A High-Accuracy, Low-Cost Localization System for Wireless Sensor Networks

The problem of localization of wireless sensor nodes has long been  regarded as very difficult to solve, when considering the realities  of real world environments. In this paper, we formally describe,  design, implement and evaluate a novel localization system, called  Spotlight. Our system uses the spatio-temporal properties of well controlled events in the network (e.g., light), to obtain the locations of sensor nodes. We demonstrate that a high accuracy in localization can be achieved without the aid of expensive hardware on the sensor nodes, as required by other localization systems. We evaluate the performance of our system in deployments of Mica2 and XSM motes. Through performance evaluations of a real system deployed outdoors, we obtain a 20cm localization error. A sensor network, with any number of nodes, deployed in a 2500m2 area, can be localized in under 10 minutes, using a device that costs less than $1000. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of a sub-meter localization error, obtained in an outdoor environment, without equipping the wireless sensor nodes with specialized ranging hardware.

Radu Stoleru (University of Virginia)
Tian He (University of Virginia)
John A. Stankovic (University of Virginia)
David Luebke (University of Virginia)
Publication Date: 
Tuesday, November 1, 2005
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