REU Project: TeamTrak
TeamTrak is a hardware and software testbed for software and communication over wireless distributed
computing systems. The system consists of helmets outfitted with cameras in order to take photos of what
the user is looking at along with equipment to determine location and record that data along with the photo.
The resulting photos can provide more useful information and be searched through more efficiently than photos
that only record the time at which they were taken. The different TeamTrak users are also able to see one
another's locations while on a TeamTrak wireless network. These principles have applications in many areas
such as cartography, games and military coordination.
One thing I worked on was implementing a new method to determine location rather than the standard gps.
It was found that averaging the last few gps positions gives a better estimate of one's location than a single reading
Another task was to change the initialization sequence for the garmpin gps unit in order to download or upload an
almanac from a gps unit. This is useful to get GPS units that have innacurate or no almanac data to connect to
satelites quicker. I also gathered data to determine how accurate different methods of estimating location are
such as GPS, averaged GPS and accelerometer with compass.
One problem that we have encountered is using the compass to determine direction. While fairly accurate in ideal
conditions it is difficult to have stay level while walking around with the TeamTrak helmet on. A 3-axis compass
improves this problem to some degree but is still not ideal. A way of ensuring the compass remains level or
more advanced error correction would be useful in the future.
These images were created by plotting gps coordinates recorded during testing and overlaying these plots
onto an overhead image of the path that they were tested on. This was done in order to test the accuracy of
methods to determine location.