RangeNet

RangeNet is Time Domain’s localization software suite. Incorporating more than a decade of experience in building and deploying ultra wideband (UWB) localization products and solutions, RangeNet offers everything you need to move quickly from evaluation to prototype to deployment.

RangeNet supports two-way ranging and communications, as well as operation as a complete ranging network (with ALOHA and TDMA scheduling) with a location engine to support navigation and tracking applications. Network coordination happens on the UWB module without host involvement. The software reports/logs waveform scan data and provides bias adjustment and a patented range quality metric which informs the user of blocked or compromised measurements. We provide a feature-rich API with sample C and MATLAB code for programmers.

RangeNet works on any of Time Domain’s PulsON 300 or PulsON 400 series UWB transceiver modules. The following graphic shows the different embedded software layers supported by RangeNet. Users can choose to interact at any level as the layers build upon each other.

RangeNet-Layers

 

Using a unique UWB pulsed-RF signaling strategy ideal for two-way time-of-flight (TW-TOF) ranging and communications, our PulsON OEM ranging radio modules provide peer-to-peer wireless distance measurements with exceptional accuracy in high multipath, highly reflective environments. We excel in places where GPS and other ranging / tracking systems struggle.

This fundamental Ranging and Communications capability forms the basis of RangeNet. In this mode a connected Host directs a PulsON ranging radio to send a range request to another ranging radio, which will automatically respond. The time it takes to complete this ranging conversation is calculated and used to derive a precision distance measurement in millimeters, which is reported to the Host.

The software manages the two-way ranging conversations with optional data communications, and is used to reconfigure primary radio parameters such as pulse integration, code channel, and transmit gain through this layer. The user can also observe waveform scans in real-time and log them to disk for post-processing, which is extremely useful for characterizing performance in different environments.

A patented range quality metric, based on the direct-sampled signal signature, allows the user to easily detect blocked or compromised measurements. An estimate of the standard deviation of each range measurement is provided with each reading. This is ideal for supporting Kalman Filter-based localizers.

RangeNet-Ranging-Tab-Pic

RangeNet’s Ranging Tab displays peer-to-peer distance measurements and real-time statistics

The second layer in the RangeNet software stack is the Networking layer. This layer coordinates airtime access among multiple PulsON ranging radio modules and automates the ranging process. When using the Networking layer, the Host will receive streamed range measurements rather than having to initiate each individual ranging conversation.

RangeNet will support two scheduler options: ALOHA and TDMA.  The Host will be able to dynamically switch between these two media access control (MAC) options.

ALOHA (random scheduling) mode is ideal for mobile ad hoc operations.  Nodes are automatically targeted as they enter the area and dropped from targeting as they depart.  No network coordination is needed.

TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access) mode allows the user to dynamically configure a detailed schedule in each node stipulating the range initiator, range target, code channel, and pulse integration in each time slot.  The nodes are automatically synchronized for fast, focused and efficient use of airtime.  Slots can even be configured as sleep slots allowing duty cycling and power savings for battery operations!

RangeNet is the easiest way to implement a network with our radios — offering you significant savings in time and money.

RangeNet Networking Tab Pic

RangeNet’s Networking Tab supports ALOHA and TDMA scheduling

The third and final piece of our RangeNet software is the Location layer, which enables a PulsON ranging radio module to iteratively solve for its own mobile location relative to a map of other ranging radios configured as static “anchor” nodes. Such a system can be quickly deployed and dynamically reconfigured using RangeNet’s “Auto-Survey” capability.

During the Auto-Survey process, anchor nodes are deployed around the localization area. These anchor nodes automatically range to each other (using the Networking features described on the prior tab) and broadcast the range measurements to a Host connected to any anchor node or mobile node in the system. The Auto-Survey process relies on a Weighted Nonlinear Least Squares (WNLS) algorithm to form an optimal polygon and maps this polygon to a coordinate grid.

Once the user is satisfied with the coverage and accuracy of the Auto-Survey process (the user can survey anchor node positions manually if desired), the anchors transition to “beacon” mode and one or more mobile nodes are activated. The mobile nodes are identical to the anchor nodes but use their Extended Kalman Filter (EKF) location capabilities. Mobile nodes maintain a local neighbor list formed through anchor beaconing, and optimally choose ranging targets based upon minimization of localization covariance.

Mobile Nodes iteratively broadcast their latest location and location error estimates. Systems based on RangeNet are quick to deploy, scalable, and completely wireless except for connections to a Host. They are exceptionally accurate indoors due their pulsed UWB RF signaling strategy.

Now multiple vehicles or personnel tags can range to each other and to static references to enable a navigation system.  Multiple mobile devices will dynamically target each other, making collision warning applications easy. RangeNet is ideal for robotic swarms, leader-follower applications, precision tracking, and much more.

RangeNet Location Tab Pic

RangeNet’s Location Tab provides a 2D visualizer that plots the position of mobile units relative to reference anchors and verification waypoints

If you’ve bought one of our Ranging & Localization Development Kits and somehow lost the Documentation CD, this page is for you. This is ALL the documentation (user guides, APIs, application notes) and sample code for ranging and networking that accompany our Kits and Labs. Want more? Additional technical papers are available on our Technology page, and hardware-specific documents are available on the P330 and P440 pages.

The Basics

P440 Data Sheet & User Guide

Download

P440 Ranging & Localization Development Kit Quick Start Guide

Download

Dig Deeper

RangeNet API Specifcation

Download

RangeNet User Guide

Download

Ranging Sample C Application

Download

Ranging Sample MATLAB Application

Download

Network Sample C Application

Download

Network Sample MATLAB Application

Download

Application Notes and White Papers

RangeNet ALOHA Guide to Optimal Performance

Download

Distributed Calibration of Time Domain UWB Ranging Radios

Download

Updating PulsON Modules with New Embedded Code

Download

Part One: Scratching the Niche

Download

Part Two: UWB Definition and Advantages

Download

Part Three: Two-Way Time-of-Flight (TW-TOF) Ranging

Download

Part Four: Tracking Architectures Using TW-TOF Ranging

Download