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The Electronic Tether

David Popelka and Timothy Threw
Advisors: Dr. Brian Huggins and Dr. James Sennott

In an age where kidnappings occur daily, parents need to know the constant location of their children. Numerous products have been designed to perform this task; however all have used signal strength to derive ranging information proving unreliable in noisy environments. To overcome this problem, the Electronic Tether uses a time of arrival system to measure round-trip range. The concept of "round-trip range" has been applied in long distance ranging for many years in radar and navigation systems. Accurate short distance ranging presents a major challenge; a radio or light pulse will travel between the parent and child in 10 billionths of a second. The tether system employs Spread Spectrum technology which utilizes Pseudo-Random Noise (PRN) encoding for unique system identification. The system consists of an Interrogator worn by the parent and a Transponder attached to the child. If the child exceeds a set distance, an alarm sounds in the Interrogator, warning the parent.

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