Searchback algorithms for TOA estimation in non-coherent low-rate IR-UWB systems

Guvenc I., Sahinoglu Z., Orlik P., ARSLAN H.

Wireless Personal Communications, vol.48, no.4, pp.585-603, 2009 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 48 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11277-008-9549-3
  • Journal Name: Wireless Personal Communications
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.585-603
  • Keywords: Ranging, Non-coherent, Sub-Nyquist sampling, UWB, First path detection, Energy detector
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


Non-coherent ultra-wideband (UWB) receivers offer an attractive low-complexity solution to ranging with UWB radios. They use a simple receiver architecture that can operate at very low sampling rates compared to the Nyquist rate. In this paper, time-of-arrival (TOA) estimation performances of two different searchback algorithms for non-coherent impulse radio UWB systems are analyzed: jump back and search forward (JBSF) and serial backward search (SBS). Average ranging errors for both algorithms are formulated using noise-based ranging thresholds and at sub-Nyquist sampling rates. For JBSF, a lower bound on the average ranging error is obtained using an error-minimizing threshold. Also, a semi-analytic technique for the selection of the searchback window length is presented. For SBS, noise-based threshold selection for both single-cluster and multi-cluster channels are introduced. Computer simulations in IEEE 802.15.4a channels provide insights on the selection of some of the critical parameters for accurate ranging. The simulation results show that JBSF typically performs better than SBS if the inter-cluster delay parameter (K) is not selected appropriately for SBS. In both cases, it is shown that even at sampling rates much smaller than the Nyquist rate, ranging accuracies on the order of 33 cm can be obtained using a non-coherent UWB receiver. © 2008 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.