TrackIO: Tracking First Responders Inside-Out

About TrackIO Technology: First responders, a critical lifeline of any society, often find themselves in precarious situations. The ability to track them real-time in unknown indoor environments, significantly contributes to the success of their mission as well as their safety. In this work, we present the design, implementation and evaluation of TrackIO – a novel system that is capable of accurately localizing and tracking mobile responders real-time in large indoor environments. TrackIO leverages the mobile virtual infrastructure offered by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), coupled with the balanced penetration-accuracy tradeoff offered by ultra wide-band (UWB), to accomplish this objective directly from outside, without relying on access to any indoor infrastructure.
Towards a practical system, TrackIO incorporates four novel mechanisms in its design that address key challenges to enable tracking responders:
(i) who are mobile with potentially non-uniform velocities (e.g. during turns),
(ii) deep indoors with challenged reachability,
(iii) in real-time even for a large network, and
(iv) with high accuracy even when impacted by UAV’s position error.

TrackIO’s real-world performance reveals that it can track static nodes with a median accuracy of about 1–1.5 m and mobile nodes with a median accuracy of 2–2.5 m.

Research Publication: "TrackIO: Tracking First Responders Inside-Out", Ashutosh Dhekne, Ayon Chakraborty, Karthik Sundaresan, Sampath Rangarajan, to appear in USENIX NSDI 2019, Boston, MA. Download Link 

Watch the demo below for a closer look at our system.