In this customer driven project we were involved in developing the electronics for a tracker that is used to track e.g. children and dogs in real-time. The tracker communicates with a mobile network and navigation GPS satellites. The tracker works together with a smartphone app and tracks with a precision of a few meters. The phone app shows where the child is on the display and how far away. As an option, an alarm is triggered if the child moves further away than allowed. This GPS tracker is a consumer product that can operate in large parts of the world.
The requirements on location precision and timing accuracy had a significant impact on the signal characteristics. To fulfill these tough requirements we integrated a specific antenna design to an extremely small and yet affordable board. We also developed parts of the embedded software and optimized battery life. Finally, we assembled prototypes, the electronics in its case, and validated the whole design.
GPS technology is useful in many other contexts that require modern navigation, regardless if it is on land, at sea or in the air.
A GPS can also be used to get an accurate time reference.