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Time-of-arrival (TOA) based localization plays a central role in current and future localization systems. Such systems, exploiting the fine delay resolution properties of wideband and ultra-wideband (UWB) signals, are particularly attractive for ranging under harsh propagation conditions in which significant multipath may be present. While multipath has been traditionally considered detrimental in the design of TOA estimators, it can be exploited to benefit ranging. This paper investigates the impact of a priori multipath information on TOA estimation. To this end, bounds on the performance of TOA estimation in dense multipath channels are provided and discussed under different operating conditions. The effects of channel dispersion and transmission bandwidth on ranging systems are investigated showing that, contrary to communication systems, diversity behavior is only exhibited in the medium signal-to-noise ratio regime.
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