local area location/tracking

I'm researching techniques for a project which involves tracking AUVs/Robots in a rugged envrionment where differential GPS (GPS/RTK)
coverage is not availabe and laser tracking might not be possible due to line of sight, limitations.
While I know what the requirements are for my project, I'm curious to find out what requirement would be needed for a general purpose tracking system for ground based (for now) vehicles/robots.
    1. what kind of tracking areas are useful (10x10m 100x100m,     etc...) ? How many beacons per area is acceptable.
    2. what accuracy over range (e.g. 1% is 0.1m in 10m) ?     horizontal ? what about vertical ?
    3. cost - here I'm looking for unit costs of the base stations,     and on the mobile system. could be in cost per area covered.
    4. readout interface
    does the robot need a readout from the mobile unit, readout     from base station/beacon stations. also, rs-232 vs. usb, pwm,     etc... E.g. a mobile unit could look like a GPS receiver and     output NMEA strings.
    5. power requirements (12VDC, 5VDC, watts ?)
    6. envrionment (temperature, dusty, wet, lot's noise(rf/acoustic) ?
    7. update rate (1hz, 10hz ?) does it need to be realtime, or can     it be post processing.
    8. max. number of vehicles to track.
I realize that different folks have different requirements, however, I'm trying to find out if there is a set of features/specs would would satisfy 80% of the applications for a given cost.
Thanks, -ingo
/* Ingo Cyliax, snipped-for-privacy@ezcomm.com, Tel: 812-391-0895 */

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