We propose a system of anchors and tags to identify and report the 3-dimensional location of First Responders and other assets in an indoor incident area. Anchors are hand-deployed as needed during an incident and tags are equipped on First Responders and assets. All components are battery powered, and mesh networked to the reporting device, thus requiring no on-site infrastructure – such as electricity or cellular service – to deploy and function. Existing electronic maps for the incident, while optional, are useful for the deployment of anchors and the visualization of location.
The main deployment advantage of this design is that the system can be deployed dynamically and flexibly with no planning. The mesh networking used in deployment is exceptionally pliable and user friendly.
Tags/anchors are located in 3-dimensions to an accuracy of 30cm by using Ultra Wide Band wireless radios to calculate Time-of-Flight ranges from each tag to the constellation of anchors and then triangulating its position. Each anchor is also located in relation to each of its neighbor anchors. The location and orientation of the resulting constellation is wholly defined by the establishment of a ‘base-plane’ (2d), or a ‘base volume’ (3d), for completely self-referential tracking. Such plane or volume is easily established during setup.
This ability for a first responder to dynamically place anchors, as they move through the building and without significant loss of accuracy, is seen as a significant advantage in a rapidly changing circumstance such as a fire or related emergency.
Koliada is an experienced embedded devices and IoT engineering firm with product successes across many fields including industrial, mining & medical devices, traffic safety, toys, and consumer goods. Its particular expertise in wireless technologies makes it perfectly suited to addressing the First Responder Smart Tracking Challenge.
Our approach to user experience design and ruggedization is user-driven design iteration. We also have prior experience ruggedizing IoT products for roadside and athletic use. With our first responder partner, the FRST community, and others, we will be getting feedback on our design sketches and prototypes to flexibly and rapidly arrive at forms best suited to physical trials and eventually the market.
Our design for the tag, worn by first responders, is about the size and shape of an ID badge, which can be securely attached to clothing. Working with our first responder partner and the FRST community may well indicate a preferable profile and attachment solution; however, this fundamentally small size of electronics gives us plenty of flexibility.
Our design for the anchor, deployed by first responders at the incident, is about the size and shape of a pack of cards. It’s important for the anchors to be compact so that first responders can carry enough of them (likely 6 per person depending on the incident) to deploy accurate tracking.
We will be building our smart tracking solution on Koliada’s embedded system SDK,which allows for rapid and robust software/firmware prototyping and extensibility through pre-designed modular hardware components, and for cost-effective commercialization through low resource requirements, simple reduction to manufacturing, and supply chain flexibility.
We will develop basic visualization software to pair with our location solution, while focusing on interoperability with other visualization and situational awareness solutions.