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1 GPS-less Low Cost Outdoor Localization For Very Small Devices

By Nirupama Bulusu, John Heidemann and Deborah Estrin

Abstract

Abstract—Instrumenting the physical world through large networks of wireless sensor nodes, particularly for applications like environmental monitoring of water and soil, requires that these nodes be very small, light, untethered and unobtrusive. The problem of localization, i.e., determining where a given node is physically located in a network is a challenging one, and yet extremely crucial for many of these applications. Practical considerations such as the small size, form factor, cost and power constraints of nodes preclude the reliance on GPS (Global Positioning System) on all nodes in these networks. In this paper, we review localization techniques and evaluate the effectiveness of a very simple connectivity-metric method for localization in outdoor environments that makes use of the inherent radio-frequency (RF) communications capabilities of these devices. A fixed number of reference points in the network with overlapping regions of coverage transmit periodic beacon signals. Nodes use a simple connectivity metric, that is more robust to environmental vagaries, to infer proximity to a given subset of these reference points. Nodes localize themselves to the centroid of their proximate reference points. The accuracy of localization is then dependent on the separation distance between two adjacent reference points and the transmission range of these reference points. Initial experimental results show that the accuracy for 90 % of our data points is within one-third of the separation distance. However future work is needed to extend the technique to more cluttered environments. Keywords—localization, location, radio-frequency wireless network. I

Year: 2011
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:10.1.1.183.4720
Provided by: CiteSeerX
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