[transhumantech] GPS++ : Aetherwire

Sally Khudairi (eugene.leitl@lrz.uni-muenchen.de)
Mon, 20 Dec 1999 23:09:57 -0800 (PST)

I dunno whether this is a followup on FoRK or silent-tristero, I'm too
tanked to be too discriminate. Hick, Hayek, honk!

From: Eugene Leitl <eugene.leitl@lrz.uni-muenchen.de>



Low-Power, Miniature, Distributed Position Location and
Communication Devices Using Ultra-Wideband,
Nonsinusoidal Communication Technology


Ęther Wire's long term goal is the development of coin-sized devices
that are capable of localization to centimeter accuracy over kilometer
distances. These "Localizers" will be able to operate within a network
of millions of other units in a local area, and users will be able to
enter and leave the network seamlessly and transparently. Ultimately,
these Localizers will be able to operate for up to a year on a watch-
sized battery, or longer if augmented by solar power. The overall goal
of this DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) sponsored
project is the development of pager-sized units powered by AAA-sized
cells that are capable of localization to submeter accuracy over
kilometer distances in networks of up to a few hundred Localizers.


We are developing small, low power transceivers that can be used for
position location and low data-rate communication. Position location
will be determined by sharing range information within a network of
transceivers. Pairs of transceivers resolve their separation by
cooperatively exchanging an electromagnetic signal. The accuracy of
this range determination is a function of the bandwidth of the
exchanged signal. With conventional sinewave technology, the bandwidth
of the signal relative to the carrier frequency is very small, at most
a few percent using spread spectrum. However, it is possible to
transmit and receive electromagnetic impulses which have a relative
bandwidth approaching 100%. This "nonsinusoidal" radiation is
currently being used for anti-stealth and ground-probing radar, under
the more common heading of ultra-wideband or impulse radar.


Nonsinusoidal radiation has unique advantages when used, at many
orders of magnitude less power than conventional sinewave technology,
for communication and cooperative ranging:

Transceivers can be made very small (i.e. coin size), low power, and
low cost because the electronics can be completely integrated in CMOS
without any reactive components. The antennas can be equally small,
and can be driven directly by CMOS, because they are non-resonant and
current-mode. Ultra-wideband / nonsinusoidal signals form a shadow
spectrum which can coexist and does not interfere with the sinewave
spectrum. The transmitted power is spread over such a large bandwidth
that the amount of power in any narrow frequency band is very small.
The good features of spread spectrum are shared, including multipath
immunity, tolerance of interference from other radio sources, and
inherent privacy from eavesdropping (low probability of intercept).
Ultra-wideband / nonsinusoidal signals have very good penetrating
capabilities, probably due to their exceptionally large
bandwidth. Localizers can operate within buildings, urban areas, or
forests. Centimeter-level accuracy in determining range is possible
without using expensive microwave (GaAs MMIC) technology because
nonsinusoidal signals have very large relative bandwidth, and the
circuits can be clocked at much lower frequencies. The cooperative
nature of this technology allows for accurate ranging without the need
for extremely accurate and stable (and expensive) master clocks to
synchronize the system.


Those wishing more details can contact us directly (see below), and/or
click on the following links. Our 1995 Principal Investigators
Technical Report provides an overview of our research motives,
techniques, and goals (as of Summer, 1995). You can access this
document in either HTML or PDF formats. Also, in the interests of
furthering development of ultra-wideband technology and in order to
acknowledge the efforts of those whose research inspired us, we have
collected over a hundred of the core patents in the field, as well as
many papers and chapters, and collected them into a CD-ROM or CD-ROM
image in PDF format. This is available on the web at Stanford
University. (Note: Ęther Wire is not funded by, nor formally
associated with, Stanford. We are simply taking advantage of their
willingness to provide space on their server.)

Ęther Wire & Location, Inc. Executive Summary (392 Kbytes)

Ęther Wire & Location, Inc. / ARPA Principal Investigators
Meeting Technical Report, July 1995

Ęther Wire & Location, Inc. / ARPA Principal Investigators
Meeting Technical Report, July 1995 (620 Kbytes)

Ęther Wire Slides, "Integrated Ultra-Wideband Localizers", 1999
UWB Conference, 28 Sept 1999 (3253 Kbytes)

Ęther Wire Slides, "UWB Research Directions", 1999 UWB
Conference, 30 Sept 1999 (364 Kbytes)

The Origins of Ultra-Wideband Technology CD-ROM Image / by
Ęther Wire & Location, Inc., May 1998

Spread Spectrum Localizers, US Patent #5748891 / by Ęther Wire
& Location, Inc., May 1998 (11,003 Kbytes)


Ęther Wire currently has openings for the following positions:

Embedded Systems Engineer
Embedded Systems Programmer
RF/Analog CMOS Engineer

If you're motivated to "try and change the world" and would like to work at the
leading edge with a small team of exceptional people, review these job

Points of Contact:

Robert Fleming or Cherie Kushner
Ęther Wire & Location, Inc.
5950 Lucas Valley Road
Nicasio, CA 94946
Tel: 415-662-2055
Fax: 415-662-2056
E-mail: uwb@aetherwire.com

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