University of California, Riverside

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Professor Kassas Receives $510K Grant from ONR

Professor Kassas Receives $510K Grant from ONR

Professor Kassas Receives $510K Grant from ONR

May 7, 2016

Professor Zak Kassas, an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, received a three-year, single PI $510,000 grant from the Office of Naval Research (ONR). The grant will fund research in resilient and accurate navigation in GPS-challenged environments.

The steady trend toward autonomous vehicles will come with a demand for full situational awareness and extremely reliable and accurate navigation systems, a demand current systems cannot meet. GPS is at the heart of virtually all navigation systems. GPS signals are extremely weak, are susceptible to intentional and unintentional jamming and interference, and are unauthenticated, making them spoofable. 


As part of the grant, Professor Kassas will develop a coherent analytical foundation, a suite of algorithms and tools, and software and hardware prototypes for a new navigation framework that he calls collaborative opportunistic navigation (COpNav). In COpNav, specialized radios draw positioning and timing information from an environment's ambient signals that are not intended for navigation such as cellular, audio, and television signals and shares them among multiple radios over available communication networks. Professor Kassas’ approach assumes minimal prior knowledge of the signal environment and relies on learning the signals on the fly. His unique approach formulates the problem as that of simultaneous signal landscape mapping and radio spatio-temporal localization.

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