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Looking behind a corner using multipath-exploiting UWB radar

: Zetik, R.; Eschrich, M.; Jovanoska, S.; Thoma, R.S.


IEEE transactions on aerospace and electronic systems 51 (2015), Nr.3, S.1916-1926
ISSN: 0018-9251
ISSN: 1557-9603
Fraunhofer IIS ()
Fraunhofer FKIE ()

Localization of persons that are hidden behind a corner is important in various security situations when the first responders should not be exposed to any threat. This article demonstrates the feasibility of an ultrawideband multipath-exploitation radar for localization in such scenarios. The approach utilizes multibounce echoes of electromagnetic waves that are scattered by the closest person situated behind a corner. We assume that the person does not carry any tag and does not cooperate with the localization system. The multibounce echoes are reflected and diffracted by the surroundings and make the hidden person visible to an operator that is behind the corner. The location estimation relies only on single-channel time-of-arrival data. Measured data are first processed by a background subtraction algorithm, which reveals the multipath evoked by the person. The multipath echoes are detected by a parallel threshold-based detector. A simple global nearest-neighbor algorithm is used for tracking detected echoes and improving their range estimates. The obtained range estimates are assigned to different physical propagation paths of the electromagnetic waves. The location of the person is estimated by fusing the information of the antenna location with respect to its surroundings and the assigned range estimates. The proposed approach is experimentally verified in a scenario where data are measured in real time by an ultrawideband sensor. Experimental results demonstrate that, depending on the scenario geometry, a walking or calmly standing person can be localized up to several meters behind the corner.