Australia: LocataLites, a ground-based transceiver, which is not dependent on satellites, can take advantage of growing frustration at the limitations of GPS, observed Professor Chris Rizos of the School of Surveying and Spatial Information Systems at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). Prof Rizos is also the president of the International Association of Geodesy.
Professor Chris Rizos said that the GPS is becoming a victim of its own success. “As more and more people use it, what they discover is they can’t use it all the time because they can’t see enough sky,” added Rizos. He stated that accurate indoor positioning is required for a variety of commercial applications, including warehouse automation, asset tracking and emergency first-responders. Locata with its innovative product LocataLites has the potential to fill this void in the market. LocataLites can cover an area with strong time-synchronised ranging signals.
In relatively open outdoor environments such as open-cut mining, construction sites and ports, the system has shown real-time positioning accuracy at centimetre-level, the equivalent of standard GPS.
Rizos and colleagues at UNSW have been academic collaborators with the company founders since its inception. “We have borrowed the system and had PhD students working on the system and have published papers on the technology,” he said.
Chief executive officer and co-founder of Locata, Nunzio Gambale, says the technology is being used in mines in South Africa and Western Australia and the US Air Force is testing it in ‘GPS-denied’ positions at the White Sands Missile Range.