A short range radiolocation system and associated methods that allow the location of an item, such as equipment, containers, pallets, vehicles, or personnel, within a defined area. A small, battery powered, self-contained tag is provided to an item to be located. The tag includes a spread-spectrum transmitter that transmits a spread-spectrum code and identification information. A plurality of receivers positioned about the area receive signals from a transmitting tag. The position of the tag, and hence the item, is located by triangulation. The system employs three different ranging techniques for providing coarse, intermediate, and fine spatial position resolution. Coarse positioning information is provided by use of direct-sequence code phase transmitted as a spread-spectrum signal. Intermediate positioning information is provided by the use of a difference signal transmitted with the direct-sequence spread-spectrum code. Fine positioning information is provided by use of carrier phase measurements. An algorithm is employed to combine the three data sets to provide accurate location measurements.
STATEMENT AS TO RIGHTS TO INVENTIONS MADE UNDER FEDERALLY-SPONSORED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
This invention was made with United States Government support awarded by the United States Department of Energy under contract to UT-Battelle, LLC. The United States has certain rights in this invention.