Document Type


Date of Degree

Fall 2014

Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)

Degree In

Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Er-Wei Bai


This thesis considers source localization and tracking when both the signal propagation model and the source motion dynamics are unknown. Algorithms are developed for different scenarios. The algorithms are discussed when a source is stationary or mobile, under the condition when sensors are fixed or mobile. These algorithms exploit the strictly decreasing properties of the model in terms of distance, but do not depend on the form and the values of the models. Therefore, these algorithms could be applied when the signal propagation models and the source motion are unknown. The only assumption made is that the signal propagation strength decreases in distance. For a given performance specification, the optimal number and placement of the sensors is also discussed. Convergence and other properties of the algorithms are established under various noise assumptions.

Public Abstract

This thesis discuses source localization and tracking under the condition when there is no much knowledge about the source and the background. A stationary and mobile source is to be localized and track using sensor upon receiving its signal by sensors. In reality the property of the signal from the source at a given environment may not be well known. Giving an assumption the signal received from the source is inversely proportional to the distance from the given sensor we are able to develop four algorithms.

In this thesis we first show how we can localize a stationary source using the signal received by fixed sensors. This is done upon comparing the signal received by pair of sensors. This was found to perform well even under the consideration of background noise. Localization of the stationary source is also done using a mobile sensor, in which we let a sensor move around the region of interest and use the signal to localize the position of the source.

A tracking of moving source is also discussed in which fixed sensors measured signals are used to localize the source position at each moment which constitute the trajectory of the moving source.

This thesis has an impact to the society in combating to the recently growing threat of terrorism. This way we would be able to localize and track the radioactive material before it makes major damage to the society.


publicabstract, Localization, radioactive source, sensors, source estimation, tracking, unknown model


vii, 47 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 45-47).


Copyright 2014 Kidane Ogbaghebriel Yosief