indoor human tracking system, the human body mounted with the target sensor can cause non-line-of-sight (NLOS) scenario and result in significant ranging error. In this thesis, we measured the TOA ranging error in a typical indoor environment and analyzed sources of inaccuracy in TOAbased indoor localization system. To quantitatively describe the TOA ranging error caused by human body, we introduce a statistical TOA ranging error model for body mounted sensors based on the measurement results. This model separates the ranging error into multipath error and NLOS error caused by the on-body creeping wave phenomenon. Both multipath error and NLOS error are modeled as a Gaussian variable. The distribution of multipath error is only relative to the bandwidth of the system while the distribution of NLOS error is relative to the angle between human facing direction and the direction of Transmitter-Receiver, signal to noise ratio (SNR) and bandwidth of the system, which clearly shows the effects of human body on TOA ranging. An efficient way to fight against the TOA ranging error caused by human body is to employ site-specific channel models by using ray-tracing technology. However, existing ray-tracing softwares lack the propagation model that takes the effects of human body into account. To address that issue, this thesis presents a empirical model for near human body ultra-wideband (UWB) propagation channel that is valid for the frequency range from 3GHz to 8GHz. It is based on measurements conducted in a anechoic chamber which can be regarded as free space. The empirical model shows the joint propagation characteristics of the on body channel and the channel between body surface and external access point. It includes the loss of the first path, arrival time of the first path and the total pathloss. Models for all three aspects have been partitioned into two sections by a break point due to the geometrical property of human body and the creeping wave phenomenon. The investigation on first path behavior can be regarded as a theoretical basis of raytracing technique that takes the effects of human body into consideration.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Electrical & Computer Engineering

Project Type


Date Accepted





Body area network, Ray-tracing, Channel modeling