NIKE BLUETRACK: Blue Force Tracking in GNSS-Denied Environments Based on the Fusion of UWB, IMUs and 3D Models

Karin Mascher*, Markus Watzko, Axel Koppert, Julian Eder, Peter Hofer, Manfred Wieser

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Blue force tracking represents an essential task in the field of military applications. A blue force tracking system provides the location information of their own forces on a map to commanders. For the command post, this results in more efficient operation control with increasing safety. In underground structures (e.g., tunnels or subways), the localisation is challenging due to the lack of GNSS signals. This paper presents a localisation system for military or emergency forces tailored to usage in complex underground structures. In a particle filter, position changes from a dual foot-mounted INS are fused with opportunistic UWB ranges and data from a 3D tunnel model to derive position information. A concept to deal with the absence of UWB infrastructure or 3D tunnel models is illustrated. Recurrent neural network methodologies are applied to cope with different motion types of the operators. The evaluation of the positioning algorithm took place in a street tunnel. If a fully installed infrastructure was available, positioning errors under one metre were reached. The results also showed that the INS can bridge UWB outages. A particle-filter-based approach to UWB anchor mapping is presented, and the first simulation results showed its viability.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2982
Number of pages31
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022


  • indoor localisation
  • blue force tracking
  • multi-sensor fusion
  • UWB
  • foot-mounted inertial navigation
  • machine learning
  • 3D model
  • tunnel model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Information Systems
  • Instrumentation
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Biochemistry

Fields of Expertise

  • Information, Communication & Computing


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