This research work presents an in-situ imaging method for the localization of the impact point in complex anisotropic structures with diffuse field conditions, using only one passive transducer. The proposed technique is based on the time reversal approach applied to a number of waveforms stored into a database containing the experimental Green's function of the medium. The present method exploits the benefits of multiple scattering, mode conversion and boundaries reflections to achieve the focusing of the source with high resolution. The optimal re-focusing of the back propagated wave field at the impact point is accomplished through a "virtual" imaging process, which does not require any iterative algorithms and a priori knowledge of the mechanical properties of the structure. The robustness of the time reversal method is experimentally demonstrated on a stiffened composite panel and the source position can be retrieved with a high level of accuracy (error less than 3%). The simple configuration, minimal processing requirements and computational time (less than 1 sec) make this method a valid alternative to the conventional imaging structural health monitoring systems for the acoustic emission source localization.© (2011) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.