No GPS, No Problem: Exploiting Signals of Opportunity for Resilient and Accurate Autonomous Vehicle Navigation

The steady trend towards autonomous vehicles will come with a demand for full situational awareness and extremely reliable and accurate navigation systems. With no human in the loop, the cost of navigation system failure will be severe. Reliance on GPS for navigation has become a single point of failure. The recent uptick in cyber attacks on GPS (jamming and spoofing) have exposed the vulnerability of GPS-based navigation and demonstrated the necessity for a complementary navigation system.


This talk will present a framework for resilient and accurate autonomous vehicle navigation by exploiting ambient signals of opportunity, which are not intended as navigation sources. In this framework, specialized vehicle-mounted radios collaboratively draw relevant positioning and timing information from ambient signals of opportunity to build and continuously refine a spatiotemporal signal landscape map of the environment within which the vehicles simultaneously localize themselves in space and time. We will present an end-to-end research approach, spanning theoretical modeling and analysis of signals of opportunity, specialized software-defined radio (SDR) design, practical navigation algorithm development, and experimental demonstration of our system on ground vehicles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).


Professor Zak Kassas is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at The University of California, Riverside (UCR). He received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Lebanese American University, an M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from The Ohio State University, and an M.S.E. in Aerospace Engineering and a Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin. Prof. Kassas’ research in navigation in GNSS-challenged environments has been featured in dozens of national and international media outlets and received several awards. Since joining UCR in Fall 2014, his research has attracted nearly $2M in federal grants from ONR, NSF, and NIST. His current research interests include cyber-physical systems, autonomous vehicle navigation, and intelligent transportation systems.

Event date: 
Friday, December 8, 2017
Zak Kassas (University of California, Riverside)
von Karman-Penner Seminar Room, 479
Event time: 
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm