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Ultra Wide-Band (UWB) Indoor Positioning System Technology

Is UWB useful for indoor positioning?

What is UWB Positioning All About?

UWB is one of the most recent indoor positioning technologies to emerge. Prior to UWB positioning, similar technologies were referred to as base-band, impulse, and carrier-free.

An UWB indoor positioning system enables highly precise and accurate indoor positioning and tracking of objects or individuals. UWB utilizes short-range radio waves with a large bandwidth, spanning across a wide frequency range. It offers several advantages over other positioning technologies regarding accuracy, resolution, and immunity to signal interference.

How Does UWB Positioning Work?

UWB is a short-range radio technology precisely pinpointing and measuring the distance between other UWB-equipped devices. It can be used for positioning by utilizing the time difference of arrival (TDOA) or RF signals to obtain the distance between the reference point and the target.

A UWB indoor positioning system relies on transmitting extremely short pulses and uses techniques that cause a spread of the radio energy (over a wide frequency band) with a very low power spectral density. The elevated bandwidth offers high data for communication. UWB pulses’ low frequencies enable the signal to effectively pass through common objects such as walls and furniture.

UWB Positioning Challenges

UWB positioning can pose a few challenges:

  • Most smart phones do not have UWB receivers, so it is typically only available using specialized, very expensive hardware
  • Requires external hardware
  • Deployment is very difficult in complex building structures
  • May cause harmful interference to GPS and aircraft navigation radio equipment
  • It can be relatively expensive compared to other positioning techniques.

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Mapsted’s Indoor Positioning System Needs No External Hardware

  • Technical limitations of other indoor navigation technologies can't deliver what Mapsted's patented core technology does – a highly accurate and cost-effective stand-alone indoor positioning system. A VLC positioning system doesn’t even come close.
  • Other indoor positioning systems require expensive external hardware and costly maintenance.
  • Instead of relying on external hardware for location-based needs, Mapsted technology pulls from a huge variety of data sources creating an accurately powerful indoor positioning system.

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Frequently Asked Questions

UWB enables highly accurate localization and tracking of objects or people in both indoor and outdoor environments. It utilizes ultra-wideband radio signals to measure the distance between a transmitter and a receiver, enabling precise positioning information.

UWB positioning systems strike a balance between accuracy and range, offering precise localization within a moderate distance range. The range for UWB for indoor positioning can vary depending on various factors such as the implementation, regulatory restrictions, environmental conditions, and power levels. However, UWB positioning generally offers a range of several meters to tens of meters.

The actual accuracy of can vary depending on several factors, including the specific implementation, environment, calibration, and the number and placement of UWB anchor points. UWB positioning accuracy can be impressive indoors, but it's worth noting performance may degrade in certain challenging environments, such as those with heavy obstructions, dense materials, or high electromagnetic interference. Regular calibration, optimization, and environmental mapping can help mitigate these challenges and maintain optimal accuracy.

The working principle of UWB technology involves the transmission and reception of short-duration pulses of radio waves over a wide frequency spectrum. UWB utilizes the characteristics of these pulses to extract various information parameters, such as time of arrival (ToA) and time difference of arrival (TDoA), which are then used for positioning, ranging, or communication purposes.

While UWB is a popular technology for indoor positioning, there are alternative technologies that can be considered depending on specific requirements including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth beacons, infrared, ultrasound and magnetic field. The most seamless and comprehensive system on the market belongs to Mapsted. Our system is beacon-free, has a 1-5 metre accuracy, is scalable and easy to use. Our system also does not require additional hardware, saving you money on installation and maintenance.

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