mapKITE: EGNOS-GPS/GALILEO-based high-resolution terrestrial-aerial sensing system

on .

The mapKITE project is a new mobile, terrestrial and aerial, geodata collection and mapping paradigm. Geodata acquisition in mapKITE is accomplished by a tandem terrestrial-aerial mapping system based on a terrestrial vehicle (TV) and on an unmanned aircraft (UA), both equipped with remote sensing payloads. In the mapKITE paradigm, the UA will follow the TV at an approximate constant flying height above ground while geodata are acquired simultaneously from the TV and the UA. The final product is high resolution, oriented, calibrated and integrated images of a corridor and its environment. MapKITE is an innovative action in the H2020 framework funded by the European Commission, through the European GNSS Agency (GSA) on the specific call  'GALILEO-2-2014: SME based EGNSS applications' under the grant agreement number 641518.

MapKITE targets corridor mapping. It combines the advantages of the terrestrial and airborne (manned or unmanned) systems, and responds to corridor mapping market needs only fulfilled by much more expensive separate terrestrial and aerial missions.

In short, the goals of the project are to build a mature prototype of this novel tandem terrestrial-aerial system; to demonstrate services (that is, the technical/commercial feasibility of the concept); and to develop the mapKITE market.

Indeed, the European GNSS systems are instrumental in mapKITE. An enabling component will be the navigation payload based on EGNOS and the E5 AltBOC Galileo signal, superior to existing or planned GPS signals and of particular interest because of its robustness properties and integrity potential.

Unmanned technology is also a key part in mapKITE. Due to the low weight of the proposed UA (less than 5 kg), to its low flying altitude (range between 30 m and maximum allowed height) and to its inbuilt line of sight [TV to UA] keeping feature, mapKITE will not suffer from the regulations limiting UAS civilian use. Its design will be dominated by safety and abidance to current and foreseeable rules for small UA. Unrestricted testing will be conducted in a segregated airspace area that has been awarded by the Spanish aviation authorities.

MapKITE goes beyond just traditional mapping with new technology; it is a mapping breakthrough as in introduces a new surveying paradigm, new mathematical models, new ways of fusing sensors and a new “map” product. It is protected by the Spanish patent 201231200 and pending patents in Brazil, the US and Europe.

GeoNumerics is a research and development (R&D) intensive small-and-medium-enterprise (SME) company specialised in geomatics and accurate navigation.

The European Global navigation Satellite system Agency (GSA) is a European Union (EU) agency that promotes the use, adoption, application and market development of European GNSS services and that these services and operations are thoroughly secure, safe and accessible.

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020). It couples research and innovation with emphasis on excellent science and industrial leadership, and tackles the EU societal challenges. H2020 goal is to ensure that Europe produces world-class science, removes barriers to innovation and makes it easier for the public and private sectors to work together in delivering innovation.

Acronym: mapKITE
Title: EGNOS-GPS/Galileo-based high-resolution terrestrial-aerial sensing system.
Period: 2015-03-01 to 2017-03-01
Funding: European Global navigation Satellite system Agency (GSA), European Commission (EC) grant 641518, Horizon 2020 (H2020), GALILEO-2-2014
Coordinator: GeoNumerics (ES)
Other participants: TopScan GmbH (DE), GRID-IT GmbH (AT), ALTAIS SL Cartografia (ES), DEIMOS Engenharia (PT), UAVision Engenharia de Sistemas Lda (PT), CATUAV SL (ES), École Polytechnique Fédéral de Lausanne (CH), Engemap Engenharia (BR), Universidade Estadual Paulista – UNESP (BR)

Web page:


This project has received funding from the European Community's Horizon 2020 Programme under Grant Agreement 641518.