Personal Dead-Reckoning System for Firefighters

Report Date: August 2010

There are various personal localization systems being developed to help commanders to track firefighters inside a structure and to reduce firefighter lives lost from being trapped, lost, or disoriented during structural fires. This presentation details a Personal Dead-Reckoning (PDR) navigation system to monitor the location of a firefighter inside a building. The system uses an inertial measurement unit embedded in the heel of a firefighter boot. Inertial systems have historically had issues with positional error increasing and drifting with time, leading to large errors in location. This PDR system removes this drift error from the accelerometers and gyros in the inertial measurement unit resulting in excellent positional accuracy in all three axes, including elevation. This system could enable firefighters’ positions to be tracked real-time without requiring any additional equipment to be set up on scene.

Please click on the “Report” button below to view the presentation Personal Dead-reckoning (PDR) System for Firefighters explaining the PDR system, the testing, and the direct application to firefighters. For additional technical details on the background of the PDR system, click here for a link to the paper Non-GPS Navigation for Security Personnel and First Responders.


There are no known applications at this time.

Do you know of an instance that this report was applied to?

Powered by ChronoForms -

  • University of Michigan

    Strengthened by 70,000 Engineering alumni and countless friends, a public mission and U-M’s across-the-board academic excellence -- 95 graduate programs in the US News top ten -- we’ve stretched well beyond renowned technical leadership and superb career preparation. We’re focused on growing a creative community.

Borenstein, Johann. Personal Dead-reckoning (PDR) System for Firefighters. Presentation at Precision Indoor Location and Tracking for Emergency Responders, Worcester, MA. 2010.

Ojeda, Lauro and Johann Borenstein. Non-GPS Navigation for Security Personnel and First Responders. Journal of Navigation, Vol. 60 No. 3, pp. 391-407. 2007.

Copyright Cambridge University Press, Journal of Navigation

Image Credit:
Rate this item
(0 votes)