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Since the ruling of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the United States to open up the spectrum from 3.1-10.6 GHz for ultra wideband (UWB) applications in 2002, interest in the use of UWB for localization outside of military applications has skyrocketed. The multi-purpose nature of UWB for localization and also high or low data rate communication make it robust and attractive in many indoor applications including wireless sensor networks, medical body area networks (BANs), surgical navigation, etc. A push towards integrating UWB with Global Positioning Systems (GPS), wireless local area networks (WLANs), Wi-Fi, and inertial measurement units (IMUs) help to mitigate localization errors with redundancy and increase interoperability with existing technologies. A look at the current trends both in the research community and industry highlight future applications of UWB positioning and the technologies which will serve as the building blocks in these systems.
Date of Conference: 24-25 Sept. 2009