Skip to Main Content
Wireless sensor networks have the potential to become the pervasive sensing (and actuating) technology of the future. For many applications, a large number of inexpensive sensors is preferable to a few expensive ones. The large number of sensors in a sensor network and most application scenarios preclude hand placement of the sensors. Determining the physical location of the sensors after they have been deployed is known as the problem of localization. We present a localization technique based on a single mobile beacon aware of its position (e.g. by being equipped with a GPS receiver). Sensor nodes receiving beacon packets infer proximity constraints to the mobile beacon and use them to construct and maintain position estimates. The proposed scheme is radio-frequency based, and thus no extra hardware is necessary. The accuracy (on the order of a few meters in most cases) is sufficient for most applications. An implementation is used to evaluate the performance of the proposed approach.