Real-Time Locating System (RTLS)

Real-time locating systems (RTLS)

Real-time locating systems (RTLS), according to international standard, incorrectly named “real-time location systems”, are used to track and identify the location of objects in real time using simple, inexpensive nodes (badges/tags) attached to or embedded in objects and devices (readers) that receive the wireless signals from these tags to determine their locations. RTLS typically refers to systems that provide passive or active (automatic) collection of location information.

For RTLS to function, the location of tagged items must be determined either by a central processor or by an embedded mobile computing facility. Locating is generally accomplished in one of the following ways according to international standard ISO/IEC 19762:

ID Signals from nodes are identifiable to a single reader in a sensory network thus indicating the coincidence of reader and nodes (according to international standard for RFID basics ISO/IEC 19762-3).

ID Signals from nodes are picked up by a multiplicity of readers in a sensory network and a position is estimated using one or more locating algorithms (according to international st andard for RTLS basics ISO/IEC 19762-5). See Methodologies used in Real Time Locating Systems listed below.

Locating signals from signposts with identifiers are transmitted to and received by the moving nodes with identifiers and then get relayed, usually via a second wireless channel, to a location processor.

Mobile nodes communicate with each other and perform metering distances with or without reference to resident systems of coordinates.