Localization, tracking, and navigation for indoor and outdoor environments have been gaining relevance due to the steadily expanding range of enabling devices and technologies, as well as the necessity for seamless solutions for location-based services, for example, in the field of automated guided vehicles in manufacturing lines, first-responder navigation, vehicular and drones navigation, asset navigation and tracking, indoor unmanned vehicles, people-movers or, more generally, user-centric mobility assessment. The Internet of Things, cyber-physical systems, Intelligent transportation systems, as well as 5G communication networks will all benefit from localization and position tracking capabilities.
A current trend in the design of solutions for localization, tracking, and navigation is to use standard, low-cost, and already deployed technologies. These technologies are highly heterogeneous, encompassing, to name a few examples, inertial measurement units, sonar, laser, IR, visual light communications, or radiofrequency signals. The latter typically include WiFi, UWB, RFID, Bluetooth, 3GPP/LTE, 802.11x, digital TV, or, in general, so-called available signals of opportunity. All this entails that the latest challenge in localization, tracking, and navigation is not only to develop specialized sensors for these tasks but to design and implement methods exploiting the cooperation of the already available technologies (network localization) in a timely and optimal fashion. Data fusion over multiple scales and timelines, crowd-sensing methods, cross-layer optimization, true seamless continuity and resilience, as well as new challenging application environments are therefore key aspects for further advances of the field and present exciting challenges for signal processing practitioners and researchers. On the other side, new technologies such as millimeter wave and massive antenna arrays are emerging and are expected to create new appealing opportunities towards the realization of extremely high accuracy positioning and orientation systems but also new signal processing problems to solve.
Edited by: Davide Dardari, Kutluyil Dogancay, Petar M. Djurić, Pau Closas, Benoit Denis, Reza Monir Vaghefi, Henk Wymeersh
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