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VA Technical Reference Model v 20.4

Real Time Location Systems (RTLS)
Real Time Location Systems (RTLS) Standard or Specification

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Technologies must be operated and maintained in accordance with Federal and Department security and privacy policies and guidelines. More information on the proper use of the TRM can be found on the TRM Proper Use Tab/Section.

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Description: Real Time Locating Systems (RTLS) are wireless systems for identifying and tracking objects or people in or close to real time in a defined space (i.e., local, campus, wide area, regional, and global). The strategy uses fixed reference points that receive wireless signals from tags whose position is derived by measurements of the physical properties of the radio link. The method of location is typically through identification and location, generally employing one or more strategies, including: Time of Flight Ranging Systems; Amplitude Triangulation; Time Difference of Arrival (TDOA); Cellular Triangulation; Satellite Multilateration; and Angle of Arrival.

The International Organization for Standardization/International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC) has defined RTLS standards (ISO/IEC 24730) which at time of writing included the following parts:

  • Part 1 - ISO/IEC 24730-1:2014: Application programming interface (API).
  • Part 2 - ISO/IEC 24730-2:2006: Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) 2.4 GHz AIP. ISO/IEC 24730-2 is comprised of a main document and two additional parts, ISO/IEC 24730-21 and ISO/IEC 24730-22, and defines a networked location system that provides X-Y coordinates and data telemetry.
  • Part 21 - ISO/IEC 24730-21:2012: Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) 2.4 GHz AIP - Transmitters operating with a single spread code and employing a DBPSK data encoding and BPSK spreading scheme.
  • Part 22 - ISO/IEC 24730-22:2012: Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) 2.4 GHz AIP - Transmitters operating with multiple spread codes and employing a QPSK data encoding and Walsh offset QPSK (WOQPSK) spreading scheme.
  • Part 5 - ISO/IEC 24730-5:2010: Defines an AIP, which utilizes chirp spread spectrum (CSS) at frequencies from 2.4 GHz to 2.483 GHz.
  • Part 61 - ISO/IEC 24730-61:2013: Low rate pulse repetition frequency Ultra Wide Band (UWB) air interface - Defines the physical layer (PHY) and tag management layer (TML) of an ultra wide band (UWB) AIP that supports one directional simplex communication readers and tags.
  • Part 62 - ISO/IEC 24730-62:2013: High rate pulse repetition frequency Ultra Wide Band (UWB) air interface - Defines the AIP using a physical layer Ultra Wide Band (UWB) signaling mechanism (based on IEEE 802.15.4a UWB).


  • ISO is a developer of voluntary International Standards through global consensus. Standards areas include food safety, computers, agriculture and healthcare.

    Technology/Standard Usage Requirements: Users must ensure their use of this technology/standard is consistent with VA policies and standards, including, but not limited to, VA Handbooks 6102 and 6500; VA Directives 6004, 6513, and 6517; and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) standards, including Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS). Users must ensure sensitive data is properly protected in compliance with all VA regulations. Prior to use of this technology, users should check with their supervisor, Information Security Officer (ISO), Facility Chief Information Officer (CIO), or local Office of Information and Technology (OI&T) representative to ensure that all actions are consistent with current VA policies and procedures prior to implementation.
    Section 508 Information:
    Decision: View Decisions

    Decision Source: TRM Mgmt Group
    Decision Process: One-VA TRM v20.2
    Decision Date: 02/19/2020
    Aliases: asset tracking; wireless
    Introduced By: TRM Request
    Standards Body: ISO
    - The information contained on this page is accurate as of the Decision Date (02/19/2020).