Localization in underground tunnels

By Pereira, F.; Moreira, A.; Theis, C.; Ricardo, M.

Indoor Wayfinding and Navigation

2015

Abstract

Positioning technologies are becoming ubiquitous and are being used more and more frequently for supporting a large variety of applica- tions. For outdoor applications, global navigation satellite systems (GNSSs), such as the global positioning system (GPS), are the most common and popular choice because of their wide coverage. GPS is also augmented with network-based systems that exploit existing wireless and mobile networks for providing positioning functions where GPS is not available or to save energy in battery-powered devices. Indoors, GNSSs are not a viable solution, but many applications require very accurate, fast, and exible positioning, tracking, and navigation functions. These and other requirements have stim- ulated research activities, in both industry and academia, where a variety of fundamental principles, techniques, and sensors are being integrated to provide positioning functions to many applications. The large majority of positioning technologies is for indoor environments, and most of the existing commercial products have been developed for use in of ce buildings, airports, shopping malls, factory plants, and similar spaces. There are, however, other spaces where positioning, tracking, and navigation systems play a central role in safety and in rescue operations, as well as in supporting speci c activities or for scienti c research activities in other elds. Among those spaces are underground tunnels, mines, and even underwater wells and caves. This chapter describes the research efforts over the past few years that have been put into the development of positioning systems for underground tun- nels, with particular emphasis in the case of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research), where localiza- tion aims at enabling more automatic and unmanned radiation surveys. Examples of positioning and localization systems that have been devel- oped in the past few years for underground facilities are presented in the fol- lowing section, together with a brief characterization of those spaces’ special conditions and the requirements of some of the most common applications. Section 5.2 provides a short overview of some of the most representative research efforts that are currently being carried out by many research teams around the world. In addition, some of the fundamental principles and tech- niques are identi ed, such as the use of leaky coaxial cables, as used at the LHC. In Section 5.3, we introduce the speci c environment of the LHC and de ne the positioning requirements for the envisaged application. This is followed by a detailed description of our approach and the results that have been achieved so far. Some last comments and remarks are presented in a nal section.

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