Impacts are major causes of in-service damage in aerospace structures. Therefore, impact location estimation techniques are necessary components of Structural Health Monitoring (SHM). In this paper, we consider impact location estimation in anisotropic composite structures using acoustic emission signals arriving at a passive sensor array attached to the structure. Unlike many published location estimation algorithms, the algorithm presented in this paper does not require the waveform velocity profile for the structure. Rather, the method employs time-of-arrival information to jointly estimate the impact location and the average signal transmission velocities from the impact to each sensor on the structure. The impact location and velocities are estimated as the solution of a nonlinear optimization problem with multiple quadratic constraints. The optimization problem is solved by using first-order optimality conditions. Numerical simulations as well as experimental results demonstrate the ability of the algorithm to accurately estimate the impact location using acoustic emission signals.

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