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Topic: Multi-nodal Relative Position Display (MNRPD)

Name: Matt Anzivino and Cliff Sosin

Advisor: Erik Cheever

There exists a need for a system that allows teams of individuals operating in chaotic environments to know the relative position of their teammates. The Multi-Nodal Relative Position Display will accomplish this goal.

The design team has discussed this device with Erik Cheever and Bruce Maxwell and has broken down the project into 3 major components. First, each device will need to some sort of self locating device (GPS). Second, we will need to implement a wireless communication system to allow the devices to share their locations with one another. Third, we will need to implement some sort of display system to show the user the relative position of the other users.

In regards to the self locating system, we plan to use WAAS (wide area augmentation system) compatible GPS (accurate to 3m 95% of the time) to allow each device to locate itself. Garmin manufactures nice self contained serial in, serial out WAAS compatible GPS systems, which we will seek to acquire as cheaply as possible

For our wireless communication system, we would like to implement a peer to peer system operating in the 900 MHz band with a range of 150ft -300ft. One of our design goals will be to implement as little new low level hardware as possible especially in regards to the RF communication systems.

For our display system, we would like to use the VGA capabilities of the Altera Boards (or another commercial VGA system) in conjunction with the portable displays in the robotics lab.

In terms of general process, we will try to get a basic system working then improve on it by adding a series of extensions. Our first goal will be to have the units get their location from their GPS unit, and send that information (in their predetermined channel) to the other units who would receive the data and output it to a simple text display. From their we would implement as many as possible of the following extensions including: a nice VGA driven graphical display, dynamic channel allocation, use of orientation information to make the display more intuitive, more robustness for real world applications.