Military Operations


Location Awareness for MOUT Training

Huntsville, Alabama, June 4, 2008

Today, Q-Track demonstrated a system for tracking trainees in a Military Operations on Urban Terrain (MOUT) Training Range. The training range comprised several steel cargo containers modified with doors and windows. Q-Track’s NFER® real-time location system (RTLS) relied on four Locator-Receivers deployed around the perimeter of the training range. The system successfully tracked a couple of tagged individuals throughout the 25 x 25m (75 x 75ft) compound, both around the outside and throughout the inside of the cargo containers. Accuracy was 1m (3ft) or better throughout the demonstration.

With 75% of the world’s population living in urban areas, US Armed Forces must practice Military Operations on Urban Terrain (MOUT) more than ever before. Preparing troops to fight in these compact and difficult environments requires innovative training ranges that can be readily modified to support novel and varied scenarios. Steel cargo containers, modified to resemble realistic buildings, provide an economical training ground that may be quickly reconfigured to meet training needs.

All too often, situational awareness in these cargo container compounds becomes every bit as challenging as in real urban combat. Trainers would like to be able to monitor and track the progress of combatants in the training arena. One method is to use video cameras. But this method does not provide enough data to the trainer. Trainers would like real-time tracking data on simulated combatants, but incumbent wireless tracking systems use high frequencies that cannot track inside the cargo containers without infrastructure inside the container.

Q-Track’s NFER® systems use low frequencies (typically around 1MHz) and long wavelength (typically 300m). Operating in the “near field,” within about one-third of a wavelength, NFER® systems can track tags inside cargo containers, even with infrastructure placed outside the containers. Thus, NFER® systems provide a comprehensive situational awareness tool for the training environment with a minimum of expensive infrastructure.

Huntsville, Alabama-based Q-Track Corporation (https://q-track.com) is the pioneer in applying low frequency, near-field indoor wireless location systems to solve challenging problems ranging from worker location and safety to supply chain management. The company’s proprietary NFER® technology is protected by several US patents.  NFER® technology underlies a variety of innovative real-time location systems expected to be released in early 2009.