The positioning technology to find shallow underground vibration sources based on a wireless sensor network is receiving great interest in the field of underground position measurements. The slow peaking and strong multi-waveform aliasing typical of the underground vibration signal result in a low extraction accuracy of the time difference and a poor source-positioning accuracy. At the same time, the transmission of large amounts of sensor data and the host computer’s slow data processing speed make locating a source a slow process. To address the above problems, this paper proposes a method for high-precision time-difference measurements in near-field blasting and a method for its hardware implementation. First, based on the broadband that is typical of blast waves, the peak frequency of the P-wave was obtained in the time–frequency domain, taking advantage of the difference in the propagation speed of the P-wave, S-wave, and the surface wave. Second, the phase difference between two sensor nodes was found by means of a spectral decomposition and a correlation measurement. Third, the phase ambiguity was eliminated using the time interval of the first break and the dynamic characteristics of the sensors. Finally, following a top-down design idea, the hardware system was designed using Field Programmable Gate Array(FPGA). Verification, using both numerical simulations and experiments, suggested that compared with generalized cross-correlation-based time-difference measurement methods, the proposed method produced a higher time-difference resolution and accuracy. Compared with the traditional host computer post-position positioning method, the proposed method was significantly quicker. It can be seen that the proposed method provides a new solution for solving high-precision and quick source-location problems, and affords a technical means for developing high-speed, real-time source-location instruments.
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