Nordic Chipsets can support Indoor Location Tracking feature?

Hi Nordic Team, Can you please share any information regarding Indoor Location Tracking feature/application that nRF52840 can support? does this have AoA/AoD? and can this provide any kind of physical layer time-stamping for ToF/TDoA algorithms? What's the best location accuracy that can be achieved using this silicon? If i want to develop nRF52840 based Indoor Location Tracking application what kind of support i can get from you? What's the preferred module platform? does Nordic supports API for location developers? what's the best LOS & NLOS range one can get using this SoC? Kindly share this information

THanks & Best Regards, Hemamali

  • No, none of Nordic nRF5x chips support Angle of Arrival, Time of Flight or similar feature used in real-time positioning systems and solutions. You are left only on SW timers and RSSI measurements. Still there are solution using these features which achieve <2m accuracy even in complex indoors topologies, but it's mainly calibration/filtration magic happening in the backend. Looking forward what Nordic will reply;)

  • endnode is correct, not really supported. This may be of interest though.

  • thanks for your clarification! do you know what's the practical LOS/NLOS range can be achieved using latest Nordic BT5.0 solution? any real deployments based out of BT5.0 happened till now? if yes, what are the challenges seen with Sw timer/RSSI based schemes?

  • The only I know is that already with nRF52832 with standard 1Mbps air speed and +4dBm Tx power (+ good HW design) you can make 1km+ range on free air. With nRF52840 with higher Tx Power and potentially long-range air-speeds it can be much more. Still not really practical for any precise location tracking as far as I know... I don't understand what do you mean by NLOS (and how you would like to quantify it?) also don't understand why BT5.0 is so interesting for Indoor Location Tracking (smells like buzzword a little bit...). When it comes to SW solutions on Nordic chips I don't have any conclusions to share, I just know that it's possible to do basic system with <5m accuracy already with nRF51 and commercial RTLS systems based on Nordic or TI BLE chips are claiming down to 1m accuracy with optimized installations...

  • NLOS means Non line of sight conditions, the reason why BT5.0 could be interesting is: range is improved dramatically, power consumption is better and they are going to add AoA/AoD features which will really help to improve the accuracy with minimal Hw deployment. but we need to see how this will span out in real complex indoor environments, BT being a very Narrow band system.

    commercial RTLS systems based on Nordic or TI BLE chips are claiming down to 1m accuracy with optimized installations can you please share more details regarding these commercial systems? what are those companies able to achieve <1m accuracy in real world?