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ECE MS Thesis Presentation by Dustin Weeks-Collins, via Zoom

Thursday, May 06, 2021
11:00 am to 12:30 pm
Floor/Room #: 
via Zoom: Please email Dustin Weeks-Collins ( for the zoom link if you would like to attend.


Evaluation of Drone Based Localization Via a Real-Time Emulation Environment



Localization is becoming more available and easier to understand and integrate into aerial networks and systems. There are many ways to test these algorithms both in software and hardware, but transitioning this software to a real drone-based system can prove difficult and expensive. How can we test a software-based localization system in a hardware like environment for little to no cost prior to purchasing hardware? The goal of this thesis is to evaluate the capabilities of the emulation environment Common Open Research Environment/Extendable Mobile Ad-hoc Network Emulator (CORE)/(EMANE). This evaluation uses a form of experimentation and evaluation to test the localization capabilities of this real-time environment. This environment is able to integrate any software capable of operating in the Linux environment, thus Python and bash scripting was used to set and collect the location and timing data of a set of drones or stationary systems. The collected data is then localized and evaluated using the expected information. It is believed this system has the capabilities to integrate and test real-time localization scenarios with a large control over both the Physical (PHY) and Medium Access Control (MAC) layers of the system while being open-sourced. Through the scenarios in this thesis, it is observed that the initial accuracy of our Time of Arrival or ToA localization scenario is inaccurate due to the networking latency at short range, but it is precise and predicable, resulting in a normal distribution of expected timing values. Compared to other software testing environments, this is significantly more inaccurate, but it is operating as a hardware system and is able to reliably portray the issues associated with a real drone-based wireless communication system. These results are used to further the accuracy and capabilities of this environment, and with more evaluation and testing soon it can be used to emulate more complex localization systems. This emulation software is open-sourced and is available as a means to test software inexpensively prior to exporting to an actual drone-based system. This system is fully customizable and is a very capable tool to use for both stationary and mobile networking and communication system with a potential to perform accurate localization.

Research Advisor:

Prof. Alexander Wyglinski

ECE Department, WPI


Research Committee:

Prof. Andrew Clark

ECE Department, WPI


Prof. Kaveh Pahlavan

  ECE Department, WPI