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Underwater sensor networks (UWSN) are widely used in many applications, such as oceanic resource exploration, pollution monitoring, tsunami warnings and mine reconnaissance. In UWSNs, determining the location information of each sensor node is a critical issue, because many services are based on the localization results. In this paper, we introduce a novel underwater localization approach based on directional signals, which are transmitted by an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). Our method utilizes directional beacons (UDB) to replace traditional omni-directional localization which provides more accurate and efficient ways to locate the sensors themselves by simple calculations. The advantage of this novel scheme is that the communications between AUV and sensors are not necessary because the AUV broadcasts signals and sensors only need to passively listen to the signals. Since the energy consumption for transmissions in underwater environments is a nontrivial factor, our localization scheme not only supports accurate positioning, but also reduces energy consumption of sensors. We evaluate our scheme by simulations. The results show that our new approach is very precise in a strap area. At the same time, we minimize the number of beacons issued from the AUV.
Date of Conference: 8-10 Dec. 2008