The Fieldtracks Project

Fieldtracks implements localization and tracking for firefighters, medics & actors during field training exercises. It is based on BLE, ESP32 and mesh networking; it focuses on both indoor and outdoor deployments. For details see the recording of our talk at FOSDEM 2020.

Blog posts

  • JellingStone rewrite - a new wire procotol

    JellingStone is the software for ESP32-devices. It utilizes Bluetooth for scanning (i.e. detecting) and emitting beacons. Results are transmitted over MQTT and WLAN. It is based on ESP-IDF.

    Recently, a rewrite was needed, and we moved to a byte-oriented wire-protocol for reports. It is already implemented in JellingStone but changes to the StoneAggregator are yet to be done.

    Full article
  • Almost stalled, but not dead.

    In the last monts, there was very little progress in this project. Probably, it’ll be like this for a while.

    The annual field execerise in Pforzheim is canceled for the second time in a row this year. Still, the risk of Covid-19 infections remains a major blocker for larger trainings, especially including actors.

    Nevertheless, there is some progress. We had an online hackathon in March and we will continue to develop and refactor our codebase. But not seeing a field deployment in the near future, there is no fixed release date or specific plan to implement a certain featureset.

    Stay safe! yanosz

  • R2R: Hackathon

    Machen wir einen Hackathon // Let’s have a hackathon:

    Full article
  • Dockerizing the Environment

    Deployment and development can be done using Docker. Respective sources are available at

    Full article
  • Meet us at FOSDEM 2020

    We’re going to give a short presentiation at FOSDEM 2020. The session will take place in the Internet of Things devroom devroom (UD2.218) on Sunday from 14:30 til 15:00. It will cover a short demo and some background information.

    Details can be found at

    Greetz, yanosz

  • Testing DSL and overlay networks

    Altough our first field test went well, the network infrastructure has still room for improvements. This article explains some ideas for integrating a Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) based network into field tracks and their evaluation.

    Full article
  • JellingStone v1.0.0 released

    We have just released JellingStone v1.0.0. Downloads are available at The binaries are used by Flashtool and fieldmon for provisioning.

    Version 1.0.0 supports beaconing, scanning, and transmitting results over mqtt \o/.

    Have fun 😉.

  • Outlining components, network architecture and design

    Implementing an indoor localization system such as Fieldtracks includes designing a network infrastructure for transporting and processing sensor data. This blog post outlines its design and challenges.

    Full article
  • Meetup (monthly)

    We’ve established a monthly meetup:

    Please contact if you are interested.

  • Hackathon

    We are going to have a small hackathon next weekend. We’re going to start at 2019-04-13 11:00 CEST. Location:

    Please contact if you wanna join us.

    Happy Hacking 😉

  • Making progress

    It has been a while since the project started and we have made some progress in development. Let us have short look at our current codebase:

    • JellingStone is our ESP32 firmware. It supports Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) scanning and beaconing and is almost complete. Sensor data is transported using Wifi and MQTT.
    • StoneAggregator is a python script to process MQTT-data originating from JellingStone. It aggregates sensor data and stores it using retained MQTT messages. By that, clients receive all data directly after connecting.
    • fieldmon is a Angular based web application to display sensor data and manage stones. It is probably the most complex component of Fieldtracks. Unlike traccar or owntracks, fieldmon performs localization using a particle simulation. It is under heavy development.
    • StoneSimulator is a rather small python script for testing. It generates sensor data and publishes it via MQTT.

    Besides of that, there is mqtt2msql to log all sensor data to a MySQL database and ansible-envs to instantiate environments for integration testing. Flashtool - mqtt client for flashing esp32 devices using a Raspberry Pi is in early development and will be published soon.

  • Early stage of development

    This project is still in its very early stage of development. At the moment we focus on evaluating existing systems (, and technologies (esp32).

    Contact us in case you’re interested in helping as a developer.

  • Sketching the idea

    This project aims at creating a tracking system to be used in field exercises by relief organizations.


    • Tracking is done indoor and outdoor.
    • Location data is analyzed in real-time and saved for later analysis.
    • The system is based on Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). Wifi networks may improve its accuracy.
    • Smartphones (android, iOS) are integrated:
      • To allow outdoor-tracking in large areas (GPS).
      • As active (scanning) or passive (beaconing) devices.
    • A wifi (mesh) setup and the internet are used to transmit location data. A wifi setup is needed in indoor scenarios (cave, tunnel), while existing GPRS/UMTS/LTE networks cover large areas (outdoor).
    • An active scanning infrastructure (i.e. eps32, mqtt) provides beaconing and scans for mobile devices.

    Nice to have

    • Site navigation using smartphones
    • Low cost, wide area networks (i.e. LoraWAN) for large outdoor areas not covered by existing mobile networks
    • GPS receivers assisting the outdoor deployment of BLE-Beacons.


    We focus on creating:

    1. An IoT-firmware implementing active scanning and real-time analysis (i.e. using esp32)
    2. An iOS / Android app supporting active and / or passive scanning using ordinary smartphones
    3. A tactical workbench to be used in field
    4. A deployment-guide (incl. mesh / wifi / internet)

    Future work may cover tactical evaluations, tools for retrospective analysis and related technologies (i.e. solar wifi meshes)

  • Site online

    Being still in a very early stage of development, website and mailinglist are available, now. Some services are also online:

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