A Power-Efficient BLE augmented GNSS Approach to Site-Specific Navigation

Zhuangzhuang Dai and Frank JW Podd

Abstract: The demand for site-specific localization is increasing. For example, locating patients in hospitals, monitoring worker safety, and guiding visitors in museums are all desired. Active RFID is one of the most common approaches to delevoping site-specific navigation systems. In comparison to passive RFID technologies, active RFID devices can provide wider coverage, basic bidirectional communication functionalities, and it generally requires fewer access points and lower installation costs. Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) are widely used to perform outdoor positioning. An advantage of GNSS is that ground infrastructure is not required, only a GNSS receiver, but its performance is degraded by the presence of line-of-sight blocking and multipath. Although BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) based indoor positioning has been broadly studied, using BLE augmented GNSS for real-time pedestrian positioning is uncommon and ambitious. Low power consumption is the key to creating wearable localization devices. The power consumption of GNSS devices increases when the GNSS reception is poor. For active RFID tags, a BLE based localization system can be used to augment the GNSS when the GNSS reception is degraded, even taking over the positioning task to put GNSS into rest. The wearable device is required to wirelessly send its position to a central control system. There are numerous possibilities for this backhaul communication system, however only low data rate is required, and the solution should be low power. LoRa is a recently developed modulation scheme that provides long-range and low power consumption, albeit at a low datarate. This paper proposes a power-efficient scheme for site-specific navigation in which the best estimate of position is determined through data fusion of GNSS and BLE. An algorithm also provides a seamless transition between measurement sources and a low-power accelerometer enabled adaptive smoothing filter of the trajectory. The careful use of low-power modes for GNSS, inertial sensing and the microcontroller, combined with a LoRa backhaul, provided a power-efficient navigation solution. Measurements within an office environment demonstrate the accuracy and reliability of the proposed site-specific navigation system.
Published in: 2020 IEEE/ION Position, Location and Navigation Symposium (PLANS)
April 20 - 23, 2020
Hilton Portland Downtown
Portland, Oregon
Pages: 1305 - 1310
Cite this article: Dai, Zhuangzhuang, Podd, Frank JW, "A Power-Efficient BLE augmented GNSS Approach to Site-Specific Navigation," 2020 IEEE/ION Position, Location and Navigation Symposium (PLANS), Portland, Oregon, April 2020, pp. 1305-1310.
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