5G-based Indoor Positioning System for FireFighters using UAVs (5G-IPS)

This project proposes to design, prototype and demonstrate a highly precise 5G-based Indoor Positioning System (5G-IPS) that addresses three long-standing and difficult challenges in emergency environments (i) global navigation satellite system (GNSS) and traditional global positioning system (GPS) do not work reliably in indoor setting, (ii) reliable communication infrastructure may not always be available, and (ii) accurate mapping and visualization of the building map may not be available.

UAVs mounted with 5G base stations will be utilized for enabling cellular-based (viz. 5G NR) positioning along with specific enhancements to precisely localize firefighters within a building. Shah and his collaborators will then utilize a key 5G capability, called network slicing, to securely, reliably, and timely disseminate the time-critical position information (and other important audio/video or sensor information) from firefighters to the safety stakeholders that need to know it. Following this, a mapping and visualization tool will be prototyped to accurately track the position of firefighters within the visual 3D map of the building. The 5G-IPS system will be demonstrated in-lab using NextG Wireless Lab@Mason’s 5G O-RAN testbed and two other 5G wireless testbeds at Virginia Tech, followed by in-field building test setting in collaboration with Arlington County Fire Department.

The proposed 5G-IPS system will enable a new capability that allows much greater situation awareness of first responders that are in harm's way by knowing their precise location, collaborating in indoor map building, and communicating seamlessly among key first responders.

Find NIST abstract here.