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WPI Precision Personnel Location System: Rapid Deployment Antenna System and Sensor Fusion for 3D Precision Location
  • Andrew Cavanaugh, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • Matthew Lowe, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • David Cyganski, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • James R Duckworth, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

An RF-based system is being developed for tracking

of first responders and other personnel in indoor environments. The system assumes no existing infrastructure, no

pre-characterization of the area of operation and is designed

for spectral compliance and rapid deployment. The RF 3D

location system, based on a recently developed multicarrier

signal fusion algorithm, has previously demonstrated submeter positioning accuracy of a transmitter, even in difficult

indoor environments with high multi-path, with all receivers

placed outside the building. However, the current version of

the system requires a set of 12 to 16 antennas be distributed

outside three to four sides of the building in order to obtain

the necessary diversity of information necessary to precisely

resolve 3D location. This is undesirable as a practical application of a Precision Personnel Location (PPL) system requires

rapid deployment of any antenna nodes at a time when almost

all manpower at the fire scene is dedicated to rapid and safe

entry into the building and fire suppression activities. Thus,

the act of antenna deployment must be extremely fast, easy

and forgiving. This paper reports on the development and

evaluation outcomes of an approach that permits 3D location

based upon deployment of two antenna arrays on any one face

of the building.

The positioning performance of the PPL system with the

new antenna system will be compared to performance from the

previous incarnation of the PPL system with widely distributed

antennas. In the case of the new antenna system, outcomes

will be shown for both the cases of Bayesian inference based

upon additional sensor information and without this sensor

information. The previously described[1], [2], [3], [4], [5] WPI

PPL system has demonstrated 3D accuracies of better than 1

m in indoor tests. We will show that the new version of the

system does not perform at the level of precision as that with

a diverse antenna distribution, however, at a level sufficient to

still significantly aid in search and rescue missions.

Publication Date
January, 2010
Citation Information
A. Cavanaugh, M. Lowe, D. Cyganski, R. J. Duckworth, "WPI Precision Personnel Location System:Rapid Deployment Antenna System and Sensor Fusion for 3D Precision Location", ION ITM 2010, Session A4: Urban Indoor Navigation Technology, January 25-27, 2010, San Diego, CA.