Time-of-flight estimation based on covariance models

Ferdinand van der Heijden, Gloria Túquerres, Paul Regtien

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    18 Citations (Scopus)
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    We address the problem of estimating the time-of-flight (ToF) of a waveform that is disturbed heavily by additional reflections from nearby objects. These additional reflections cause interference patterns that are difficult to predict. The introduction of a model for the reflection in terms of a non-stationary auto-covariance function leads to a new estimator for the ToF of an acoustic tone burst. This estimator is a generalization of the well known matched filter. In many practical circumstances, for instance beacon-based position estimation in indoor situations, lack of knowledge of the additional reflections can lead to large estimation errors. Experiments show that the application of the new estimator can reduce these errors by a factor of about four. The cost of this improvement is an increase in computational complexity by a factor of about seven.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1295-1304
    Number of pages10
    JournalMeasurement science and technology
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 2003


    • Reflection model
    • Estimation
    • Ultrasonic position measurement
    • Time-of-flight
    • Time-of-flight estimation


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