Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - UPC

Procedure and system for the passive location of wireless nodes

Posted by Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - UPCResponsive · Patents for licensing · Spain

Summary of the technology

A procedure for positioning wireless nodes under a passive approach, i.e., just listening to the radio medium has been developed. Thus, each regular location process run to locate a specific wireless node in the network yields to several nodes knowing their own position. Partners to further develop the system and/ or to establish commercial agreements with technical cooperation are sought.

Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - UPC
Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - UPC

The Challenge


Positioning wireless nodes using time-of-flight measurements is constrained by several factors. One of the most important is the load in the wireless access network: the more traffic in the access network the more delay (i.e. error) in the measurements. Thus, location system has to control the access of the nodes and the provision of services requesting the position of all (of a noticeable number of) nodes in the network to guarantee the location quality of service. Accordingly, scalability becomes a key factor in the deployment of time-based location systems and must be addressed properly.

The Technology


This patented technology allows nodes to be passively positioned in a collaborative network where few wireless nodes (called active nodes) run a 2-way TOA location technique. Active nodes compute the distance to several landmarks measuring the time-offlight to them. This is done using round-trip-time procedure: sending a packet from the active node to the landmark, which sends back and answer to the active node. During this procedure, passive nodes listen to the radio and, taking specific timestamps are able to compute time-differences related with the position of the landmarks and the active node.
Once enough measurements are taken, passive nodes are able to compute first the position of the active node and then their own position, all this without injecting more traffic in the network and improving thus the scalability of the location system.

Current stage of development


The procedure and system have been completely defined and formulated. The system has been extensively simulated and confirms the performance expectances. Implementation in a IEEE 802.11 network is planned.

Applications and Target Market


This technology can be applied in any current or future location system addressed to medium to large networks or constrained environments (e.g. location systems deployed indoors).

Innovative advantages


·  Joint positioning of active and passive nodes
·  Improving the scalability: wireless nodes can be positioned under a passive approach (no traffic is generated for location purposes)
·  Improving the integrity: passive positioning can be run in dark areas (i.e. where active positioning is not possible)
·  Intensive location traffic services can be provided (e.g. the position of all the nodes in the network)
·  Smarter network operation and management tasks can be provided

Intellectual property status

Granted Patent
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Technology available for licensing with technical cooperation Patent Status Two patents applied

Technology Owner

Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - UPC

Technology Transfer Office

Related keywords

  • Electronics, IT and Telecomms
  • Sensors & Wireless products
  • Internet Technologies/Communication (Wireless, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth)
  • Navigation and embedded systems
  • Satellite Navigation Systems
  • SatelliteTechnology/Systems/Positioning/Communication in GPS - Global Positioning System
  • Network Technology, Network Security
  • location
  • passive location
  • wireless nodes
  • indoor location

About Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - UPC

Technology Transfer Office from Spain

The Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - BarcelonaTech is a public institution dedicated to higher education and research in the fields of engineering, architecture and science, which contributes its knowledge and expertise in order to increase scientific output, transfer its results to society and provide a network of scientific and technical state-of-the-art facilities and technology valorization services that place us at the leading edge of innovation and economic development.

The UPC has established itself as a driver of innovation and is the technology partner of choice for companies and organizations with which it develops projects and builds partnerships. A role borne out by the numerous agreements and research projects that have been set in motion by groups, organizations and laboratories; the creation of new technology-based companies; the generation and exploitation of patents, and the scientific and technical services UPC makes available to its environment in order to generate progress and employment.

The Technology Transfer Office (SGI) is responsible of Designing, coordinating and implementing research valorisation strategies, carrying out the protection policy of the research results, marketing these results through license contracts and designing and setting up the University's enterprise creation model in order to transfer the results of the research to the market, protect and commercialize these results, promote the culture of entrepreneurship and innovation, and create technology-based companies within the UPC environment.

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