A USRP based testbed for wideband ranging and positioning signal acquisition

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For validation and demonstration of high accuracy ranging and positioning algorithms and systems, a wideband radio signal generation and acquisition testbed, tightly synchronized in time and frequency, is needed. The development of such a testbed requires solutions to several challenges. Tight time and frequency synchronization, derived from a centrally distributed time-frequency reference signal, needs to be maintained in the hardware of the transmitter and receiver nodes, and wideband signal acquisition requires sustainable data throughput between the receiver and host PC as well as data storage at GB level. This article presents a testbed for wideband radio signal acquisition, for validation and demonstration of high accuracy ranging and positioning. It consists of multiple Ettus X310 universal software radio peripherals (USRPs) and supports high accuracy (<100 ps) time-deterministic, sustainable signal transmission and acquisition, with a bandwidth up to 320 MHz (in dual channel mode) and frequencies up to 6 GHz. Generation and processing of wideband arbitrary signal waveforms is done offline. To realize these features, radio frequency on chip (RFNoC) compatible HDL units were developed for integration in the X310 SDR platform. Wideband transmission and signal acquisition at a lower duty cycle is applied to reduce the data offloading throughput to the host's personal computer (PC). Benchmarking of the platform was performed to demonstrate sustainable long duration dual channel acquisition. Indoor range measurements with the synchronous operation of the testbed show a decimeter-level accuracy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9374969
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Burst transmission
  • Ettus X310
  • data acquisition
  • ranging and positioning
  • universal software radio peripheral (USRP)
  • wideband radio testbed

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