Passive localization and synchronization using arbitrary signals

Oren Jean, Anthony J. Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Time-of-arrival (TOA) localization is tightly coupled with sensor time synchronization. Synchronization can be obtained by GPS, atomic clocks, or message exchange protocols. All methods affect the energy sources and the synchronization protocols use valuable bandwidth. We present self-synchronized localization algorithms that rely exclusively on TOA measurements performed by the sensor network on passing sources rendering it completely passive. The same methods can be applied to time-difference-of-arrival (TDOA) measurements allowing the use of a larger family of signals. Localization performance is close to that provided by a perfectly synchronized network. Such algorithms can also be used for sensor network synchronization and communication networks in general.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6746121
Pages (from-to)2143-2150
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Signal Processing
Issue number8
StatePublished - 15 Apr 2014


  • Cramér-Rao lower bound
  • localization
  • maximum likelihood
  • synchronization
  • time of arrival


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