JP3961951B2 - 無線によるクロック同期 - Google Patents

無線によるクロック同期 Download PDF

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Publication number
JP3961951B2
JP3961951B2 JP2002543834A JP2002543834A JP3961951B2 JP 3961951 B2 JP3961951 B2 JP 3961951B2 JP 2002543834 A JP2002543834 A JP 2002543834A JP 2002543834 A JP2002543834 A JP 2002543834A JP 3961951 B2 JP3961951 B2 JP 3961951B2
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Prior art keywords
receiving
receiving stations
arrival time
receiving station
stations
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Expired - Fee Related
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JP2004514376A (ja
Inventor
デイヴィッド ゴレン
ウィリアム サコダ
ラジュ ブリッジラル
ベンジャミン ジェイ ベクリツキー
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シンボル テクノロジーズ インコーポレイテッド
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Priority to US27025401P priority
Application filed by シンボル テクノロジーズ インコーポレイテッド filed Critical シンボル テクノロジーズ インコーポレイテッド
Priority to PCT/US2001/043589 priority patent/WO2002041545A2/en
Publication of JP2004514376A publication Critical patent/JP2004514376A/ja
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Description

【0001】
本出願は、2000年11月14日出願の米国特許仮出願60/248、357号、及び2001年2月20日出願の米国特許仮出願60/270、254号の優先権を主張するものであり、これら出願の全体を引用によりここに全て組み入れる。
【0002】
【発明の属する技術分野】
本発明は、無線装置のクロックを同期させるための方法及びシステムに関する。詳細には、本発明は、移動装置の位置を求めるために用いられる無線受信局のクロックを同期させることに関する。
【0003】
【従来の技術】
最近の無線装置の急速な普及は異例であり、この無線装置は、中央位置との間及び/又は相互にデータ又は音声信号を交換することができる通信及び計算装置を備える。これら装置は、通常、専用周波数即ち電磁スペクトルの専用セグメント上で電波を介して通信する。これらの無線通信の範囲は変化し、その範囲を拡張するために、中継局であるセル方式タワーその他の無線装置のネットワークにおけるノードを用いることができる。
【0004】
これら装置のいくつかは、セル方式電話であるが、無線装置は、無線能力を有する携帯型即ち手持型コンピュータ、電子メール送受信装置、携帯無線呼出装置、又は双方向無線通信装置のような多機能を備えるものが多くなっている。これらの装置が送信する信号は、その装置したがって装置の利用者の位置検出にも使用することができる。例えば、セル方式電話に変更を加えて、緊急時に通話発信者の位置を正確に特定できるようにすることが可能である。場合によっては、ビーコン即ち位置検出装置は、消防士又は他の救助隊員等の危険な状況にある人員の位置の追跡を継続するという特定の機能を備えることができる。
【0005】
【発明が解決しようとする課題】
無線信号を送信する装置の位置を求めるために様々な方法が開発されてきた。例えば、2又はそれ以上の方向性ある受信機を用いることによって発信機の位置を検出するのに三角測量を用いることができる。しかし、無線信号が到達する位置からの方位即ち方向を判定できなければならないために、受信機は、かなりの高機能でなければならない。
【0006】
【課題を解決するための手段】
本発明は、位置検出システムの複数受信局における内蔵クロックを同期させる方法及びシステムである。ビーコンが参照データ・パケットを既知の位置において送信する。第1の到達時刻が第2の到達時刻と比較され、相関関係にある到達時刻データが求められる。第1の到達時刻は、第1の受信局による参照データ・パケットの受信時刻であり、第2の到達時刻は、第2の受信局による参照データ・パケットの受信時刻である。相関関係にある到達時刻データと第1及び第2の到達時刻との関数として線形多項式適合を計算する。第1及び第2の受信局におけるデータ・パケットの到達時刻は、線形多項式適合の関数として同期される。
別の態様においては、本発明は、移動装置の位置を検出する方法であり、この方法は、複数受信局の内蔵クロックを同期させ、対の受信局において移動装置からデータ・パケットを受信し、対の受信局の各々における同期したデータ・パケットの到達時刻を求め、同期した到達時刻に基づき双曲線3点測量を用いて移動装置の位置を計算することを含む。
【0007】
本発明は、複数の無線装置の内蔵クロックを同期させる方法及びシステムである。多くの状況において、無線装置の位置を求めることが極めて望ましい。この機能は、装置の利用者の位置を検出しなければならないような緊急時においては非常に貴重である。例えば、本発明は、通話発信者が対応不能であり、自分の位置を知らせることがたとえできなくても、セル方式電話を用いて1人の911番への通話発信者の位置を検出するのに有用である。他の場合において、本発明は、無線装置に位置感知情報をもたらすようになったIEEE 802.11、IEEE 802.11b、IEEE 802.11a、ブルートゥース、又は無線LANに関係する将来標準(総称して「802.11xのネットワーク標準」)のどんなものでも利用することが可能な携帯情報端末のような無線装置について、その位置を知るのに役立てることができる。
【0008】
信号送信ができる装置を正確に位置検出する基本は、正確なタイミングでの演算を実行することである。移動体の位置を求めるために用いられる方法の1つは、双曲線3点測量を実行することである。この方法によれば、タイミング情報は、位置情報にマッピングすることができる。位置検出されるべき移動装置は、例えば発信機の身元について記載したデータ等の情報を含むパケット即ち伝送を発信する。既知の位置を有する多数の受信機が該パケットを受信する。受信機は、位置固定であっても、移動可能であってもよい。受信機が移動可能な場合には、システムによって受信機のそれらの位置が前もって知られていなければならない。
【0009】
いずれか2つの受信機におけるパケットの到達時刻差は、固有の空間における双曲線計算を可能にし、該双曲線に沿って移動装置が位置検出される。2つの受信機からなるもう一対の受信機におけるパケットの到達時刻差を考慮することによって、空間における第2の双曲線が計算可能になり、該双曲線に沿って移動体が位置検出される。そのように定義された2つの双曲線の交点が、移動装置の正確な位置を特定する。双曲線3点測量の重要な特徴は、各対の受信局におけるパケットの相対的な到達時刻だけが知られる必要があるということであり、絶対的な到達時刻、即ちパケットが受信されるときの実際の時刻が知らされる必要はない。2つの受信局におけるパケット到達の相対的時刻が知らされていれば、送信する移動装置の位置は特定可能である。
【0010】
【発明の実施の形態】
図1は上記した方法の図形表示である。移動装置Mは、受信局A、B、Cが受信できるデータのパケットを送信する。次に、パケットは、少なくとも2対の受信局、例えばA、Bの対とB、Cの対によって受信される。双曲線A−B及びB−Cのような双曲線が各対から計算され、これらの双曲線に沿って、移動装置はその位置が検出される。図1に示されるように、それらの双曲線に沿う各地点が1対の位置座標に相当する。2つの双曲線の交点が移動装置の位置を定める。この例においては、移動装置は、X座標に沿った値33及びY座標に沿った値22にあるものとされる。
【0011】
本発明による位置検出システムにおいては、各受信機は区別できる位置に配置され、他の受信局のクロックから独立して動作するクロックを持つ。クロックは完全に同一にすることができないため、各々のクロックは、それぞれ極めて類似の周波数ではあるが区別できる周波数を持ち、それ自身で任意の開始時間を有する。移動している装置の位置を正確に求めるためには、受信局の全てにおいてクロックは同期している必要がある。複数の受信局が同じ位置にあるか、比較的に近接している場合には、必要な同期は、クロックを有線で互いに接続することによって達成させることができる。しかしながら、受信局が戸外の離れた位置にある場合には、受信機を互いに有線接続することは、費用の面から不可能である。
【0012】
本発明の実施形態は、互いに有線接続することが実際上できない複数の受信局のクロックを同期させるための方法及びシステムを提供する。1つの実施形態において、ビーコンは、受信局の地理的な中央地点に近接する既知の位置に固定して設けられる。図2に示されるように、ビーコン10は、受信局12、14、16、18に対して中央位置に配置される。全システムは、移動している送信装置20の位置を検出するように設計される。移動装置20のただ1つのみが示されているが、このシステムは、1つ以上の装置の位置検出にも適用することができる。
【0013】
ビーコン10は、データの参照パケット22を連続的に送信し、この参照パケット22は、各受信ユニット12−18によって受信される。この参照パケット22は、802.11xネットワーク標準に基づいて作成することができ、ネットワーク内の所定の位置に固定されたアクセス・ポイントによって送信することができる。それらパケットが到達するときに、各受信ユニットは、パケットにタイムスタンプを記録する。ビーコン10が受信局の対、例えば局14及び局16から等距離に配置され、それら受信局のクロックが同一であるという理想的な状況においては、2つの受信機の各々は、受信機内蔵のクロックにより同時にパケットを正確に受信するために、それら受信機におけるパケットの到達時刻差(TDOA)は0になる。実際には、受信局14、16がビーコン10から正確に等距離であったとしても、2個のクロックが同期していなければ、TDOAは0にはならない。
【0014】
本発明によって全受信局のクロックを同期させるには、ビーコン10から受信されたパケットに基づき計算されたTDOAを0と等しくなるようにさせる。クロックを同期させるためには、ビーコン10を全受信局から等距離にはできない場合であっても、全受信局12−18へのTDOAを0になるようにさせる。ビーコン10と受信局12−18とは相対的に移動しないために、TDOAの期待値は一定になることから、TDOAを0になるようにさせる結果として生じる不正確さは大きなものではなく、本発明による後の計算中において補正することが可能である。
【0015】
本発明の1つの例示的な実施形態によると、例えば受信局14及び16のような2つの受信機A及びB間のTDOAは、ステーションAのクロックのタイムスタンプからステーションBのクロックからのタイムスタンプを引算することによって計算される。即ち、TDOAA/B=tB−tAである。ビーコン10が全受信機まで等距離にある場合には、到達時刻差は0であり、TDOAA/B=0になる。第1段階として、これを真であると仮定する。いずれか2つの受信機によって受信された一連のパケットのタイムスタンプが互いに相関関係にある場合には、完全に同期したクロックを用いている限りは、受信機Bのタイムスタンプに対する受信機Aからのタイムスタンプのグラフは、1の勾配を有する直線になる。例えば、クロックAによって示された到達時刻がy軸線上に、且つクロックBによって示された到達時刻がx軸線上にプロットされたならば、直線のための方程式はy−x=0、即ちy=xになる。
【0016】
しかしながら、上記されたように、受信局12−18それぞれの1つのクロックは独立しており、そのため、それらはわずかに異なる周波数及び開始時間を有する。従って、到達時刻のグラフは、実際には、勾配1の直線には決してならない。その代わりに、直線方程式はy=mx+bになる。該方程式において、mは直線勾配であり、bはy切片である。直線勾配は、考慮される2つのクロック周波数における差の関数であり、一方、y切片はその2つの受信機の任意のクロック開始時間の間に生じる差の関数である。本発明の実施形態によると、データから適切な勾配及びy切片を求めるために、線形多項式適合が用いられる。線形多項式適合は最小二乗法を用いて求めることができる。
【0017】
受信局A及びBの対からなるクロックが完全に同期している場合には、勾配mは常に1に等しく、切片bは常に0に等しい。本発明の例示的な実施形態によると、勾配及び切片は、実際には、連続的に計算され更新される。この実施形態においては、受信局のうちの1つのクロックが参照クロックとして用いられ、その他の受信局のクロック全てが参照クロックの周波数及び開始時間に一致させるように修正される。本発明の実施形態による参照クロックは、データ・パケットの相対的到達時刻のみが重要であって絶対時間は重要でないので、受信局間において任意に選択することが可能である。
【0018】
本発明による勾配及びy切片の多項式係数が一旦求められると、対をなす受信局用の0以外のTDOAが補正される。受信局12−18及びビーコン10の各々の間の距離についての既知の差が、バイアス即ち2対の受信局間における実際のTDOAに適用された修正率、並びにビーコン10及び受信機12−18の既知の位置から計算される期待値であるTDOAを求めるのに用いられる。
本発明による修正段階が一旦採られると、いずれのクロックも該クロックに関連し、該クロックに同期させるために用いられる3つの数値を有する。各クロックは、通常は周波数偏差によって生じる1と異なる値を持つ勾配m、クロックの任意の開始時間から求められるy切片b、及び各受信局12−18への異なる距離によって生じるバイアスを有する。
【0019】
移動装置20によって送られるパケット24が受信局12−18のうちの1つによって受信される時が、受信局のクロックによってタイムスタンプされた時である。次に、タイムスタンプは、周波数偏差及び内蔵クロックの任意の開始時刻を補正するように調節される。更には、対をなす受信局間のTDOAは、公式TDOAA/B=tA−tBを用いて、即ち移動装置20から送られてくるパケットの調整された受信時刻を用いて計算される。TDOAA/Bが求められた後に、クロックの同期段階において実行されたm及びbの計算に関連したゼロ以外のTDOAを補正するために、バイアスが加算される。少なくとも2対の受信局についてTDOAが計算されると、移動装置20の位置を、双曲線3点測量を用いて求めることができる。
【0020】
図3には、本発明の実施形態により受信局のクロックを同期させ、移動装置の位置を求めるために用いられる方法を記載するフローチャートが示される。この方法は、図2に示した構成要素に関して記載されるが、該方法を異なる多数の受信局、移動装置及びビーコンを備えた他の構成に適用することもできる。段階100において、参照パケット22がビーコン10から送り出され、受信局12−18によって受信される。上記したように、段階102において、ビーコン10と各受信局12−18との間が等距離であると仮定して、各受信局に関する勾配m及びy切片bが計算される。
勾配及びy切片が一旦計算されると、段階104において、各受信局に関するバイアスが計算される。バイアスは、上記したように、ビーコン10及び受信局12−18の既知の位置から計算される。段階100、102及び104は、同期段階の一部であり、移動装置20の位置検出を遂行することができるように受信局のクロックを測定するのに用いられる。クロックが同期させられた後の段階106から112までは、移動装置20の位置を検出するためのものである。
【0021】
段階106において、パケット24が移動可能な装置20から送付され、少なくとも2対の受信局によって受信される。対の受信局のためのTDOAは、段階108において、内蔵クロックを同期させるように計算済みの勾配m及びy切片を利用して計算される。段階110において、計算済みのTDOA値は、段階104において計算されたバイアス値を用いて修正され、且つ対の受信局に関するTDOAの修正値が双曲線を計算するのに用いられ、該双曲線に沿って移動装置20の位置が位置検出される。尚、少なくとも2対の受信局に関して計算された双曲線は、上記したように、移動装置20の位置を検出するために段階112において用いることもできる。
【0022】
本発明は、1つの移動装置及び4つの固定受信局を有する実施形態に関して記載した。しかしながら、他の実施形態として、追加の移動装置及び/又は追加のビーコン及び/又は追加の受信局又はより少ない受信局を有するように工夫することが可能である。従って、冒頭の特許請求範囲に記載された本発明の最も広い精神及び範囲から逸脱することなく、様々な修正及び変形でもって実施をすることができる。本明細書と図面は、従って、限定的な意味ではなく説明のためのものと看做されるべきである。
【図面の簡単な説明】
【図1】 本発明の実施形態による移動無線装置の位置を求めるために用いられる双曲線の交点を表すグラフである。
【図2】 本発明の1つの実施形態による送受信する無線装置の例示的配置である。
【図3】 移動装置の位置を検出するために用いられる受信局のクロックを同期させる本発明による方法の実施形態を示す。
【符号の説明】
10 ビーコン
12 受信局
14 受信局
16 受信局
18 受信局
20 移動装置
22 参照パケット
24 パケット

Claims (15)

  1. システムにおける対をなす第1組の第1と第2の受信局A、Bの内蔵クロックを同期させる方法であって、
    対をなす第1組の第1と第2の受信局A、Bの地理的中央地点に近接する既知の位置にあるビーコンから一連の参照データ・パケットを送信し、
    前記ビーコンが前記地理的中央地点にあると仮定し、
    前記受信局による特定の参照データ・パケットの受信時刻である第1の到達時刻 A 前記受信局による前記参照データ・パケットの受信時刻である第2の到達時刻t B とを、前記一連の基準データパケットの各々に対しプロットすることによって第1の到着時刻t A と第2の到着時刻t B とに相関関係をもたせ
    線形多項式適合t B = mt A + bを計算し、ここで、勾配mは、前記受信局A、Bの前記内蔵クロックの周波数の差の関数であり、y切片bは前記受信局AとBの内蔵クロックの異なる開始時間によるずれであり、
    前記ビーコンと前記受信局A、B間の距離の既知の差を用いて前記内蔵クロックに関するバイアスを求め、
    前記勾配mと前記ずれbと前記バイアスとに従って前記受信局A、Bの前記内蔵クロックを同期させる、
    段階を含む方法。
  2. 第3及び第4の受信局の前記相関段階及び前記計算段階を繰り返し、前記第3及び前記第4の受信局の勾配、y切片、及びバイアスのそれぞれを更に求める段階を更に含む請求項に記載の方法。
  3. 前記第1の受信局Aに関連して第3の受信局の前記相関段階及び前記計算段階を繰り返し、前記第1及び前記第3の受信局の勾配、y切片、及びバイアスのそれぞれを更に求める段階を更に含む請求項に記載の方法。
  4. 移動装置によって送付された第1のデータ・パケットの到達時刻、並びに、受信局の第1及び第2の対の各々が前記第1、第2、第3及び第4の受信局のいずれか2つを含み、前記第1の対が前記第2の対に含まれない少なくとも一つの受信局を含む場合において、前記第1及び第2の対の受信局について計算された勾配、y−切片及びバイアスの関数として、前記第1及び前記第2の受信局と前記第3及び前記第4の受信局との間の到達時差を修正する段階を更に含む請求項に記載の方法。
  5. 所定の割合で受信局の内蔵クロックの同期を更新するために送信、比較及び計算段階を繰り返す段階を更に含む請求項に記載の方法。
  6. 請求項1に記載の方法に従って、複数受信局の内蔵クロックを同期させ、
    前記受信局の第1及び第2の受信局によって前記移動装置からのデータ・パケットを受信し、
    前記第1及び第2の受信局における前記データ・パケットの同期した到達時刻を求め、
    前記第1及び第2の受信局の間の到達時刻差を計算し、
    同期した前記到達時刻の関数として、双曲線3点測量を用いて前記移動装置の前記位置を計算する、
    段階を含む移動装置の位置を求める方法。
  7. 第1及び第2の対が、第1受信局、第2受信局、第3受信局及び第4受信局のうちのいずれか2つの受信局を含み、前記第1の対が前記第2の対に含まれていない少なくとも一つの受信局を含む場合において、少なくとも前記第1の対及び前記第2の対の受信局に対応する同期した到達時刻を求める段階を更に含む請求項に記載の方法。
  8. 第1、第2及び第3の対が、第1受信局、第2受信局、第3受信局、第4受信局、第5受信局及び第6受信局のうちのいずれか2つの受信局を含み、前記第1の対が前記第2及び第3の対に含まれていない少なくとも一つの受信局を含み、前記第2の対が前記第3の対に含まれていない少なくとも一つの受信局を含む場合において、少なくとも前記第1の対、前記第2の対、及び前記第3の対の受信局に対応する同期した到達時刻を求める段階を更に含む請求項に記載の方法。
  9. 前記同期段階が、
    既知の位置におけるビーコンから参照データ・パケットを送信し、
    前記第1受信局における参照データ・パケットの受信時刻である第1の到達時刻と前記第2の受信局における参照データ・パケットの受信時刻である第2の到達時刻とを比較して、相関関係にある到達時刻データを求め、
    相関関係にある到達時刻データと前記第1の到達時刻及び前記第2の到達時刻との関数として線形多項式適合を計算し、
    前記線形多項式適合の関数として前記第1及び前記第2の受信局における前記参照データ・パケットの到達時刻を同期させる段階を含むことを特徴とする請求項に記載の方法。
  10. 内蔵クロックを有する複数の受信局と、
    前記受信局に接続されたプロセッサと、
    前記受信局の地理的中央地点に近接する既知の位置を有し、一連の参照データ・パケットを前記受信局に送信するように適応されたビーコンと、
    を含み、
    前記受信局のそれぞれが前記プロセッサに一連の前記参照データ・パケットの到達時刻を転送するようにし、
    前記プロセッサは、対をなす一組の受信局A、Bに関する線形多項式適合t B = mt A + bを計算し、ここで、t A 、t B は、それぞれ受信局A、Bにおける前記一連の到達時刻であり、勾配mは、前記受信局A、Bの前記内蔵クロックの周波数の差の関数であり、y切片bは前記受信局AとBの内蔵クロックの異なる開始時間によるずれであり、
    前記ビーコンと前記受信局A、B間の距離の既知の差を用いて前記内蔵クロックに関するバイアスを計算し、
    前記プロセッサは、さらに前記勾配mと前記ずれbと前記バイアスに従って、前記受信局A、Bの前記内蔵クロックを同期させるようになっている、
    ことを特徴とする移動装置位置検出ネットワークにおける内蔵クロックを同期させるためのシステム。
  11. 前記受信局が複数対に区分けされ、少なくとも2対が前記移動装置の位置検出に用いられることを特徴とする請求項1に記載のシステム。
  12. 前記プロセッサが、前記複数受信局のうちの第1の受信局による前記参照データ・パケットの受信時刻である前記第1の到達時刻と前記複数受信局のうちの第2の受信局による前記参照データ・パケットの受信時刻である第2の到達時刻とを受信し、前記プロセッサが、相関関係にある到達時刻データを求めるために前記第2の到達時刻に対して前記第1の到達時刻を比較し、前記ビーコンと前記第1及び前記第2の受信局との間が等距離にあると仮定して、前記プロセッサが前記相関関係にある到達時刻データと前記第1及び前記第2の到達時刻との関数として勾配及びy切片を計算し、前記プロセッサが、前記ビーコンと前記第1及び前記第2の受信局との間の既知の距離差から、前記相関関係にある到達時刻データのバイアスを計算することを特徴とする請求項1に記載のシステム。
  13. 位置検出システムの受信局内蔵のクロックを同期させる方法であって、
    前記位置検出システム内の一組の受信局A、Bに関して、
    既知の位置におけるビーコンから一連の参照データ・パケットを送信し、
    前記ビーコンが前記受信局A、Bの前記地理的中央地点にあると仮定し、
    前記受信局Aによる特定の参照データ・パケットの受信時刻である第1の到達時刻t A と前記受信局Bによる前記参照データ・パケットの受信時刻である第2の到達時刻t B とを、前記一連の基準データパケットの各々に対しプロットすることによって第1の到着時刻t A と第2の到着時刻t B とに相関関係をもたせ、
    線形多項式適合t B = mt A + bを計算し、ここで、勾配mは、前記受信局A、Bの前記内蔵クロックの周波数の差の関数であり、y切片bは前記受信局AとBの内蔵クロックの異なる開始時間によるずれであり、
    前記ビーコンと前記受信局A、B間の距離の既知の差を用いて前記内蔵クロックに関するバイアスを求め、
    前記勾配mと前記ずれbと前記バイアスとに従って前記受信局A、Bの前記内蔵クロックを同期させ、
    これらの段階を前記位置検出システムにおける第2組の受信局について反復する、
    段階からなる方法。
  14. 前記複数の受信局のうちの最初の受信局が前記第1の対及び前記第2の対の受信局の両方に含まれることを特徴とする請求項1に記載の方法。
  15. 前記第1対の受信局が第1及び第2の受信局を含み、前記第2対の受信局が第3及び第4受信局を含むことを特徴とする請求項1に記載の方法。
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