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International Journal of Antennas and Propagation
Volume 2015, Article ID 453157, 11 pages
Research Article

Source Geolocation in Urban Environments Using Multipath Fingerprinting

1Department of Electrical Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
2The Applied Research Laboratory, State College, PA 16803, USA

Received 16 December 2014; Revised 18 March 2015; Accepted 18 March 2015

Academic Editor: Ana Alejos

Copyright © 2015 Ram M. Narayanan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A method for determining the location of Global Systems for Mobile Communications (GSM) mobile transmitters is proposed. Our approach estimates the location of a source without the use of multilateration or Line-of-Sight (LOS) techniques. A Multipath Characteristic Database (MCD) containing the multipath feature vectors, for each possible transmitter location within an area of interest, is populated via ray-tracing software simulations. The multipath characteristics of interest are angle-of-arrival (AOA) (azimuth) and time-of-arrival (TOA). By minimizing the “distance” between estimated and simulated multipath feature vectors, an estimate for the actual source location can be obtained. The development of the estimation method is presented, followed by a detailed analysis of its estimation accuracy. Since the proposed method utilizes a simulated multipath signature database based upon the knowledge of the environment and the terrain, the need for a priori soundings from the area of interest is eliminated, thus making this location estimation system suitable for application in denied territories. Location accuracies compare favorably with the requirements for the location of wireless 9-1-1 callers as recommended by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).