Robust Time-of-Arrival Location Estimation Algorithms for Wildlife Tracking

Eitam Arnon, Shlomo Cain, Assaf Uzan, Ran Nathan, Orr Spiegel, Sivan Toledo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Time-of-arrival transmitter localization systems, which use measurements from an array of sensors to estimate the location of a radio or acoustic emitter, are now widely used for tracking wildlife. Outlier measurements can severely corrupt estimated locations. This article describes a new suite of location estimation algorithms for such systems. The new algorithms detect and discard outlier time-of-arrival observations, which can be caused by non-line-of-sight propagation, radio interference, clock glitches, or an overestimation of the signal-to-noise ratio. The new algorithms also detect cases in which two locations are equally consistent with measurements and can usually select the correct one. The new algorithms can also infer approximate altitude information from a digital elevation map to improve location estimates close to one of the sensors. Finally, the new algorithms approximate the covariance matrix of location estimates in a simpler and more reliable way than the baseline algorithm. Extensive testing on real-world data involving mobile transmitters attached to wild animals demonstrates the efficacy of the new algorithms. Performance testing also shows that the new algorithms are fast and that they can easily cope with high-throughput real-time loads.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number9460
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.


  • location estimation
  • outlier removal
  • robust estimation
  • time-of-arrival localization
  • wildlife tracking


Dive into the research topics of 'Robust Time-of-Arrival Location Estimation Algorithms for Wildlife Tracking'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this