My Math Forum Triangulating the source of a transmission
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 November 2nd, 2009, 11:40 AM #1 Newbie   Joined: Nov 2009 Posts: 1 Thanks: 0 Triangulating the source of a transmission How can I determine the source (location) of a transmission based on sampling of signal strength at 3 know positions (assuming there is no interference in the signal). I want to sample 3 points. At each point I will record the GPS location and signal strength. I assume I need to get this data into a Cartesian graph, create an X, Y based of my sampling locations. Beyond that I don't know how determine an approximate point for the source based on the signal strength. Can anyone offer any help, or suggested reading?
 November 3rd, 2009, 06:05 PM #2 Senior Member   Joined: Feb 2009 From: Adelaide, Australia Posts: 1,519 Thanks: 3 Re: Triangulating the source of a transmission The inverse-square law would suggest that if the received signal strength is x, the distance d is proportionate to $\frac{1}{\sqrt{x}}$, and experiments could help determine a function d(x). So you could draw a circle with radius d around the point where you took the sample. If you have two sampling points, there will be two circles, which should intersect at two points, both of which would be possible locations for the source. With three sampling points, you get three circles, which (with any luck) intersect at one point. Obviously, though, this is far too basic to be useful in practice. You couldn't really estimate distance on the basis of RSSI or anything like that. Some methods are listed here.

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