Real-Time Positioning over Wi-Fi 6

Engineering, IT, Mathematics and Statistics

PLEASE NOTE

  • Due to the nature of the project, Codan is willing to sponsor an internship for two students with skills in different domains. Please see “skills wish list” section below.
  • This internship is able to cover project costs for domestic students only.

ABOUT THE INDUSTRY PARTNER

Codan is a global technology company with a track record of investment and innovation across the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics disciplines. In addition, their products are used in some of the most remote and austere environments which use adds to the technical challenge.

Codan subsidiary, Minetec based in Perth WA, has pioneered the development of high-precision positioning systems for use in Underground Mines. This work leverages original patents licenced from CSIRO and then productised over the last 5 years.

WHAT’S IN IT FOR YOU?

  • Gain practical and industry experience working on this project.
  • Gain experience working on the Wi-Fi 6 software stack and influence the development of the standard as it matures (fine time measurement protocols)
  • Opportunity to collaborate with an established high performing product development team.
  • Gain experience building real-world highly scalable systems.

RESEARCH TO BE CONDUCTED

Wi-Fi technology has evolved significantly since it was made available to the general public in 1997. The 802.11 standard has managed to stay ahead of the demanding bandwidth and throughput needs by making significant performance and efficiency improvements in both hardware and software technologies. Starting from Wi-Fi 1 which operated on a 22 MHz narrow band, the current active Wi-Fi 5 standard operates on an 80 MHz wide band. The evolving standard, Wi-Fi 6, promises high-speed connections by doubling the operating band to 160 MHz. This wideband operation makes it ideal to build a myriad of applications – such as ranging, localisation and tracking.

Codan wishes to pursue a research project leveraging the CSI (channel state information) available as part of the Wi-Fi-6 (802.11ax) wideband standard to build a software-defined real-time positioning system.

CSI information is available at a lower level of the firmware; however, it is not provided by all manufactures of Wi-Fi 6 hardware for general application consumption. Codan has collaborated with Intel’s Research Centre in Israel in order to make the CSI information accessible for the development of positioning applications. Using the CSI available on the wideband transmission allows Codan to develop a reliable, high-accuracy real-time positioning system without having to rely on custom made hardware. This allows Codan to provide Real-Time Location Services over standard devices (smartphones and access points).

Over the last number of years, Codan has partnered with CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation) and licensed the WASP technology (wireless ad hoc system for positioning) to implement a TOA (time of arrival) based ranging solution which is built on a custom hardware and software platform. This knowledge and existing hardware/software stack can be used as a starting point for the Wi-Fi 6 based research and development.

SUMMARY OF THE PROPOSED RESEARCH

The research project involves building a real-time positioning platform that can track/triangulate Wi-Fi 6 compliant devices with a high degree of accuracy. The platform shall be capable of producing range measurements and positioning on both the custom build and standard Wi-Fi 6 devices.

Custom-built devices can use a TOA/TOF (Time of arrival/time of flight) style algorithm to resolve positioning to an accuracy of up to 10 cm. Non-custom and Wi-Fi 6 standard-compliant devices shall be positioned with an accuracy from 1m to 3m using TDOA (Time difference of arrival) style algorithm.

The following are some of the objectives of the research:

  • Prove the validity of the concept (software-defined real-time positioning over Wi-Fi 6) using the software development kit provided by Intel.
  • Develop the positioning algorithms to be practical in real world applications and at scale
    • Reduced node density: optimise the number of fixed devices required to achieve  higher degree of positioning accuracy for both TOA and TDOA approach.
    • Increased range: leverage the Wi-Fi 6 standard to maximise the range over which the solution operates.
    • Hardware agnostic: the solution shall be easily portable/adaptable to a wide range of standard compliance hardware.
    • Develop algorithms to optimise energy usage on custom-built devices: the solution shall be adaptable to battery powered portable devices.

SKILLS WISH LIST

If you’re a PhD student and meet some or all the below we want to hear from you. We strongly encourage women, indigenous and disadvantaged candidates to apply:

Mathematics:

  • Exceptional skills in computer science, simulation and algorithm development
  • Experience with probabilistic estimation and maths
  • Experience developing highly scalable algorithms
  • Programming experience in Python, MATLAB

Embedded Software:

  • Expertise in digital signal processing and Embedded software development
  • Experience with the wireless software stack and computer networking is highly desirable
  • Programming experience
  • Linux experience

RESEARCH OUTCOMES

  • A software defined real-time positioning solution for the Intel Wi-Fi 6 chipset.
  • Flexible and Scalable algorithms that can easily adapt to changing environment meeting the objectives listed in proposed research section.
  • Research papers / simulation and technical validation documentation of the research performed.

ADDITIONAL DETAILS

The intern will receive $3,000 per month of the internship, usually in the form of stipend payments.

It is expected that the intern will primarily undertake this research project during regular business hours, spending at least 80% of their time on-site with the industry partner. The intern will be expected to maintain contact with their academic mentor throughout the internship either through face-to-face or phone meetings as appropriate.

The intern and their academic mentor will have the opportunity to negotiate the project’s scope, milestones and timeline during the project planning stage.

LOCATION:
Perth, WA / Adelaide, SA
DURATION:
5 months
CLOSING DATE:
01/04/2020
ELIGIBILITY:
Domestic students only
REF NO:
APR - 1387

INTERNSHIP CONTACT

CONNECT WITH APR.INTERN

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