Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Electrical Engineering


Electrical Engineering


College of Engineering


Vladimir Prodanov

Advisor Department

Electrical Engineering

Advisor College

College of Engineering


This paper describes a method of estimating distance via Time-of-Flight (TOF) measurement using ultrasonic Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) signals. Using OFDM signals allows the signals and their sub-carriers to remain orthogonal to each other while continuously transmitting. This estimation method is based on the change of phase of a traveling wave as it propagates through a medium (air for ultrasonic signals). By using signals containing multiple tones, the phase change between each frequency component is slightly different. This phase difference is dependent on the distance traveled and can thus be used to estimate distance. This paper studies the impact of tone (OFDM sub-carriers) separation on accuracy, maximum distance, and computation for two-tone and three-tone systems. The effects of the transducer channel bandwidth and channel noise are accounted for to build an accurate model for a single-transmitter single-receiver system. This study found that each additional tone provides one extra independent distance measurement which improves accuracy in the presence of noise. The inclusion of an additional tone while maintaining the same overall signal strength shows improved performance with a reduction in standard deviation of estimated distance from 5.64 mm to 3.42 mm in simulation. A four-tone system is also examined to show that this effect holds for additional tones.