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Identifying the BLE Advertising Channel for Reliable Distance Estimation on Smartphones

Gentner, Christian and Günther, Daniel and Kindt, Philipp H. (2022) Identifying the BLE Advertising Channel for Reliable Distance Estimation on Smartphones. IEEE Access, 10, pp. 9563-9575. IEEE - Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. doi: 10.1109/ACCESS.2022.3140803. ISSN 2169-3536.

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Estimating the distance between two smartphones plays an important role in a host of applications. For this purpose, smartphones emit and scan for Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) signals. When a device is detected, the distance is estimated by evaluating the received strength of these signals. The main insight that is exploited for distance estimation is that the attenuation of a signal increases with the distance along which it has traveled. However, besides distance, there are multiple additional factors that impact the attenuation and hence disturb the distance estimation procedure. Among them, frequency-selective hardware and signal propagation belong to the most significant ones. For example, a BLE device transmits packets on three different frequencies (channels), while the transmit power and the receiver sensitivity depend on the frequency. As a result, the received signal strength varies for each channel, even when the distance remains constant. However, the information on which wireless channel a packet has been received is not made available to a smartphone. Hence, this error cannot be compensated, e.g. by calibration. In this paper, we for the first time provide a solution to detect the wireless channel on which a packet has been received by a smartphone application. We experimentally evaluate our proposed technique on multiple different smartphone models. Our results help to make distance estimation on smartphones more robust and accurate.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/187947/
Document Type:Article
Title:Identifying the BLE Advertising Channel for Reliable Distance Estimation on Smartphones
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Gentner, ChristianUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-4298-8195UNSPECIFIED
Günther, DanielUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-4926-3429UNSPECIFIED
Kindt, Philipp H.UNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-6962-5987UNSPECIFIED
Date:January 2022
Journal or Publication Title:IEEE Access
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 9563-9575
Publisher:IEEE - Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Keywords:Smart phones, Estimation, Channel estimation, Advertising, Wireless communication, Wireless sensor networks, Bluetooth, BLE, distance estimation, positioning
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Communication, Navigation, Quantum Technology
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R KNQ - Communication, Navigation, Quantum Technology
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - GNSS Technologies and Services
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Communication and Navigation > Communications Systems
Deposited By: Gentner, Dr. Christian
Deposited On:23 Aug 2022 13:36
Last Modified:23 Aug 2022 13:36

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