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Date:5/21/2009

on developing satellite technology to improve satellite positioning accuracy and availability, especially in urban areas. Dr Gethin Roberts from the University's Institute of Engineering Surveying and Space Geodesy (IESSG) says: "Obviously, there is a concentration of underground utilities pipes and cables in built-up areas of cities, where GPS reliability can be problematic. The height of densely packed buildings can lead to so-called 'urban canyons' where there is no line of sight between satellites and the GPS receiver, which leads to a degradation of the signal."

The research team has looked at a number of ways of overcoming these issues, including:

  • The use of ground-based pseudo-satellites called LocataLites, working on a wifi frequency, and integrated with existing GPS and other Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS).
  • Simulating future satellite signals over the next five years when the full constellation of satellites from the GPS (US), GLONASS (Russian), COMPASS (Chinese) and Galileo (European) systems will be fully operational to predict the range of signal available.
  • Developing a new method of combining GNSS with INS (Inertial Navigation Systems) to augment satellite data in 'urban canyons'.
  • Combining ground penetrating radar (GPR) with GNSS to identify and position buried assets.
  • Developing augmented reality (AR) computer system, similar to virtual reality, which uses real coordinates and positions to allow workers out in the field to 'see' utilities underground.

As well as the 3D 'augmented reality' computer-mapping to help workers on the ground, researchers at The University of Leeds' School of Computing have been working to create a central database to make the records kept on the underground network easier to access and understand by all involved in utilities delivery. Professor Anthony Cohn says: "A single unified digital representation which is created directly from asset owner records,
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Contact: Jo Parker
j.parker101@btinternet.com
44-152-523-4068
University of Nottingham
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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