Faculty Advisor

David Cyganski

Faculty Advisor

Arthur Heinricher

Faculty Advisor

R. James Duckworth


This thesis is in support of the Precision Personnel Locator (PPL) project being conducted by Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). The overall goal of the PPL project is to locate firemen and other emergency personnel in buildings using Radio Frequency (RF) techniques. The aspiration is to prevent a tragedy similar to the Worcester Cold Storage fire of 1999. The Mantenna homing wand is a spinoff of the PPL system which uses the Near Field properties of Very Low Frequency (VLF band) waves. The Mantenna has been used to successfully demonstrate the ability to locate targets inside harsh RF environments and other radio opaque environments where normal radiation field based systems have degraded performance, such as commercial, industrial, and apartment buildings. This thesis builds upon the Mantenna rescue device by construction of a transmitter subsystem which is physically smaller than the previous version by redesign of the compact VLF antenna. Additionally, exploitation of the approach used by the Mantenna for homing purposes is explored for full location estimation. This work provides the theoretical background and proof of concept test of a Near Field based location system. Simulation and test results are compared for a minimal configuration involving a single receiver.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Electrical & Computer Engineering

Project Type


Date Accepted





Personnel Location, Mantenna, Near Field