Radio-based position tracking works indoors and out

This sounds very cool. Basically you set up a network of these transmitters in a space, such as a sports field, and multiple multicopters can triangulate off them. Better accuracy than GPS and works indoors and outside.  Found by SUAS News:

The core of this environment is the lpm (local position measurement) of inmotiotec , a radio-basedpositioning system, which can be used both indoor as well as outdoor used. Until now, the Quadrocopter were so dependent on their positioning in GPS receiver and thus operate only under the open sky, with the new tracking system is a thing of the past this limitation.

The new tracking system is a quantum leap in terms of navigation of the aircraft: the positioning improves by a significant order of magnitude compared to the pure use of GPS. Instead of 5 to 6 meters accuracy to get to 5 – 15 cm. If we now also charged that a Quadrocopter has about 30 centimeters in diameter, it quickly becomes clear how accurate it can be flown from now – in other words, the creative department can now play safely.

Today, technology in sports, in the entertainment industry and, indeed, for Spaxels is used. The operation is relatively simple: At least 12 receivers are set up to provide a space and a calibrated reference transponder which must be visible from all 12 recipients. Per second to 1000 position signals are detected, you can fly as in the case of Future Labs with 50 quadrocopters, the position of each aircraft is determined by triangulation 20 times per second, enough data to allow precise trajectories. And in order to save weight divides the transponder’s battery with the respective Quadrocopter on which he sits, energy verso insurance technically is not a problem.

Views: 14973

Comment by Todd Hill on November 20, 2012 at 5:30pm

3DR should offer a plug and play version of this.  The more I see this kind of positioning system used outdoors the more I would like to have one.     

Comment by Rana on November 20, 2012 at 7:08pm

Wow, its worth sharing Chris ! It is certainly going to open new era in UAV navigation in GPS denied environment. 

Comment by Cliff-E on November 20, 2012 at 10:30pm

Interesting, most RF positioning systems are using 5.8Ghz, which I assume this is as well, and makes LOS very critical that overlapping copters (in a 3D structure for instance) will create LOS challenges compared to even the lower GPS frequencies (i.e. why not 900Mhz guys?)...  For football (non-US) it's ok since people are playing on a flat plane (and not 'piling on' like US football). Will look forward to their developments.

Comment by zach w on November 21, 2012 at 2:37am

I'm interested to know how much the system costs, does anyone know?

There's an interesting paper that lists many indoor position technologies including Abatec here: e-collection.library.ethz.ch/eserv/eth:5659/eth-5659-01.pdf

Comment by Simone Chiaretta on November 21, 2012 at 3:09am

Would be nice to see the cost of such a thing... hopefully less than the tenths of thousands of dollars of computer vision based systems (like the one used at the Zurich University)

Comment by Simon Howroyd on November 21, 2012 at 3:12am

Highlights the massive need for a UAS radio frequency in the UK. We're limited to 25mW (14dBm) on the 5.8GHz band which is pathetic for anything with a range over 100m ish.

Comment by Jack Crossfire on November 21, 2012 at 5:05am
Finally an alternative to the time domain product revealed years ago. If only they could get smaller & cheaper.

http://www.timedomain.com/p400.php
Comment by Vincent Mees on November 21, 2012 at 9:41am

Something off topic, Does someone know where these cases are available?

Comment by bGatti on November 21, 2012 at 11:29am

Notably; it's an active transponder, not merely a receiver as in GPS.

The challenge so often is that time of flight at radio frequencies is so expensive; probably because it requires custom IC design - and can't really be implemented with a microprocessor, might be possible with FPGA.

I'd like to hear others on that...

Comment by LanMark on November 21, 2012 at 12:03pm

Now if only iRobot would use some sort of real 3d positioning with their roombas that would be good..  intead of the randomized algorithm for covering a room.

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