Lassonde researcher is improving the precision of GPS data

GPS Satellite (Image: NASA)
GPS Satellite (Image: NASA)

Your smartphone may be smarter than you think.

Thanks to findings by researchers in the Lassonde School of Engineering at York University, Global Positioning System (GPS) data from smartphones may soon be used in place of high-cost specialized engineering measurements.

GPS Satellite (Image: NASA)

York PhD candidate in engineering John Aggrey and his team are working to improve the accuracy of data from GPS. The team is working to identify problems and mitigate flaws in the data such as bias.

Aggrey, a PhD candidate working with Lassonde Professor Sunil Bisnath, is researching the design, development and testing of precise point positioning software. Using software developed at Lassonde, he has achieved a 22 per cent improvement in the positional accuracy of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receivers. GNSS is the network of satellite positioning systems that are in operation and includes GPS (United States), GLONASS (Russia), Galileo (European Union) and Compass (China).

Recently, Google made public their GPS measurements on Android devices. While Google’s data offers a tremendous source of raw data for academics and industry leaders, its quality is not high enough for engineering research purposes or engineering-related work. The findings by Aggrey and his team represent a key step toward making the data more accurate and usable.

What does this mean for society?

“Precision farming, deformation monitoring, survey works and Unmanned Automobile Vehicle usage, all from a cellphone!” said Aggrey.

His research has been published in NAVIGATION, the journal of the Institute of Navigation in the United States.