# Is it possible to achieve an accurate 2D trilateration result with 3 sound sensors which are aligned on the same axis?

I am about to embark on a little project involving trilateration which is intended to find the originating point of a sonic wave using a microcontroller and several sound sensors.

I have seen sensor arrays arranged in an equally spaced triangular pattern, but I am wondering if it’s possible to achieve an accurate 2D trilateration result with 3 sound sensors which are aligned on the same axis? The goal would be to pinpoint the origin of a sonic wave on a 2D coordinate plane and identify the (x, y) coordinate of the source using time difference of arrival.

Also, is there a specific type of sensor that is best suited to detect a supersonic shock wave and shock waves created by the clap of hands or will one work for both?

Here are the known facts:

1. Location of sensors. They are statically positioned and equally spaced on the x axis at (0,0), (0,10) and (0,20).

2. Propagation speed of the of the sonic wave.

3. For simplicities sake the static location of the sensors and the source of all sound occur within the positive coordinate plane or aka Quadrant I.

4. Additionally, the source of the pulse shall be located within the bounds of the points of sensor 1 and sensor 2 which is between x (0) and x (20) and y (1) to y (∞).

• What kind of supersonic shock wave... spherical or conical? (Alternately, what is it that creates the shock wave? Jan 7, 2022 at 19:06
• Conical like supersonic aircraft. Not like an explosion. Jan 7, 2022 at 19:15
• Although if I wanted to detect a large meteor in the atmosphere both may be useful. Not sure. Jan 7, 2022 at 19:23