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Light-based indoor positioning device for spatially aware mobile platforms

Project Description


Indoor positioning is still an open problem having an impact in applications such as automatic guidance for people or mobile machines, and augmented reality systems. It is usually hard for people to find their way in large buildings that are seldom visited (i.e. hospitals, universities, museums). A system able to pinpoint where someone (or any mobile platform) is and which direction is currently facing can be readily used to both produce real-time navigation instructions; additionally, the system can keep track of the position of all devices present in the building to take actions under safety alerts (i.e. fire evacuation). In a museum, this system could allow assistance robots to guide people around, or even be worn by people as part of an augmented reality device allowing a for precise audio-guide of whatever the person is looking at.

The device will be very low-cost, low-power, based on light communications. This system could be extended to improve positioning resolution and include orientation estimation, which is key for any mobile platform (or person) moving inside a building.


This PhD will focus on extending a low-cost light-based positioning system to improve its resolution and also determine orientation. The new device should be readily adapted to any mobile platform requiring indoor positioning. Implementation of the positioning device as a wearable for people visiting a smart building will also be considered.


The successful applicant will hold a UK honours degree (or equivalent) on Electronic Engineering (2:1 or above) or a Masters degree. Equivalent professional qualifications and any appropriate research experience may be considered. A minimum English language level of IELTS score of 6.5 (or equivalent) with no element below 6.0 is required.
Candidates are requested to submit a more detailed research proposal (of a maximum of 2000 words) on the project area as part of their application.

Research Strategy and Research Profile

Glasgow Caledonian University’s research is framed around the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, We address the Goals via three societal challenge areas of Inclusive Societies, Healthy Lives and Sustainable Environments. For more. This project is part of the research activity of the Research Group – Smart Connectivity and Sensing (SCaS).

How to Apply

This project is available as a 3 years full-time PhD study programme with a start date of 1st October 2019.

Applicants will normally hold a UK honours degree 2:1 (or equivalent); or a Masters degree in a subject relevant to the research project. Equivalent professional qualifications and any appropriate research experience may be considered. A minimum English language level of IELTS score of 6.5 (or equivalent) with no element below 6.0 is required. Some research disciplines may require higher levels.

Candidates are encouraged to contact the research supervisors for the project before applying. Applicants should complete the online GCU Research Application Form, stating the Project Title and Reference Number (listed above).

Please also attach to the online application, copies of academic qualifications (including IELTS if required), 2 references and any other relevant documentation.

Please send any enquiries regarding your application to: Applicants shortlisted for the PhD project will be contacted for an interview.

For more information on How to apply and the online application form please go to

Dr Mario Mata (ERC)

Funding Notes

A variety of scholarship packages including fully funded studentships and fees only scholarships are available to deserving UK/EU and international candidates. The fully funded studentships are worth £19,300 per year for 3 years, subject to satisfactory progress. They cover payment of tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and an annual stipend of £14,800.

Please see the GCU website for further details on the scholarship packages available.

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