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Vol. 135, Issue 12, December 2011, pp.27-41




A High-Precision RF Time-of-Flight Measurement Method based on Vernier Effect for Localization of Wireless Sensor Networks

Sang-il KO, Go AIKAWA, Jun-ya TAKAYAMA, Shinji OHYAMA

Department of Mechanical and Control Engineering,

Tokyo Institute of Technology, 2-12-1, O-okayama, Meguro-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN

Tel.: +81-3-5734-2325

E-mail: kosi@k.ctrl.titech.ac.jp



Received: 24 October 2011   /Accepted: 16 December 2011   /Published: 28 December 2011

Handbook of Laboaratory Measurements book


Abstract: This paper presents the fundamental principles of a high-precision RF time-of-flight (ToF) measurement method based on the vernier effect, which enables the improvement of time measurement resolution, for accurate distance measurement between sensor nodes in wireless sensor networks. Similar to the two scales of the vernier caliper, two heterogeneous clocks are employed to induce a new virtual time resolution that is much finer than clocks’ intrinsic time resolution. Consecutive RF signal transmission and sensing using two heterogeneous clocks generates a unique sensing pattern for the RF ToF, so that the size of the RF ToF can be estimated by comparing the measured sensing pattern with the predetermined sensing patterns for the RF ToF. RF ToF measurement experiments using this heterogeneous clock system, which has low operating frequencies of several megahertz, certify the proposed RF ToF measurement method through the evaluation of the measured sensing patterns with respect to an RF round-trip time of several nanoseconds.


Keywords: Vernier effect, Heterogeneous clocks, RF time-of-flight, RF round-trip time


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