For the past few years, we have been improving our Real Time Locating System (RTLS) toolbox. Today, our SimpleLink CC26x2 Bluetooth® LE wireless MCUs and software stack (BLE5-Stack) solution elements enable development of Bluetooth 5.2 compliant direction finding solutions based on Received Signal Strength Indication (RSSI) and Angle of Arrival (AoA), with each leveraged to assist customers building advanced direction finding applications in various segments, such as automotive and industrial.
It should be understood that an actual end product implementation incorporating AoA direction finding locator capabilities (1) requires advanced knowledge and further integration by the customer that would not ordinarily be required in a product using Bluetooth LE for communication purposes. Some challenges the customer may be required to address with AoA in their locator product include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Embedded or system-level algorithms to achieve desired localization performance/angular accuracy while mitigating the presence of undesired signals (e.g. multi-path reception) in various operating environments
- Antenna design to match the end product’s industrial design constraints and/or performance expectations
With Bluetooth-qualified AoA capabilities now included in the SDK, we are making the following modifications in our support for AoA:
- For SDK 5.20 and later, in conformity with Bluetooth Low Energy specifications, RTLS examples only support “raw I/Q data” mode. I/Q data can be used for the development of algorithms that will need to be specific to your end product implementation.
- For SDK 5.20 and later, support for Angle of Arrival (AoA) has been removed from the RTLS visual demo.
The content of SimpleLink CC13x2 / CC26x2 SDK version 5.10 and earlier releases will remain accessible; however, limited E2E support for AoA will be provided in these earlier SDKs.
(1) Implementation incorporating AoA direction finding target capabilities do not require such advanced knowledge and can directly leverage the rtls_responder example provided in the SDK.