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Periodic Report Summary 2 - EIGER (Design of Enhanced Reliable GNSS/UWB Personal Navigation Devices (EIGER))

Project Context and Objectives:
The EIGER project focuses on the exploitation of the efficient joint use of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) signals and Ultrawideband (UWB) positioning in order to allow permanent and reliable outdoor/indoor localization in order to design a hybrid and propagation environment-independent GNSS/UWB-based standalone Personal Navigation Device (PND) that is able to meet the today’s most stringent Location Based Services (LBS) requirements in both outdoor and indoor situations. As the EIGER targeted PND virtually eliminates the problem of the handover when it moves from one environment to another, it becomes perfectly suited to situations where transitioning from indoor to outdoor are frequent and unavoidable. This will open the door to an immediate exploitation by the EIGER consortium SMEs of niche LBS related market segments (outdoor-indoor location aware services) such as LBS in: shopping mole, warehouses, ports, airports…
The key idea of the project is to investigate, design and implement an optimized hybrid GNSS/UWB standalone PND that is capable of supporting both the outdoor (when the GNSS signals are present) and the indoor (when the GNSS signals are not available) localization functionalities. This hybrid GNSS/UWB PND exploits tightly coupled GNSS and UWB positioning techniques to efficiently act in both outdoor and indoor situations through its intrinsic capability to compute its position using almost indistinctly range/pseudorange measurements based on the received GNSS and UWB signals and making itself intrinsically adaptive to the propagation environment.
As the EIGER PND will be dedicated to an immediate exploitation by the consortium SMEs in their targeted LBS market segments, several constraints will be fulfilled in its development including: the derivation of hybrid GNSS/UWB efficient positioning algorithms, the software and hardware design joint optimization in order to allow manufacturing of small and low-power implementation of PNDs, the development of a low effective cost UWB infrastructure suitable to be commercially exploited and that is compliant with the UWB ETSI constraints and the validation of the whole developed EIGER system (PND and UWB infrastructure) through real-field measurements.
The EIGER project will have an impact on the positioning technologies intended for indoor/outdoor positioning. It introduces innovations in the area of hybrid positioning algorithms and UWB reception techniques. Until now the technological solution proposed within the project has not been commercially implemented. The project creates opportunities for experimental investigation of its viability.

Project Results:
The EIGER performed work and obtained results during this second period reporting can be described as follows:

• Elaboration of the the architecture of the targeted EIGER solution:
Following a long activity of architectural study and comparative analysis aiming at selecting the best system components, the project partners started developing the candidate for the final product. The hybridization of the two localization systems, namely GNSS and UWB ranging, was realized at the hardware level. This hardware hybridization uses the fact that the GNSS and UWB blocks are implemented using the same hardware board, namely the Teseo II. The motivation for this hardware hybridization is to save hardware resources through the use of a Teseo II board to support the UWB processing. As such, a single PCB (anchor node and ranging mouse) approach will be used as a hardware hybridization architecture for the EIGER solution, which allows to reduce costs and reduce complexity during the production and assembly phase.

• Derivation of the EIGER efficient localization algorithms:
The algorithms, based on the Bancroft’s methods, are recast in a form most suitable for the intended EIGER framework. Results for numerical simulations where the effect of the presence of clock errors is calculated were critically discussed. The possible means to reduce the effects of clock drift by exploiting mutual communications among the anchors are also introduced and justified. The precision levels achievable both in systems based on free-running clocks and in architectures where additional synchronization means exist are finally reported and commented, with recommendations on the design of UWB-based localizers. A special focus was dedicated to the EIGER hybridization approaches, indoor/outdoor transitions, perspectives of the combination with Bluetooth Low Energy based positioning, design and prototyping strategy and the envisaged interfaces with the smartphone that was to be used as a part of the EIGER solution.

• Development of the application layer:
The developed application layer enables communication with the Personal Navigation Device (PND) and anchor nodes. It provides basic functions for configuration of devices and result processing. Functions and data structures defined in the application layer can be used for development of Location Based Services (LBS) applications but also for software supporting system deployment. Examples of such applications developed within the project were gathered.

• Integration of the overall EIGER system and validation of its functionalities:
The EIGER solution was integrated and its performance was evaluated in several situation representative of condition most likely encountered in the planned use in the field. There were two experimental campaigns carried out at two Research and Technological Development (RTD) partners, namely: Saphyrion and WUT to validation the EIGER system functionalities. Issues encountered in the evaluation of UWB localization system performance and ways to mitigate them were highlighted and the practical viability of the EIGER system was analyzed and confirmed. The localization precision achievable has been investigated and some of the issues still open for optimization (e.g. multipath disturbances) have been explored in detail. Comments from possible end-users performing preliminary evaluation of EIGER behavior have been collected and analyzed, in view of field trials to be performed at stakeholders’ premises

• Elaboration of a business plan for the EIGER solution exploration:
A significant effort was dedicated for identifying the market framework, competence, present barriers and opportunities; and planning the necessary tools to make the EOGER solution fruitful and profitable, according to the business case defined. In addition, exploitation plans for the SMEs partners were introduced to demonstrate the viability and validity of the results obtained. In this regard, a set of steps were followed for a full understanding of the project environment, a market study has been prepared, covering key aspects as Localization Based Services (LBS), barriers and existing competence. Once completed the current framework analysis, different business models were elaborated, completely aligned with the desired EIGER business case. The last step, in order to close the loop of making the project profitable, has been the confection of an optimal exploitation plan for the variety of EIGER products and services.

Potential Impact:
It is expected that in some aspects the EIGER proposed solution will outperform the existing related commercial ones. It will provide better accuracy than offered GPS/WLAN localization systems. Cost of indoor infrastructure is expected to be significantly lower than in UWB commercial positioning systems. The system architecture and the principle of system operation do not limit system deployment in many, even distant, locations. The infrastructure could be used by PNDs offered by different vendors or LBS providers.
At the impact level, the EIGER system will definitely influence the Location Based Services (LBS) market segment. Due to provision of very good positioning accuracy in both indoor and outdoor environments it creates a space for development of new services and applications. Furthermore, the EIGER project has also impact on the competitiveness of RTDs and SMEs. The outcome of the project will increase the technological knowledge of each partner belonging to the consortium. Their competences will be matured during the project and the competitiveness of their solutions and application on the market will be improved.
The project will create a forum for efficient collaboration between researchers in the area of positioning. The high level of communication between project participants will increase the quality of the research. The organized meetings will provide opportunity for exchange of ideas. The project will extend cooperation between project participants creating a basis for development of LBS products in the future.
In summary, the EIGER project will strategically impact the future LBS market by:
• generating new industrial/service LBS opportunities in Europe,
• reinforcing European industrial leadership in the future LBS domain,
• fostering the consortium SMEs roadmaps to LBS PND mass market commercialisation,
• opening the door for the consortium SMEs to new and future applications.
As a conclusion the EIGER solution targets an adequate market that is addressed in a timely fashion and the envisaged product covers a defined market need which will also be evolving through time, thus allowing for business maintenance at least in the mid to long term. The business figures that are drown are promising and open a door for the consortium SMEs to have a significant share, important profit and advanced and good position in the LBS market.

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