A Multi-Path Compensation Method for Ranging in Wearable Ultrasonic Sensor Networks for Human Gait Analysis
Gait analysis in unrestrained environments can be done with a single wearable ultrasonic sensor node on the lower limb and four fixed anchor nodes. The accuracy demanded by such systems is very high. Chirp signals can provide better ranging and localization performance in ultrasonic systems. However, we cannot neglect the multi-path effect in typical indoor environments for ultrasonic signals. The multi-path components closer to the line of sight component cannot be identified during correlation reception which leads to errors in the estimated range and which in turn affects the localization and tracking performance. We propose a novel method to reduce the multi-path effect in ultrasonic sensor networks in typical indoor environments. A gait analysis system with one mobile node attached to the lower limb was designed to test the performance of the proposed system during an indoor treadmill walking experiment. An optical motion capture system was used as a benchmark for the experiments. The proposed method gave better tracking accuracy compared to conventional coherent receivers. The static measurements gave 2.45 mm standard deviation compared to 10.45 mm using the classical approach. The RMSE between the ultrasonic gait analysis system and the reference system improved from 28.70 mm to 22.28 mm. The gait analysis system gave good performance for extraction of spatial and temporal parameters.