WHAT IS ULTRA-WIDEBAND?
Ultra-wideband (also called UWB) is a close-range radio technology that uses extremely large frequency ranges with a bandwidth of at least 500 MHz. UWB operates with a low transmit power (0.5 mW / -41.3 dBm/MHz) in order not to interfere with occupied frequency ranges. Only special UWB receivers can detect the signal. The frequency range of Ultra-wideband is between 3.1 and 10.6 GHz. Ultra-wideband can, for example, establish connections between computers and various devices, such as printers and screens, but also transmit audio and video data. In these functions, it is similar to Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Thanks to its robustness against interference and the high data rate (110 kbit/s - 6.8 Mbit/s), it is also suitable for ultra-precise indoor positioning.
Ultra-wideband as a localization technology is used particularly in industrial environments where accuracies of 10-30 centimeters are to be achieved.
Ultra-wideband positioning is most frequently used in asset tracking. A server-based method is used here.
The position determination is carried out by means of a run-time method (Time of Flight, ToF). For this, at least three so-called anchors are required. The radiated light between them and the asset is measured by tags attached to the asset and then sent to the anchors. The position can be calculated from this. The data (ID, ToF, timestamp) are forwarded to a (cloud) server and processed there. They can then be output on any device (smartphone, web application, kiosk system).
In addition to the server-based method, a client-based method is also possible. In this way, indoor navigation can be implemented with Ultra-wideband.
Indoor positioning using Ultra-wideband offers great advantages, but is mainly found in large factories, for example, in automotive manufacture. This is mainly because of the relatively high costs for the special hardware. In addition, UWB does not work with popular consumer standards such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
USE CASES FOR UWB POSITIONING
UWB positioning is always useful where the position of objects in buildings must be determined with high precision. For comparison: Wi-Fi works with an accuracy of 5-15 meters, beacons reach 1-3 meters. In addition, Ultra-wideband has very high sampling rates, which greatly reduces latency. Therefore, even vehicles that are moving very quickly can be tracked precisely.
With Ultra-wideband, both server-based (e.g. asset tracking) and client-based (e.g. indoor navigation) applications can be implemented.
More information about the functionalities of Ultra-wideband
Learn more about the functionality of indoor localization with Ultra-wideband, which approaches to the setup of a UWB installation are available and what technical features Ultra-wideband has. The experts at infsoft are happy to tell you more about technical details and application examples.