A comparative study of 3d ue positioning in 5g new radio with a single station

Bo Sun, Bo Tan, Wenbo Wang, Elena Simona Lohan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The 5G network is considered as the essential underpinning infrastructure of manned and unmanned autonomous machines, such as drones and vehicles. Besides aiming to achieve reliable and low-latency wireless connectivity, positioning is another function provided by the 5G network to support the autonomous machines as the coexistence with the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) is typically supported on smart 5G devices. This paper is a pilot study of using 5G uplink physical layer channel sounding reference signals (SRSs) for 3D user equipment (UE) positioning. The 3D positioning capability is backed by the uniform rectangular array (URA) on the base station and by the multiple subcarrier nature of the SRS. In this work, the subspace-based joint angle-time estimation and statistics-based expectation-maximization (EM) algorithms are investigated with the 3D signal manifold to prove the feasibility of using SRSs for 3D positioning. The positioning performance of both algorithms is evaluated by estimation of the root mean squared error (RMSE) versus the varying signal-to-noise-ratio (SNR), the bandwidth, the antenna array configuration, and multipath scenarios. The simulation results show that the uplink SRS works well for 3D UE positioning with a single base station, by providing a flexible resolution and accuracy for diverse application scenarios with the support of the phased array and signal estimation algorithms at the base station.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1178
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
Issue number4
StatePublished - 8 Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • 5G NR
  • Expectation-maximization (EM)
  • Interference cancellation
  • Joint time-angle delay estimation
  • Positioning
  • Reference signal
  • Uniform rectangular array (URA)


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