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The Swedish Board of Radio Navigation (RNN) has awarded its annual scholarship for outstanding work to Gustaf Dahl and Ludvig Johansson, who wrote their Master thesis at Syntronic. In their thesis, Dahl and Johansson investigated the possible impact that hardware can have on the precision of an Ultra-Wideband (UWB) positioning system.

Dahl and Johansson completed their thesis project at Syntronic’s Gothenburg office last year, as final year students at the department of space, earth, and environment at Chalmer’s University of Technology. They were nominated to the scholarship by their mentor and selected as winners by experts at the RNN.

“It feels great to have our work recognised by the RNN, which is an internationally renowned organization within radio navigation”

–  Gustaf Dahl, RF Engineer Syntronic Gothenburg

Quality and progressiveness

The RNN is a collaboration between government authorities and other stakeholders that play an active role in navigational matters, as users or suppliers of navigation and positioning services. Each year, the board selects an academic project that is particularly interesting from a radio navigation perspective. Quality and progressiveness are the main assessment criteria.

Dahl’s and Johansson’s Master thesis entitled Impact of Hardware Components on the Precision of a UWB Positioning System stood out for its quality and originality. “The scholarship confirms that the thesis project at Syntronic was of excellent quality and that UWB positioning systems are an interesting field with great potential,” says Gustaf Dahl.

Interesting findings

In their project, Dahl and Johansson attempted to isolate the influence that antennas- and oscillators have on the positioning precision by designing and manufacturing an UWB positioning evaluation system.

The thesis writers modified their system to evaluate how its performance was affected by the use of different antennas and oscillators, over the course of the project. They were able to identify an interesting trend: the band-reject properties and increased frequency stability had a positive impact on precision.

According to Dahl, UWB positioning systems have promising potential and should be subjected to further research. “It is an interesting field with many different areas of application,” he says. “UWB positioning systems can be used to construct more reliable driverless vehicles. Another possibility is to combine them with GPS systems, to make it easier for drivers to localize themselves in challenging environments where they risk losing their GPS connections easily, like in urban environments with tall buildings,” he adds.

UWB position systems remain an area of interest at Syntronic’s Gothenburg office. “It was a rewarding experience to write a thesis at a company with experienced engineers interested in the same solution. At Syntronic in Gothenburg, some interesting projects in which virtual recognition technology was combined with positioning technology to create so-called ‘sensor fusions’ have been carried out. By using these sensor fusions, it is possible to improve self-driven vehicles by expanding their ability to determine their position accurately,” Dahl explains.

Support from Syntronic in Gothenburg

The idea to produce a thesis focused on UWB positioning system was born at Chalmer’s University of Technology, where progressive areas of development form part of the syllabus. When Dahl read a thesis proposal on UWB positioning systems published on Syntronic’s website, it struck him as the perfect match. “It was a great opportunity to add an element of reality to our thesis project. When you write your thesis outside of the academic settings, with a company like Syntronic which is committed to develop new solutions, you get the chance to explore how your knowledge and findings can be used in practice,” he says. “Syntronic provided guidance, but at the same time, we were free to develop the project according to our own interests and visions,” Dahl adds.

The next step

In March, Dahl and Johansson presented their thesis a second time at a digital seminar organized by the RNN. The purpose was to give stakeholders in the field of radio navigation, such as the Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE), government authorities, and private sector representatives the opportunity to discover the findings. Approximately 60 people participated in the seminar.

Dahl, who joined Syntronic Gothenburg as an RF engineer in October 2020 after having graduated from Chalmer’s University of Technology, continues to explore his interest in UWB positioning systems – in a different role. “A new Master thesis related to UWB positioning systems is being produced by two students here at Syntronic Gothenburg at the moment. I follow their work attentively and look forward to the end result!” he concludes.

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