Wireless Device Orientation Estimation
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Estimation of wireless device location (localization) has been studied extensively for its usefulness in network infrastructures. However, the related issue of determining device orientation has received less attention. Many contemporary electronic devices are equipped with inertial measurement units (IMUs) and, hence, they are aware of their own orientation. Yet in some situations, it may be valuable to estimate device orientation without relying on its IMU. This research uses the idea that a distributed array of sensing antennas can measure the differences in signal strength of a transmitting device from multiple directions. Combining the device's antenna characteristics with a simulation allows us to experiment with and predict the orientation estimation performance of different arrangements of sensing antennas. First, an anechoic chamber is used to ensure that the device characterization contains as little external noise as possible. Then, simulation software allows more freedom in the placement and testing of sensing antenna arrangements. Finally, an estimation system takes the previous data and returns an estimate that minimizes the mean squared error of the device orientation in question. Upon completion, we plan to answer whether or not this method is accurate or feasible, and what advantages it may have over other methods of obtaining orientation information. As a side objective, we expect to learn if there is a general choice or method of choosing the sensing array used for orientation estimation. Though this project is concerned with orientation of antennas using the 2.4 GHz ISM band, the concepts could have application for a wide variety of devices that operate in various spectral bands.
Heidtke, Derek W (2017). Wireless Device Orientation Estimation. Undergraduate Research Scholars Program. Available electronically from