Underwater Sensor Networks (UWSNs) can enable a broad range of applications such as resource monitoring, disaster prevention, and navigation-assistance. Sensor nodes location in UWSNs is an especially relevant topic. Global Positioning System (GPS) information is not suitable for use in UWSNs because of the underwater propagation problems. Hence, some localization algorithms based on the precise time synchronization between sensor nodes that have been proposed for UWSNs are not feasible. In this paper, we propose a localization algorithm called Two-Phase Time Synchronization-Free Localization Algorithm (TP-TSFLA). TP-TSFLA contains two phases, namely, range-based estimation phase and range-free evaluation phase. In the first phase, we address a time synchronization-free localization scheme based on the Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) algorithm to obtain the coordinates of the unknown sensor nodes. In the second phase, we propose a Circle-based Range-Free Localization Algorithm (CRFLA) to locate the unlocalized sensor nodes which cannot obtain the location information through the first phase. In the second phase, sensor nodes which are localized in the first phase act as the new anchor nodes to help realize localization. Hence, in this algorithm, we use a small number of mobile beacons to help obtain the location information without any other anchor nodes. Besides, to improve the precision of the range-free method, an extension of CRFLA achieved by designing a coordinate adjustment scheme is updated. The simulation results show that TP-TSFLA can achieve a relative high localization ratio without time synchronization.
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