Trilateration-Based Device-Free Sensing: Two Base Stations and One Passive IRS Are Sufficient

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The classic trilateration technique can localize each target based on its distances to three anchors with known coordinates. Usually, this technique requires all the anchors and targets, e.g., the satellites and the mobile phones in Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), to actively transmit/receive radio signals such that the delay of the one-way radio signal propagated between each anchor and each target can be measured. Excitingly, this paper will show that the trilateration technique can be generalized to the scenario where one of the three anchors and all the targets merely reflect the radio signals passively as in radar networks, even if the propagation delay between the passive IRS and the passive targets is difficult to be measured directly, and the data association issue for multi-sensor multi-target tracking arises. Specifically, we consider device-free sensing in a cellular network consisting of two base stations (BSs), one passive intelligent reflecting surface (IRS), and multiple passive targets, to realize integrated sensing and communication (ISAC). The two BSs transmit the orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) signals in the downlink and estimate the locations of the targets based on their reflected signals via/not via the IRS. We propose an efficient trilateration-based strategy that can first estimate the distances of each target to the two BSs and the IRS and then localize the targets. Numerical results show that the considered networked sensing architecture with heterogenous anchors can outperform its counterpart with three BSs.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2022 IEEE Global Communications Conference, GLOBECOM 2022 - Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781665435406
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022
Event2022 IEEE Global Communications Conference, GLOBECOM 2022 - Virtual, Online, Brazil
Duration: 4 Dec 20228 Dec 2022

Publication series

Name2022 IEEE Global Communications Conference, GLOBECOM 2022 - Proceedings


Conference2022 IEEE Global Communications Conference, GLOBECOM 2022
CityVirtual, Online

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Signal Processing
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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