Locata has invented a new, completely autonomous positioning technology that creates terrestrial networks that function as a “local ground-based replica” of GPS-style positioning. Locata is not designed to replace GPS; it is a local extension and expansion of GPS. It works with GPS, but can also operate independently when GPS is not robust or completely unavailable. Instead of orbiting satellites, Locata utilizes a network of small, ground-based transmitters (LocataNet) that blanket a chosen area with strong radio-positioning signals. As it is terrestrially based and provides powerful signals, Locata can work in any internal or external environment.
There is nothing “global” about positioning in a warehouse, an open-cut mine or in a city. It is inherently a “local” requirement. However, before Locata, the only way to provide that positioning service was via a GPS satellite system.
A fundamental requirement for high accuracy radio-positioning systems is nano-second level synchronization of all transmitters in the positioning network. Prior to Locata, the only way to achieve that level of synchronization was to use multiple atomic clocks.
Locata’s pivotal technological advance is a patented synchronization method called TimeLoc. Locata’s transmitters are chronologically synchronized using TimeLoc. Locata’s technology does not rely on atomic clocks.
TimeLoc enables Locata technology to provide accurate position solutions with simple receivers that only utilise one-way ranging signals – a technology which works the same way as GPS. Without a synchronous network such as Locata, all competing radio-positioning systems must resort to additional complex hardware plus some form of reference system and communications back-channel. This is needed to externally correct time errors inherent in un-synchronised signals. Such externally corrected technologies:
- are intrinsically more complex;
- are far less reliable;
- require additional infrastructure;
- do not provide sufficient accuracy and
- do not scale to areas of varying size.
Locata’s terrestrial LocataNets provide both local control and regional coverage. Locata’s technology encompasses both the transmit and receive sides of a positioning network, allowing the system to be configured to meet specific, localized demand for availability, accuracy, and reliability. This flexibility ensures that signal integrity can be guaranteed in even the most demanding environments – especially indoors.
Download: Locata Technology Brief