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


In this paper, a new concept for ultrasonic indoor positioning based on instantaneous frequency of ultrasonic signals is presented. Nonlinear phase characteristics of ultrasonic transducers introduce a frequency deviation in ultrasonic signals. By sweeping at very fast rates, a large spike in the deviation is introduced. The artefacts observable in instantaneous frequency estimations are highly localized and present an opportunity for accurate frequency detection. In order to be useful, the artefacts need to take place within the pulse and have sufficient magnitude for accurate processing. The system consists of a transducer transmitter and receiver pair, which have a center frequency of 40kHz and a bandwidth of 460Hz. In order to incorporate more transmitters, a time-division multiple access (TDMA) scheme is applied to ensure orthogonality of signals. The concept includes four ultrasonic transmitters and a single receiver, which can uniquely identify each transmitter by a distinct signal sweep. Linear chirp signals are used to form narrow pulses and ensure no interference in the TDMA scheme. The received signal is amplified and passed through a phase-locked loop (PLL) to detect the chirp signals. Accurate instantaneous frequency detection can be done on the voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) of the PLL, which has a narrower bandwidth than the overall signal sweep. The instantaneous frequency estimation methods are largely explored in this work and consider two methods: the Hilbert transform and a zero-crossings method. This work highlights some of the advantages and disadvantages of both methods. Time of flight (ToF) in this system can ultimately be obtained by considering the instantaneous frequency estimations and the time for one particular frequency to be transmitted and received.