Localization in an industrial environment: a case study on the difficulties for positioning in a harsh environment

Michael Hölzl, Roland Neumeier, Gerald Ostermayer

International Journal of Distributed Sensor Networks, 2015

While indoor localization has become a highly growing application domain in the last few years, it is hardly investigated in industrial environments. Interferences of magnetic fields, shadowing and multi-path propagation discourages positioning system vendors to port their techniques to these harsh environments. However, the actual influence of these interferences to the positioning accuracy and the differences between an industrial an non-industrial environment has never been evaluated. This paper analyzes the actual differences for a positioning technique that is based on Wi-Fi fingerprinting, map matching, dead reckoning, filtering and a plausibility determination. An investigation of the Wi-Fi signal strengths and compass sensor values in an industrial and a non-industrial environment thereby showed that the differences between them are significant. In fact, they show that more interferences and shadowing in the industrial environment resulted in even more accurate positioning.