Environment mapping and localization with an uncontrolled swarm of ultrasound sensor motes

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A method is presented in which a (large) swarm of sensor motes perform simple ultrasonic ranging measurements. The method allows to localize the motes within the swarm, and at the same time, map the environment which the swarm has traversed. The motes float passively uncontrolled through the environment and do not need any other sensor information or external reference other than a start and end point. Once the motes are retrieved, the stored data can be converted into the motes relative positions and a map describing the geometry of the environment. This method provides the possibility to map inaccessible or unknown environments where electro-magnetic signals, such as GPS or radio, cannot be used and where placing beacon points is very hard. An example is underground piping systems transporting liquids. Size and energy constraints together with the occurrence of reverberations pose challenges in the way the motes perform their measurements and collect their data. A minimalistic approach in the use of ultrasound is pursued, using an orthogonal frequency division multiplexing technique for the identification of motes. Simulations and scaled air-coupled 45–65 kHz experimental measurements have been performed and show feasibility of the concept.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication166th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, 2-6 December 2013, San Francisco, California
PublisherAcoustical Society of America
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings of Meetings on Acoustics
ISSN (Print)1939-800X


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