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How do metallic environments affect indoor positioning systems and real-time location systems?

12 July 2023
Indoor positioning systems and real-time location systems are increasingly used technologies in various environments, from industry and public buildings to healthcare centers. However, there are environments where these systems face significant difficulties due to factors that can affect their accuracy and performance, such as the presence of metallic environments and interference with other systems.

Issues with indoor localization in metallic environments

Metallic environments, such as steel and aluminum structures or walls, can cause interference with the signals of indoor positioning systems and real-time location systems. This is because metals distort the signals of traditional indoor localization systems, making it difficult for positioning devices to receive and process them. This situation is commonly encountered in the industry but is also present in other types of infrastructures.
In addition to causing signal interference, the presence of metallic environments can also affect the ability of indoor positioning systems and real-time location systems to determine the precise location of devices. Metals can obstruct the signals of traditional systems, preventing them from reaching the devices in optimal conditions. This can result in a loss of positioning accuracy or even the inability to define the position. In extreme cases, the object being located may "disappear" for the tracking system, or intermittent and imprecise information may be unusable.
This problem is significantly exacerbated when there is no direct line of sight between transmitters and receivers. In such cases, metallic and even non-metallic elements can shield and attenuate the direct signal, converting reflected signals into mere estimations.
To mitigate this impact, complex algorithms are often used to reconstruct, simulate, and estimate the position. Another approach is to significantly increase the number of antennas/beacons in the fixed installation, which usually escalates the cost and complexity of the installation.

The solution for indoor localization in metallic environments

Sileme is the indoor positioning system developed and patented by Skylife that solves all these problems with a unique and revolutionary approach. Its technology, independent of existing technologies so far, ensures that the object being located never disappears and is located with a minimal margin of error, even in complex structures with a high presence of metals. Additionally, it allows locating a large number of objects with a very limited deployment of beacons and electrical installation.
Furthermore, it is applicable in buildings with changing structures without the need to modify the installation, and it works in metallic environments without requiring a direct line of sight between the beacon and the object being located, thus resolving the problems faced by other technologies.
Because of all these advantages, Sileme is useful in multiple sectors. In the case of industry 4.0, Sileme can improve process efficiency, reduce downtime, or automate production by locating assets, work orders, and people.
In the logistics field, Sileme can be used to locate assets and personnel in warehouses, ensuring that the traceability of logistic processes and the location of key assets are never lost. In healthcare, Sileme can help maintain control over key assets such as medical equipment, patients, or personnel, reducing downtime and increasing security.
Finally, Sileme is also used for guiding, locating, and controlling people in public and private buildings, such as workers in hazardous situations or elderly individuals in need of special care. It can also be utilized for indoor emergencies and rescue operations, such as coordinating rescue personnel.

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Skylife Engineering S. L. is an Andalusian company that develops technological innovation with a high specialization in aerospace engineering applied to the aviation industry and other sectors, with the aim of offering solutions with a positive impact on society.

Calle Américo Vespucio, 5 Bloque 1 Local A 8-12
41092 Sevilla (España)

+34 955 26 03 04
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