FAQs

Terminology

I am new to Real-Time Location System, do you have a list of basic terminology?


  • Anchor - AN (Anchor Node) - Infrastructure node with fixed location - reference node capable of measuring location data, data offload and routing.
    • An Anchor can have Bridge function enabled - it functions as a bridge between UWB and other interfaces. For example Ethernet, SPI or USB.
  • LE - Location engine - An algorithm for position estimation using measured values. There are two major groups used
    • Trilateration - Location engine which uses distance between nodes to estimate the position, especially when TWR is used.
    • Multilateration - Location engine which uses time difference between nodes to estimate the position, especially when TDOA is used.
  • Navigation mode - navigation is when the location data are collected on the module. In LEAPS the location is calculated on the module and the data are available via on-module API. This provides very low latency, reduce infrastructure costs and significantly simplify the deployment. Typical applications are e.g. navigation of drones, navigation of robots, navigation of tools, navigation of vehicles and portable devices.
  • Node - A network device that is capable of communicating with other devices (Anchor, Tag, ...).
  • Tag - TN (Tag Node) - Mobile node with moving location - It uses Anchors to do the measurements, to locate its position and to exchange data at specified update rate.
  • TDOA - Time Difference of Arrival - It is a measurement technique where difference in time is measured between nodes at known fixed locations. The result of the measurement is time difference. The nodes at known fixed location typically need to be synchronized.
  • Tracking mode - tracking is when the location and telemetry data are collected on a centralized server. The data are available via LEAPS Server API. This mode is suitable for monitoring and processing of data at a single place, typically on a server. Typical applications are e.g. asset tracking, zone violation detection, athlets performance monitoring and personnel tracking.
  • TWR - Two-way Ranging - Is a group of measurement techniques where the range between two nodes are estimated by exchanging messages both way. The result of the measurement is distance. The nodes do not need to be synchronized.
  • UWB - Ultra-wideband - Is a radio technology that can use a very low energy level for short-range, high-bandwidth communications over a large portion of the radio spectrum. In comparison to other technology like Bluetooth, WIFI or GPS, it is very immune to multipath fading, hence, this makes it suitable for accurate positioning especially indoors.





General

What are the differences between DWM1001, PANS and LEAPS?


DWM1001 is a hardware module based on Decawave's DW1000 Ultra Wideband (UWB) transceiver IC, which is an IEEE 802.15.4- 2011 UWB implementation. It integrates UWB and Bluetooth® antenna, all RF circuitry, Nordic Semiconductor nRF52832 and a motion sensor. The module has been initially designed by LEAPS and is marketed under Decawave brand. PANS is a complete Real-Time Location System and network stack - configurable into anchor, tag or bridge nodes. The software stack has been developed by LEAPS and it is marketed under Decawave brand. LEAPS is an advanced modular system that is suitable for accurate positioning and data telemetry in real-time. It is based on PANS software stack. LEAPS can run primarily on DWM1001 but for customized application, it can also run on other hardware. A great versatility in a small footprint makes LEAPS a unique Swiss Army knife for accurate positioning and data telemetry in real-time. One module with one firmware, configurable in different modes and profiles. The products with LEAPS stack are marketed under LEAPS brand.




How LEAPS has participated on creation of DWM1001 modules and PANS network stack?


DWM1001 module has been initially designed by LEAPS. We have also worked on module bring up, testing and evaluation. LEAPS has designed and developed the whole software stack of PANS including an extensive set of embedded tests used for module calibration and functional tests in production.




How LEAPS is licensed?


LEAPS provides modules with LEAPS software stack and are offered at favorable market price. LEAPS software stack is licensed as binary code, non-transferable and royalty free. For specific project where the modules cannot be pre-loaded with LEAPS software stack, the binary code is licensed as non-transferable with royalty fee per device. For centralized system where tracking is used, LEAPS Server is needed. The pricing for LEAPS Server will be specified in the upcoming months. Please subscribe to our mailing list to get informed.




Is LEAPS an advanced version of PANS?


PANS can be considered a "Lite" version of LEAPS. Based on the experience with PANS a lot of changes and improvements have been made to create LEAPS. The main focus were on improving system performance, improving security, adding flexibility using network profiles, improving the data server and API.




Is hardware of LEAPS different from PANS?


LEAPS software stack is designed to run primarily on DWM1001 module, and the same applies to PANS software stack. The stack is highly portable and can run also on different hardware. A typical end-product device contains a board with power circuits, connectors, optional micro-controller and at the heart, there is a DWM1001 module with LEAPS software stack.




What are differences in LEAPS FLEX, LEAPS NAV and LEAPS PRO?


LEAPS modules are offered in 3 variants with different sets of supported networking profiles. The users can choose what would best fit for their applications and budgets. Please see Variants comparison for more details.




Can LEAPS modify and use the PANS software stack?


LEAPS owns the PANS software stack and can use it freely for its purpose.




What are the differences between LEAPS and PANS in big picture?


Comparison of network concept for LEAPS (top) and PANS (bottom): LEAPS network concept PANS network concept





Technology

I am new to Real-Time Location System, do you have a list of basic terminology?


  • Anchor - AN (Anchor Node) - Infrastructure node with fixed location - reference node capable of measuring location data, data offload and routing.
    • An Anchor can have Bridge function enabled - it functions as a bridge between UWB and other interfaces. For example Ethernet, SPI or USB.
  • LE - Location engine - An algorithm for position estimation using measured values. There are two major groups used
    • Trilateration - Location engine which uses distance between nodes to estimate the position, especially when TWR is used.
    • Multilateration - Location engine which uses time difference between nodes to estimate the position, especially when TDOA is used.
  • Navigation mode - navigation is when the location data are collected on the module. In LEAPS the location is calculated on the module and the data are available via on-module API. This provides very low latency, reduce infrastructure costs and significantly simplify the deployment. Typical applications are e.g. navigation of drones, navigation of robots, navigation of tools, navigation of vehicles and portable devices.
  • Node - A network device that is capable of communicating with other devices (Anchor, Tag, ...).
  • Tag - TN (Tag Node) - Mobile node with moving location - It uses Anchors to do the measurements, to locate its position and to exchange data at specified update rate.
  • TDOA - Time Difference of Arrival - It is a measurement technique where difference in time is measured between nodes at known fixed locations. The result of the measurement is time difference. The nodes at known fixed location typically need to be synchronized.
  • Tracking mode - tracking is when the location and telemetry data are collected on a centralized server. The data are available via LEAPS Server API. This mode is suitable for monitoring and processing of data at a single place, typically on a server. Typical applications are e.g. asset tracking, zone violation detection, athlets performance monitoring and personnel tracking.
  • TWR - Two-way Ranging - Is a group of measurement techniques where the range between two nodes are estimated by exchanging messages both way. The result of the measurement is distance. The nodes do not need to be synchronized.
  • UWB - Ultra-wideband - Is a radio technology that can use a very low energy level for short-range, high-bandwidth communications over a large portion of the radio spectrum. In comparison to other technology like Bluetooth, WIFI or GPS, it is very immune to multipath fading, hence, this makes it suitable for accurate positioning especially indoors.





Tags

Do Tags have data slots reserved for location and user data on Ultra-wideband network?


Depending on selected network profile, the Tag data slot can be

  • Roaming - The Tags reserve data slot with the surrounding Anchors uses an effective mechanism that keeps reserving in advance the data slot as it moves around. This helps to avoid unnecessary collision, keep high probability of data delivery and effectively releases the resources when the Tags no longer uses it (e.g. when it is no longer in range or when the update rate decrease because it is staying still). This allows virtually unlimited amount of Tags in the system when the Tags are spread over the area. When a certain amount of Tags are in range with each other and running at the maximum update rate, the maximum network capacity is achieved.
  • Dedicated - The Tags get data slots reserved automatically during its sign-up to the network. The data slots are dedicated and will expire only if the Tags no longer uses it. This is suitable for fast tracking applications where it is necessary to guarantee data delivery for the Tag on every update rate anywhere in the network.
  • Probabilistic - The Tags do not reserve data slot and their data delivery is based on a probabilistic model. This is suitable for applications where the Tags should achieve very long battery lifetime.
Please see the System Performance for the details.




Is it possible to collect orientation data from a sensor and send them to the server?


Yes. There are two options to collect the sensor data and send them to the server:

  • Use an external MCU to collect the data from a sensor and then send them via the LEAPS Module using interfaces like UART or SPI.
  • We are planning to embed drivers for a few selected inertial sensors. The client only needs to connect the sensor to the dedicated I2C pins and enable it using very simple commands. The data will be automatically collected and sent to the server at the required rate.




Does LEAPS support User Application?


No, in contrary to PANS, LEAPS does not support User Application, i.e. LEAPS does not provide linkable library to create custom applications. For additional functions, there are two options:

  • It is necessary to use an external MCU.
  • We are planning to embed drivers for a few selected inertial sensors. The client only needs to connect the sensor to the dedicated I2C pins and enable it using very simple commands. The data will be automatically collected and sent to the server at the required rate.




Is it possible to collect the battery level of the tags on the LEAPS Server?


There are two options to measure and send the battery level of the Tags to the server

  • Measure the battery level using an external MCU and send it via the module interface to the Server.
  • We are planning to embed automatic battery voltage level measurement and sending to the Server.





Infrastructure

Is Ethernet required for the Anchors?


Ethernet is required only if Tracking location mode is used. Depending on the selected network profile, it might be required on all Anchors or only on some of them. This allows to balance the system requirements, costs, deployment time and maintenance complexity.




How many Anchors can I install on my network?


For a network where the Anchors are installed following a certain rules, virtually unlimited amount of Anchors can be deployed over a spread area. In a building like area, this condition is easier to achieve. In an open-space area it is necessary to keep distance between the Anchors. If all Anchors are placed in range with each other, the maximum of 30 Anchors can be connected to the network. The rest will wait until a free slot is available. The Anchors form a network and solve the issues automatically.





Server and Tools

What are the differences between DWM1001, PANS and LEAPS?


DWM1001 is a hardware module based on Decawave's DW1000 Ultra Wideband (UWB) transceiver IC, which is an IEEE 802.15.4- 2011 UWB implementation. It integrates UWB and Bluetooth® antenna, all RF circuitry, Nordic Semiconductor nRF52832 and a motion sensor. The module has been initially designed by LEAPS and is marketed under Decawave brand. PANS is a complete Real-Time Location System and network stack - configurable into anchor, tag or bridge nodes. The software stack has been developed by LEAPS and it is marketed under Decawave brand. LEAPS is an advanced modular system that is suitable for accurate positioning and data telemetry in real-time. It is based on PANS software stack. LEAPS can run primarily on DWM1001 but for customized application, it can also run on other hardware. A great versatility in a small footprint makes LEAPS a unique Swiss Army knife for accurate positioning and data telemetry in real-time. One module with one firmware, configurable in different modes and profiles. The products with LEAPS stack are marketed under LEAPS brand.




How LEAPS has participated on creation of DWM1001 modules and PANS network stack?


DWM1001 module has been initially designed by LEAPS. We have also worked on module bring up, testing and evaluation. LEAPS has designed and developed the whole software stack of PANS including an extensive set of embedded tests used for module calibration and functional tests in production.




How LEAPS is licensed?


LEAPS provides modules with LEAPS software stack and are offered at favorable market price. LEAPS software stack is licensed as binary code, non-transferable and royalty free. For specific project where the modules cannot be pre-loaded with LEAPS software stack, the binary code is licensed as non-transferable with royalty fee per device. For centralized system where tracking is used, LEAPS Server is needed. The pricing for LEAPS Server will be specified in the upcoming months. Please subscribe to our mailing list to get informed.




Is LEAPS an advanced version of PANS?


PANS can be considered a "Lite" version of LEAPS. Based on the experience with PANS a lot of changes and improvements have been made to create LEAPS. The main focus were on improving system performance, improving security, adding flexibility using network profiles, improving the data server and API.




Is hardware of LEAPS different from PANS?


LEAPS software stack is designed to run primarily on DWM1001 module, and the same applies to PANS software stack. The stack is highly portable and can run also on different hardware. A typical end-product device contains a board with power circuits, connectors, optional micro-controller and at the heart, there is a DWM1001 module with LEAPS software stack.




What are differences in LEAPS FLEX, LEAPS NAV and LEAPS PRO?


LEAPS modules are offered in 3 variants with different sets of supported networking profiles. The users can choose what would best fit for their applications and budgets. Please see Variants comparison for more details.




Can LEAPS modify and use the PANS software stack?


LEAPS owns the PANS software stack and can use it freely for its purpose.




What are the differences between LEAPS and PANS in big picture?


Comparison of network concept for LEAPS (top) and PANS (bottom): LEAPS network concept PANS network concept





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