TRX research and development programs include customer-driven enhancements to the NEON mission critical and mobile solutions, research programs that extend the TRX sensor and map fusion technology to accommodate new sensor classes and applications, and the delivery of APIs for the integration of TRX indoor location and mapping algorithms with third party systems.
Collaborative Indoor Mapping Technologies, National Science Foundation
TRX is developing a smart phone application that creates indoor maps through sensor fusion and crowd-sourcing. Commercial and enterprise applications require indoor maps to accurately calculate and display location. This application creates a global indoor map database dynamically as individuals move about indoor spaces using sensors in the phone. Building features and navigable passageways are detected and displayed, with accuracy increasing as the number of users detecting the features increases. The solution merges and fuses sensor data coming from many users carrying commercial cellular devices to incrementally update a global map of indoor spaces.
Navigation Aid for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Federal Highway Administration
TRX GPS-denied navigation technology is being leveraged to develop a navigation aid for the blind and visually impaired. The primary objective is to provide a navigation aid that can track the location of a blind person anywhere, including areas where GPS is not available or reliable (for example, indoors or in urban areas with tall buildings). A second objective is to look ahead in time and space to plan the route to get to a destination and adaptively update the route based on recognized obstacles to be avoided (for example, people or construction within the path). A third objective is to take gestural input and provide natural route guidance based on tactile stimulus instead of relying solely on auditory or visual instructions. The system will verify that the user has reached the correct destination, and find stairs, elevators, buttons, hallways, and doors in the visual scope to help with the navigation. The system will also take input from and provide input to intelligent traffic systems.
Handheld Apps for Warfighters, DARPA
As military operations move to urban, cavernous, foliage covered or indoor environments, position navigation and time information becomes more difficult and in some cases impossible to deduce from GPS signals alone. TRX is developing and implementing an Android-based application that delivers GPS-denied navigation and mapping for tactical battlefield use. The application delivers GPS-denied (e.g., indoors, underground, urban canyon) positioning information on the handheld, provides a handheld GUI that will show personnel their 3D location, and makes 3D maps of the areas dismounted soldiers traverse as they travel. The cell phone data channel is used for communications back to an optional server-based application that, when available, enhances accuracy and delivers situational awareness for commanding officers. TRX is developing an API to make the GPS-denied tracking, location, and mapping information available for integration into existing GPS tracking and mapping applications.
Distributed Navigation, US Army
TRX Systems is delivering a soldier navigation solution that uses team-wide information and collaborative distributed computing to provide a position accuracy of 1m in GPS denied environments. The goal of high accuracy and robust navigation for mobile soldiers requires a flexible system design that makes use of all available information. A network of soldiers must be able to move seamlessly from operating individually to team-wide navigation to share fundamental measurements. To accomplish this, the soldier worn navigation solution will distribute navigation computation to the individual soldier (taking into account the limited computational ability available on soldier equipment). This system will also leverage the available communications (to other squad members and optionally to ground sensors, vehicle based navigation systems and command) to share dynamic and timely information to improve the navigation solution.
Geospatial Location, Accountability, and Navigation System for Emergency Responders (GLANSER), Honeywell (DHS)
The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (Program manager - Dr. Jalal Mapar) has sponsored Honeywell, with team members Argon ST and TRX Systems, to develop the Geo-spatial Location, Accountability and Navigation System for Emergency Responders (GLANSER). GLANSER provides accurate and reliable location of Emergency Responders (ERs) in all types of environments presents multifaceted technological challenges. The system is intended to provide indoor/outdoor precision navigation, robust communications and real-time position updates on remote command display devices. Operational requirements include rapid and nonintrusive deployment, scalability to 500 users and seamless integration with existing procedures. Additional challenges are imposed by the need for a device that minimizes size, weight, and power with the ability to operate in uncertain and potentially hazardous in-building environments.
High Accuracy, Non-GPS Pose Estimation and Real-Time Depth Sensing, DARPA
As the threat landscape continues to evolve, modern forces and especially foot mounted soldiers are increasingly tasked with conducting operations in either complex urban or remote cavernous environments where GPS signals are severely corrupted and/or unusable. The ability to track and navigate in unfamiliar subsurface environments such as canyons, subterranean caves, mines or other manmade subsurface structures is imperative to the success of modern warfare operations. In this work, TRX is applying and extending the TRX inference based positioning and mapping system to navigation in rugged natural environments. An open navigation core architecture facilitates integration of other sensors or algorithms. Additionally commercial optical sensors are being added to the system to improve localization accuracy to the level that will improve map accuracy and facilitate mixed reality operations (the merging of real and virtual worlds to produce new environments and visualizations where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time). The addition of optical sensors provides external reference corrections to the system that minimize the risk of large errors from operational scenarios using an unconstrained set of motions.
Embedded Training Enhancement Support Devices for Ground Soldier Systems, US Army
This program provides soldiers with the capability to train anywhere at any time without requiring installed infrastructure. The program includes design of a handheld device to provide soldiers improved live, virtual, and constructive embedded training support while remaining within the required cost, weight and power limitations. The TRX Tracking System is used to wirelessly track the location and orientation of multiple individuals in indoor (GPS-denied) or outdoor environments.
First Responder Tracking System, NSF
This program focused on early development of the TRX indoor location technology to support tracking of first responders, including developing prototype systems and testing with the user community.