University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering's Urbashi Mitra and Junting Chen have developed an algorithm for locating objects by leveraging collections of sensors that receive and transmit signals.
They say their localization algorithm relies on gathering signal samples over a wide area.
The algorithm conducts mathematical computations on radio and acoustic signals to pinpoint a device; only a few signal samples are required to determine the location of the target.
Chen says, "By comparing the signal strength with the sensor locations and knowing that energy decreases as distance increases, you'll get a signature vector of the source. The peak of the vector tells you the source location."
Applications the researchers foresee for the algorithm include locating the black box recorders of downed aircraft and ensuring reliable cellphone service in areas with congested networks.
From USC Viterbi News
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