Bluetooth Direction Finding Tool Suite#

A Real Time Locating System (RTLS) consists of many locators that pick up the signals of asset tags to locate them in 3D space. To calculate the positions of the asset tags, you must know each locator’s position, orientation, and configuration (such as antenna array type, switching pattern, and so on). The Silicon Labs’ Real Time Locating (RTL) library also needs configuration parameters, such as estimation mode, azimuth, elevation constraints, and so on, to provide the best estimation for a given environment. The Bluetooth Direction Finding Tool Suite is meant to ease development with the Silicon Labs’ RTL library. It provides tools to configure the system, and also helps development with analyzer tools that calculate many output parameters from the observed IQ samples.

Note: The tools were created for demonstration purposes, and not to be used in production. For development purposes, start with the sample application described in AN1296: Application Development with Silicon Labs RTL Library.

The implementation described in AN1296 requires you to configure and build both individual locators and a locator host application in order to test the system. While the SDK examples provide the openness to customize and add new features to your direction find-ing project using RTL library APIs directly, the manual configuration of the locators and their topologies may not be a trivial task. It is simpler to configure a single locator and multi-locator setup through interactive graphical interfaces available through the Direction Finding Tools Suite. The Suite is composed of:

  • AoA Analyzer

  • Positioning Tool

Both are available through the Simplicity Studio Tools menu.

AoA Analyzer#

AoA Analyzer can:

  • Create a locator configuration file without the need to manually edit the .json file, to ease the configurations process.

  • Apply the configuration for a single locator board and run the RTL library to estimate angles from the incoming data (without the need to build and run any host sample application).

Positioning Tool#

While it is easy to configure a single locator and get angle information of asset tags, configuring and running a multi-locator setup to get position information can be rather complicated. To calculate position, the RTL needs to know the coordinates and orientation of the locator so that it can translate the angle feeds from each one of them with respect to the coordinate system of a given topology. Simplicity Studio provides the Positioning tool, which makes the configuration and testing of a multi-locator setup easy and quick.

Positioning Tool can:

  • Create a multi-locator topology without the need to manually edit the configuration .json file.

  • Add locators to the topology and configure their positioning RTL parameters (such coordinates and orientation) easily.

  • Apply the configuration and locate asset tags in 3D.

  • Import/Export a topology from/to a configuration .json file.

For details about the tools and references to other direction-finding documentation, see UG514: Using the Bluetooth® Direction Finding Tool Suite