Communication, localisation and sensing with UWB: technology, applications and ecosystem

Tuesday 5 December 2023, 12h00-19h00
@ imec, Leuven

This workshops builds upon our very popular and successful Ultra-WideBand (UWB) event in November last year, where we presented and demonstrated innovative UWB technologies for wireless communication, accurate positioning and advanced sensing.

Thanks to the cm-level ranging accuracy, UWB is one of the fastest-growing technologies adopted in Real-Time Localization Systems (RTLS), with applications in logistics, secure access control, navigation, human-robot interaction, etc

UWB technology is also recognised for its very powerful sensing capabilities (“radar sensing”) that enable human presence detection (including unobtrusive vital sign monitoring), crowd estimation, activity detection, fall detection, etc

And lastly, UWB also supports high data-rate (> Gbps) wireless connectivity at short distances, with very low energy consumption.

In this workshop, experts from academia and industry will

  • give a general overview of the current UWB ecosystem
  • present the latest technology innovations for UWB-based communication, localisation and sensing
  • compare UWB and BLE for accurate ranging and localisation
  • present new research directions for powerful localisation and sensing in challenging conditions
  • present and demonstrate applications of UWB-technology (in products of local companies)


12h00 Registration & Sandwich lunch
13h00 Introduction
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Kris Hermus, Coordinator Wireless Community & Innovation Program Manager Flanders, imec
13h20 The UWB ecosystem for communication, localisation and sensing
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Peng Zhang, Program Manager, imec-NL @ Holst Centre

Ultra-wideband (UWB) technology regained popularity in 2019 before the wireless standard IEEE 802.15.4z was officially released in 2020. Since then, tier-twos, tier-ones, and OEMs in the smartphone, automotive, and industrial sectors have actively adopted UWB in their portfolios and pushed them to market. This presentation aims to provide a generic overview of the current UWB ecosystem. Trends in leading application consortia such as FiRa and CCC will be covered. Also, we will discuss critical new features from the next-gen standard IEEE 802.15.4ab with their potential impact on the current ecosystem. Moreover, we will highlight some emerging (niche) markets where UWB’s unique technology properties are leveraged.

13h50 Powerful sensing (of vital signs) with multiple UWB radars
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Sofie Pollin, Professor, KU Leuven-ESAT and Principal Scientist, imec

Vital sign sensing has been shown to be feasible using Wi-Fi sensing systems. Multi-person vital sign sensing and localisation however remain challenging. In this presentation, we present some use cases for multi-person vital sign sensing and localisation. We map them to possible sensing topologies and technologies.

14h15 Comparing UWB and BLE for accurate ranging and localisation
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Peng Zhang, Program Manager, imec-NL @ Holst Centre

Ultra-wideband (UWB) and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) can provide accurate ranging and localization. Due to the nature difference between these two radio techniques, UWB and BLE have their advantages for different use cases. This presentation aims to provide a comparison overview of these two ranging technologies. Also, the vision of how these two techniques can potentially improve their ranging performance will be shared.

  • Demo 1 – RTLOC: UWB in sports : practical insights on deploying Ultra-Wideband technology in sports analytics.
  • Demo 2 – imec-IDLab-UGent: single-anchor localisation and vital sign monitoring using UWB
  • Demo 3 – Flanders Make:  Listen and locate, UWB listener locating itself
  • Demo 4 – Agilica: Autonomous drone landing on moving platforms, based on UWB positioning
  • Demo 5 – Pozyx: large-scale animal tracking with UWB
  • Demo 6 – Qorvo: UWB in the Smart Home, Point & Control your Matter devices
15h55 Multi-antenna systems for joint distance and AOA estimation: opportunities and challenges
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Jo Verhaevert, Professor, imec-IDLab-UGent

In this talk the opportunities and challenges in designing and realizing multi-antenna systems for joint distance and angle-of-arrival estimation are discussed. By using our modular system-oriented full-wave framework, the antenna system is co-designed and optimized for minimal pulse distortion in the time domain in a fast and time-efficient way, thereby integrating all platform effects. Different robust hemispherical and omnidirectional antenna arrays in a compact footprint are discussed, keeping radiation characteristics stable after deployment on challenging platforms.

16h10 Promising use cases of UWB in railway and healthcare
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Pieter Crombez, Product and Innovation Manager – Research Lead, Televic Healthcare

Televic empowers critical communication through technology in each of its niche markets. Reliable wireless communication makes the difference in many of our products. During this talk, promising use cases for UWB in railway and healthcare will be discussed and specific challenges for different application domains will be presented. The ability for joint communication, localization, and sensing offers new opportunities but still requires research to overcome these challenges.

16h25 Robust IMU-based mitigation of human body shadowing in UWB indoor positioning
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David Plets, Professor, imec-WAVES-UGent

Ultra-wideband (UWB) indoor positioning systems have the potential to achieve sub-decimeter-level accuracy. However, the ranging performance degrades significantly under Non-Line-of-Sight (NLoS) conditions. Detection and mitigation of NLoS conditions is a complex problem, and has been the subject of many works over the past decades. When localizing humans, human body shadowing (HBS) is a particular and specific cause of NLoS. This work presents an HBS mitigation strategy based on the orientation of the body and tag relative to the UWB anchors. The HBS mitigation strategy involves a robust range error model, interacting with a tracking algorithm. The model consists of a bank of Gaussian Mixture Models (GMMs), from which an appropriate GMM is selected based on the relative body-tag-anchor orientation. The relative orientation is estimated by means of an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) attached to the tag, and a candidate position provided by the tracking algorithm. The selected GMM is used as likelihood function for the tracking algorithm to improve localization accuracy. The implemented algorithms are validated on dynamic UWB ranging measurements in an industrial lab environment, achieving a 33% reduction of the p75 error.

16h40 Can we make UWB localisation and radar sensing more accurate with AI?
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Eli De Poorter, Professor, imec-IDLab-UGent

In scientific literature, machine learning is a popular approach to boost UWB localization accuracy or radar recognition accuracy. In this presentation, we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using machine learning in these applications. We argue in which applications for UWB machine learning currently makes sense and we discuss future trends and expected innovations in this domain.
17h00 Plenary Q&A session
17h20 Networking reception
19h00 End of the workshop



  • Imec employees and residents: free of charge
  • Employees of Wireless Community members: free of charge
  • User group members of COLOSENS project: free of charge
  • Others:
    • 80 EUR (excl VAT) early bird until November 28
    • 100 EUR (excl VAT) late registration from November 29

Please fill in your details in this Event Registration Form below and you will be automatically registered.
A few days prior to the event you will receive a confirmation email with all practical details.

Please contact us at for any question or remark.