FindMeT Radio: Innovative Non-GPS Geolocation System for Sonobuoys
Navy SBIR FY2008.2

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2008.2
Topic No.: N08-151
Topic Title: FindMeT Radio: Innovative Non-GPS Geolocation System for Sonobuoys
Proposal No.: N082-151-1049
Firm: NanoVision Technologies, Inc.
1721 Winding Ridge Circle SE
Palm Bay, Florida 32909
Contact: John Voelkel
Phone: (321) 676-4560
Abstract: The Navy has identified a need for the ability to locate a network of sonobuoy sensors that does not require GPS (Global Positioning System). Commercially, NanoVision Technologies, Inc. is leading efforts to provide geolocation and weather information to aircraft, boats and trucking industries using inexpensive but reliable miniature, extremely low power solutions. NanoVision is developing a new, revolutionary geolocation technology called the FindMeT Radio. The FindMeT Radio technology utilizes a combination of several key technologies that overcome the limitations of GPS (Global Positioning System) to achieve geolocation anywhere, indoor or outdoor. We will examine Radio Direction Finding (RDF) / TDOA (Time Difference of Arrival) based approach and contrast this approach with Distance Measuring Radio (DMR) to identify the best possible solution for geolocation of sonobuoys with minimum impact to the current sonobuoy architecture. Current RDF techniques do not have the accuracy to reliably isolate multiple radio transmissions. In contrast, our FindMeT Radio approach utilizes innovative TDOA technology that overcomes the need for large bandwidth, at least three measurements, and precisely known antenna locations. Likewise, our DMR technology provides superior accuracy using miniature, low-power wideband pulses with low probability of intercept (LPI/D). Under this SBIR, we plan to research each of these approaches to determine the best approach for sonobuoy applications.
Benefits: Potential benefits from this research are numerous given the wide number of applications and large demand for geolocation devices. The FindMeT Radio technologies developed under this SBIR have tremendous potential benefits in both commercial and government markets with the potential to extend reliable Radio Direction Finding (RDF) / Time Difference of Arrival (TDOA) based geolocation to non-GPS radio transmitters, and potentially a new class of Ultra Wideband Distance Measurement Radio (DMR) products. Advances from this SBIR development are critical to customers requiring precise geolocation in non-GPS environments such as a building or underground, which important to First Responders in saving lives after natural disaster. Our FindMeT RDF/TDOA technology could also be instrumental with SIGINT (Signal Intelligence) applications where tracking of radio transmitters, such as cell phones, is of primary interest. Other tangible benefits of UWB DMR FindMeT technologies include alternative Over-The-Horizon low power communications and alternative surface surveillance sensors. Both our FindMeT RDF/TOAA and DMR based solutions have potential for both commercial and government markets. Other key markets include mobile health care systems to track individuals, theme parks for tracking children, mobile workforce and enterprises, intelligent transportation systems and Homeland Defense. As the demand for wireless applications continues to grow to include mobile environments such as fast moving vehicles, innovations in reconfigurable computing and adaptive communications are needed to meet this demand and bring low cost, non-GPS geolocation technologies of mobile communications. A key government market is the proliferation of unmanned and unattended sensors. As more unmanned/unattended sensors, vehicles and robots become commonplace, the critical need within these growing markets will increase the demand for reliable geoloation within a network of distributed sensors.