Underwater Source Localization Using TDOA and FDOA Measurements with Unknown Propagation Speed and Sensor Parameter Errors

Bingbing Zhang, Yongchang Hu, Hongying Wang, Zhaowen Zhuang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)
52 Downloads (Pure)


Underwater source localization problems are complicated and challenging: a) the sound propagation speed is often unknown and the unpredictable ocean current might lead to the uncertainties of sensor parameters (i.e. position and velocity); b) the underwater acoustic signal travels much slower than the radio one in terrestrial environments, thus resulting into a significantly severe Doppler effect; c) energy-efficient techniques are urgently required and hence in favour of the design with a low computational complexity. Considering these issues, we propose a simple and efficient underwater source localization approach based on time difference of arrival (TDOA) and frequency difference of arrival (FDOA) measurements, which copes with unknown propagation speed and sensor parameter errors. The proposed method mitigates the impact of the Doppler effect for accurately inferring the source parameters (i.e. position and velocity). The Cramér-Rao lower bounds (CRLBs) for this kind of localization are derived and, moreover, the analytical study shows that our method can yield the performance that is very close to the CRLB, particularly under small noise. The numerical results not only confirm the above conclusions but also show that our method outperforms other competing approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36645-36661
Number of pages17
JournalIEEE Access
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • algebraic solution
  • Covariance matrices
  • Current measurement
  • Doppler effect
  • frequency difference of arrival (FDOA)
  • Measurement uncertainty
  • Oceans
  • Sea measurements
  • sensor node uncertainty
  • sound propagation speed uncertainty
  • time difference of arrival (TDOA)
  • Uncertainty
  • Underwater localization


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