I am a computer engineering student and am working on a senior design capstone project on a team of three with one mechanical and one electrical engineering student. We are trying to design and prototype a small robotic boat that will track an open water swimmer (triathlete training on a lake or pond) to provide aid if they require it and track training data. Our preliminary design right now is to have an ADF7012 transmitter operating at 80MHz worn by the swimmer (on the head or upper arm - hopefully mostly out of the water) to send out a constant signal for tracking the swimmer at a range of about 10ft.
Three AD8362 detectors are planned to be used for tracking the swimmer. This will be done by have one detector on each side of the boat to determine which way it should turn. For example, if the left detector shows a higher signal strength than the right detector it will turn to the left to bring the right detector strength up to the point that they are both about the same. This will mean that it is facing the swimmer again and can continue forward. The third detector will be on the back of the boat to determine if the boat has gotten turned around and is heading away from the swimmer.
We are under the constraints of a budget of $1000.00.
The questions we have are:
Is this a feasible application of these ICs? If not, can you point us in a better direction?
Will the detectors output interpretable signals with enough sensitivity at 7 - 15 ft distance from the swimmer and about 2ft separation from each other on the boat?