Scientists at NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) have developed a real-time locating system (RTLS) that uses ultra-wideband (UWB) radio frequency signals for tracking. UWB is a low-power, carrier-free, ultra-wide bandwidth signal transmission that has 100 to 1,000 times finer time resolution than conventional narrowband radio frequencies. UWB also has a lower power spectral density, allowing it to coexist with other wireless communications systems, such as Wi-Fi and cellular. The system has a tracking resolution of less than 1 percent of a range up to 2,000 feet. The tracking methodology is a calculation consisting of Angle of Arrival (AoA) and Time Difference of Arrival (TDOA). Originally designed for use in tracking lunar and Mars rovers, robots, and astronauts during exploration missions where satellite navigation systems are not available, the technology has a number of terrestrial applications including long-range tracking of emergency personnel in remote or hostile environments. JSC has applied for patent protection for this technology.
Johnson Space Center has applied for patent protection for this technology.
This technology is being made available through JSC’s Technology Transfer and Commercialization Office, which seeks to transfer technology into and out of NASA to benefit the space program and U.S. industry. NASA invites companies to consider licensing this technology for commercial applications.
If you would like more information about this technology or about NASA’s technology transfer program, please contact:Technology Transfer and Commercialization Office