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Advances in Multimedia
Volume 2008, Article ID 569848, 11 pages
Research Article

Sensor Network-Based Localization for Continuous Tracking Applications: Implementation and Performance Evaluation

Department of Communications, Computer and Systems Science, University of Genoa, 13 via all'Opera Pia, 16145 Genoa, Italy

Received 7 March 2008; Accepted 17 June 2008

Academic Editor: Mohammed Ghanbari

Copyright © 2008 Livio Denegri et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The increasing interest in systems able to provide users with immersive services (e.g., domotics, context-aware applications, and immersive distance learning tools) has encouraged the development of cheap and effective platforms aimed at tracking objects and people within a certain space. In this context, wireless sensor networks (WSNs) can play a very important role, since specialized sensors can be fruitfully exploited in order to generate/receive signals by means of which the WSN can derive the position of nodes joined to the objects to be tracked. The paper presents an original localization platform that exploits a single-hop WSN, based on a Microchip MCU and a Cypress RF device, to track its moving nodes. Specifically, the nodes of the network are divided into three sets: the first set consists of anchor nodes that, according to the commands from the sink (the central node of the WSN), generate ultrasonic pulses. These pulses are received by the second set of (moving) nodes, which estimate the pulse time trip and communicate it to the sink. Finally, the last set is constituted by general purpose nodes that collect any kind of data from the surrounding field. The sink gathers all the data, computes the position of moving nodes, and transfers information to external users on the Internet. The algorithms adopted to manage the network and to localize moving nodes are discussed. A working prototype based upon the hardware platform, software, and protocol described in this paper has been deployed and tested, and some results are shown. Simulation results of the localization system are presented to show system scalability.