Due to the ad hoc nature of wireless acoustic sensor networks, the position of the sensor nodes is typically unknown. This contribution proposes a technique to estimate the position and orientation of the sensor nodes from the recorded speech signals. The method assumes that a node comprises a microphone array with synchronously sampled microphones rather than a single microphone, but does not require the sampling clocks of the nodes to be synchronized. From the observed audio signals, the distances between the acoustic sources and arrays, as well as the directions of arrival, are estimated. They serve as input to a non-linear least squares problem, from which both the sensor nodes’ positions and orientations, as well as the source positions, are alternatingly estimated in an iterative process. Given one set of unknowns, i.e., either the source positions or the sensor nodes’ geometry, the other set of unknowns can be computed in closed-form. The proposed approach is computationally efficient and the first one, which employs both distance and directional information for geometry calibration in a common cost function. Since both distance and direction of arrival measurements suffer from outliers, e.g., caused by strong reflections of the sound waves on the surfaces of the room, we introduce measures to deemphasize or remove unreliable measurements. Additionally, we discuss modifications of our previously proposed deep neural network-based acoustic distance estimator, to account not only for omnidirectional sources but also for directional sources. Simulation results show good positioning accuracy and compare very favorably with alternative approaches from the literature.
EURASIP Journal on Audio, Speech, and Music Processing