Robust silent localization of underwater acoustic sensor network using mobile anchor(s)

Rahul Mourya*, Mauro Dragone, Yvan Petillot

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
93 Downloads (Pure)


Underwater acoustic sensor networks (UWASNs) can revolutionize the subsea domain by enabling low-cost monitoring of subsea assets and the marine environment. Accurate localization of the UWASNs is essential for these applications. In general, range-based localization techniques are preferred for their high accuracy in estimated locations. However, they can be severely affected by variable sound speed, multipath spreading, and other effects of the acoustic channel. In addition, an inefficient localization scheme can consume a significant amount of energy, reducing the effective life of the battery-powered sensor nodes. In this paper, we propose robust, efficient, and practically implementable localization schemes for static UWASNs. The proposed schemes are based on the Time-Difference-of-Arrival (TDoA) measurements and the nodes are localized passively, i.e., by just listening to beacon signals from multiple anchors, thus saving both the channel bandwidth and energy. The robustness in location estimates is achieved by considering an appropriate statistical noise model based on a plausible acoustic channel model and certain practical assumptions. To overcome the practical challenges of deploying and maintaining multiple permanent anchors for TDoA measurements, we propose practical schemes of using a single or multiple surface vehicles as virtual anchors. The robustness of localization is evaluated by simulations under realistic settings. By combining a mobile anchor(s) scheme with a robust estimator, this paper presents a complete package of efficient, robust, and practically usable localization schemes for low-cost UWASNs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number727
Issue number3
Early online date21 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021


  • Acoustic sensor network
  • Mobile anchor
  • Network localization
  • Robust estimation
  • TDoA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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