22 Jan 2011
International Technical Meeting of the Institute of Navigation, San Diego USA
ITM is a conference with a select group of attendees (approximately 200), which focuses on navigation technologies. Some of the most prominent GNSS groups including Stanford University, University of Calgary, Ohio University, US Navy, Air Force Research Lab, DLR, CNES, ENAC, FAF Munich, ISMB Torino, and others.
The symposium started with a half a day plenary session with three keynote speeches on Robotics Navigation: one from Air Force Research Lab (ARFL), and another two from two SMEs located in the San Francisco Bay Area. Robotics combined with inertial navigation systems and GNSS is a very hot topic of research. The presenters introduced the concept of “personal robotics”, which they expect will revolutionise our lives very soon. ARFL expects that the use of robotics (i.e., UAV or micro-UAVs) in military missions will grow very significantly in the coming years. The two SMEs presented an example application of robotics to help elderly people in hospitals. One of these companies (The Willow Garage) has developed a robot following the principle of Linux with an open source software. Some of the demos shown during the presentation were just amazing.
STA/CORSA action presented a paper on impact assessment of the DVB-T interference on GPS L1 and Galileo E1 receivers. Matthias and Daniele are the main contributors of this work. This conference paper was one of the deliverables in the context of the AA with DG HOME.
The main result of the mission was that it gave us the opportunity to understand what are the current topics of research in the various GNSS groups around the world. One of the most interesting contacts we made was a group of two professors, respectively, from Miami University (Prof. Jade Morton) and Ohio University (Prof. Wouter Pelgrum) who are setting up a project very much similar to our exploratory research proposal on space weather. They plan to design a software receiver (based on the USRP2 platform) that want to use in combination with an scintillation monitoring station. They are also planning to get the Septentrio Scintillation receiver in order to monitor scintillation events in various GNSS bands simultaneously. In one of the presentations, they shown some examples of observations made in Alaska, where the US Air Force has a radar array facility (HAARC) that can trigger artificially ionospheric scintillations. They showed a comparison of artificially triggered and natural scintillations observed in that site. They have plans to deploy their receivers at the Jicamarca Radio Observatory located near Lima, exactly as we were also planning. This group is very open and they are ready to share the collected data with us. We were positively surprised with this as it proves that the exploratory research proposal is rightly focused and in line with those of other research groups with many years of experience on the subject.