PhD research reveals new methods for accurate and resilient navigation

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Findings improve general fault detection and isolation in multi-sensor navigation systems by allowing access to all raw measurements' residuals.

Castelldefels, 15 January 2021.  On the 14th of January, Dr. Maria Eulàlia Parés defended her doctoral research in a "viva voce" examination before a committee of experts in geodesy, navigation and sensorics.  The granted doctoral degree belongs to the PhD Programme in Aerospace Science and Technology (DOCTA) of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC). The title of the doctorate thesis was "A geodetic approach to precise, accurate, available and reliable navigation."

Dr. Parés, a researcher of the Centre Tecnològic de Telecomunicacions de Catalunya (CTTC), presented the geodetic approach to navigation with emphasis on generic abstract modelling and general outlier detection for accurate and reliable navigation. Among other contributions, a highlight of her research was a non-linear simultaneous prediction and filtering (SiPF) method to be used in combination with predictive filters, e.g. the Kalman filter and its many variants. More specifically, she presented a method to estimate the residuals of the measurements that participate in predictions before they are spread into correlated errors affecting the predicted states. The thesis supervisor was GeoNumerics' Dr. Ismael Colomina.

Dr. Parés said that her generic modelling approach significantly speeds up the design, implementation, and  of complex multi-sensor navigation system. And provided examples thereof.

Maria Eulàlia Parés graduated in Mathematics by the Universitat de Barcelona (UB). She also holds MSc degrees in Meteorology and Climatology UB) and in Airborne Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing by the past Institute of Geomatics (IG). Prior to joining CTTC she was a research assistant at the IG. Her interests include positioning, multi-sensor robust navigation, sensor modelling and simulation, robust parameter estimation and navigation of autonomous vehicles.

Professor Oscar Casas (UPC), an internationally recognised expert in sensor technology, who served as president of the examination committee said that "In this thesis, Maria Eulàlia Parés, has realized very important contributions in many areas of research in the field of geodesy. Her work, which is rigorous and detailed, deals with everything from the modelling of sensor systems to the development of new processing algorithms for the optimization of redundant measurement systems. The excellence of her work is reflected, among many other things, in the number of international research projects that have already used the GEMMA (Generic, Extensible and Modular Multi-sensor navigation Analysis) platform, developed in the thesis. This platform has allowed them to increase the quality of the results and, above all, to greatly reduce development times. I am convinced that the results of the thesis will be widely applied in the next years by researchers working in this research area."

The Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), founded in 1971, is a public institution of research and higher education in the fields of engineering, architecture, sciences and technology, and one of the leading technical universities in Europe. Every year, more than 6000 bachelor’s and master’s students and more than 500 doctoral students graduate. It has or shares the first position among Spanish universities in seven lists of the Shangai university ranking.