GPS-Based Management: How to Extend Its Coverage Underground?

GPS-Based Management: How to Extend Its Coverage Underground?
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Syntony GNSS

This article first appeared in the Railway-News magazine Issue 3 2021.

GPS-Based Management: How to Extend Its Coverage Underground?

When operating a large network used by thousands of collaborators, knowing the position of every asset is essential. For traffic management of course, and even more for safety reasons. Therefore, GPS offers the largest RF coverage to the outdoor world and is a global standard for location. GPS is universal and cheap and the data is easily sharable to optimise management. One problem remains though when entering a tunnel: the signal cannot penetrate underground, and all GPS-related technologies then become unusable.

Extending GPS Coverage

To meet the expectations of indoor location problematics, many solutions have been developed, from Wi-Fi signals in urban areas to creating a network of antennas using beacons. While those solutions answer some specific use cases, none of them completely answer all indoor problematics at once: compatibility with existing systems and receivers, scalability, compliance with all location-related use cases, and so on.

GPS had already solved that issue a long time ago: the only remaining challenge was to extend its coverage to underground areas: GNSS expert Syntony has been working on a GPS coverage extension solution: SubWAVE. Thanks to high-precision GNSS simulators, it is now possible to emulate synthetic GNSS signals in real-time, providing all GPS receivers with seamless indoor location.

Safety for Everyone

One of the main advantages of GNSS coverage extension underground is the ability to keep an eye on the location of workers and trains to prevent potential accidents…

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