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SPEAKER: Dr. Zak M. Kassas, Ph.D

Resilient and Accurate Autonomous Vehicle Navigation via Signals of Opportunity
Friday, February 24, 2017, 10:00 am to 11:00 am


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 incidents) 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).

Dr.  Kassas is an Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of California, Riverside and the Director of the Autonomous Systems Perception, Intelligence, and Navigation (ASPIN) Laboratory. He received a B.E. 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. From 2004 through 2010 he was a research and development engineer with the LabVIEW Control Design and Dynamical Systems Simulation Group at National Instruments Corporation. He is a senior member of the IEEE and an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems. His research interests include cyber-physical systems, autonomous vehicle navigation, optimal information gathering in stochastic environments, and intelligent transportation systems.