A robust, accurate positioning system with seamless outdoor and indoor coverage is a highly needed tool for increasing safety in emergency response and military urban operations. It must be lightweight, small, inexpensive, and power efficient, and still provide meter-level accuracy during extended operations. GPS receivers, inertial sensors, and local radio-based ranging are natural choices for a multisensor positioning system. Inertial navigation with foot-mounted sensors is suitable as the core system in GPS denied environments, since it can yield meter-level accuracies for a few minutes. However, there is still a need for additional supporting sensors to keep the accuracy at acceptable levels during the duration of typical soldier and first responder operations. Suitable aiding sensors are three-axis magnetometers, barometers, imaging sensors, Doppler radars, and ultrasonic sensors. Furthermore, cooperative positioning, where first responders exchange position and error estimates in conjunction with performing radio-based ranging, is deemed a key technology. This article provides a survey on technologies and concepts for high accuracy soldier and first responder positioning systems, with an emphasis on indoor positioning.
2011. Vol. 18, no 2, 10-18 p.