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Opportunities for Location Based Services

The Location and Timing Knowledge Transfer Network is one of a number of networks funded by the UK government through the Technology Strategy Board to stimulate wealth creation through innovation

We cover all location and timing technologies from satellite navigation, cell phones, eLoran, ultra-wideband systems, dedicated radio beacons and ultrasound and RFID. We cover associated applications such locationaware services, professional navigation and industrial logistics and asset location.

Markets are growing explosively as personal navigation devices become ubiquitous ? market penetration will reach 50% in Europe and the US in the next few years, and new applications are constantly appearing, fuelled by the increasing availability of high-speed mobile broadband.

In timing and synchronisation, telecoms networks are undergoing a revolution as they move from hard-wired circuits to packed switched systems. This, plus new applications such as multi-player online gaming and TV-overthe- internet, are creating new demands for timing and synchronisation.

The KTN is a managed network of 900 people in over 600 organisations, mainly in industry, but also academia and government, and we have strong links to other related networks increasing the value to our members. We hold timely and focused, themed events to keep our community abreast of latest developments and provide unrivalled networking opportunities. Many events are held jointly with other networks to increase the reach of the KTN. We issue fortnightly e-mail news alerts and host a dedicated KTN website, including an industry-leading events diary.

We also provide a capability directory to publicise members? capabilities and services, and to facilitate formation of partnerships. We signpost funding sources and opportunities, and provide one-to-one advice through our technology translators, who are themselves respected industry experts. We are an EPSRC CASE agent, awarding three studentships per year, and facilitate KTP awards by providing advice and assistance with partnering.

We also act as two-way channel between industry and government, informing the community of funding calls and initiatives, and conveying industry?s needs to government. The KTN is operated by the National Physical Laboratory on behalf of the Technology Strategy Board.

Membership is free!
To find out how we can help you or your business, contact Karen Barlow (, 020 8943 8711) or Bob Cockshott (, 020 8943 6754). Website:

Case study showing how the KTN can make a difference

The Location and Timing KTN helped establish a £4.1m, three-year, national research project with EPSRC and Department for Transport funding

The project, known as MESAGE (Mobile Environmental Sensing System Across Grid Environments), combines sensing and location technologies to collect and analyse environmental data. MESAGE ?s aim is to demonstrate networks of low-cost, location-aware sensors can gather information that assists in planning, management, and control of the environmental impacts of transport, and non-transport, processes.

MESSAGE uses bike couriers in Cambridge and London buses to move pollution-monitoring sensors around urban areas, recording pollution as it affects the public in cities.

The project is looking into how sensors can be deployed on vehicles and people ? effectively creating a mobile network of environmental probes. The sensors measure environmental data such as temperature and noise, as well as known pollutants (including CO, SO2, CO2, NOx and O3), together with the time and location. Significant progress has been made two years into the project ? trials in Cambridge have confirmed that data can be reliably collected from sensors carried by cycle couriers and pedestrians.

The Cambridge sensors use the carriers? mobile phones to provide location references for the environmental data they collect as they move around the city. A network of locationaware, wireless-connected sensors has been installed in Gateshead to continuously report CO, NOx and noise levels near the city centre. Meanwhile, Imperial College London is prototyping a novel, portable spectrometerbased sensor that measures a range of pollutants. These sensors, which are fitted with GPS, GPRS and WiFi, will be mounted on vehicles, including buses.

The MESSAGE team has developed an integrated computing architecture to process and manage the data collected by the different sensors. As a development aid, a computer model has been produced to characterise the vehicle-to-vehicle communication network for given vehicle patterns.

MESSAGE could also provide warnings of potentially hazardous areas to those with respiratory problems and allow them to select an alternative that has a lower risk of triggering, for example, an asthma attack. It could lead to real-time mitigation strategies that reduce the concentration of pollution in certain areas by rerouting traffic away from areas where pollution is rising.

One option might be to relocate traffic queues to areas where pollution can disperse more readily. It could influence future transport policy, as current pollution monitoring is restricted by a lack of data with sufficient spatial and temporal accuracy.

The Location & Timing KTN will play a key role in disseminating the project?s results, and will help in identifying exploitation opportunities.

Added the 26 August 2009 in category Innovation UK Vol5-1

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