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Long Term Evolution (LTE) is a high-speed wireless technology for providing communication services to mobile cellular devices. The current LTE network positioning architecture utilizes a network-centric positioning scheme termed the LTE Positioning Protocol (LPP). LPP currently supports three positioning methods: assisted-global navigation satellite system (A-GNSS), observed time difference of arrival (OTDOA), and enhanced-cell identification (E-CID).
Each LPP positioning process suffers from distinct flaws: A-GNSS is power hungry and requires additional hardware in the mobile device; OTDOA involves estimation and suffers in urban and indoor environments; E-CID requires an expensive database, but the common problem is that each method builds on the existing infrastructure and needs additional valuable bandwidth to provide user equipment its location.
To address these issues, Navy scientists and engineers have developed a device and method for cellular synchronization assisted location for devices operating on an LTE/LTE-A compliant network. The approach utilizes an existing network timing management signal, termed the timing advance (TA), together with uplink transmissions from a cellular device to provide a position of the device. This mitigates many of the weaknesses noted in current LTE/LTE-A cellular positioning technologies while providing a comparable level of accuracy. The method can be used as a complementary positioning technology as well as to locate a mobile unit by a third party device. The system can perform without a supportive network and is passive, in that a third party device employing the scheme does not need to name itself to the network or the mobile device.
- Method requires no additional network infrastructure
- No additional network bandwidth or cooperation
- Power efficient
- US patent 9,655,077 available for license
- Potential for collaboration with Navy researchers