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The Winner:
Achilles Tripolitsiotis, Asst Prof Panagiotis Partsinevelos, Prof Stelios Mertikas

The Idea:
Drones2GNSS - the Future of Surveying: UAV-assisted GNSS Positioning in Obstructed Environments

GNSS positioning accuracy in urban canyons or under tree canopies is degraded when satellite signals are obstructed by buildings, geomorphology, and vegetation. This is a major problem for engineers, who are forced to draw on expensive, time-consuming solutions to gain centimetre-level positioning accuracy. To confront this challenge, Space Geomatica has developed a prototype drone equipped with a highly accurate GNSS receiver and a camera/laser measuring system that retrieves the coordinates of custom surveying poles featuring Wi-Fi, a prism, and a target marker. The team's image processing algorithms and error correction techniques provide real-time, centimetre-level coordinate estimation and can simultaneously measure multiple moving surveying poles. The processing is performed on-board the UAV without any ground-based hardware. Drones2GNSS thus provides a fast, reliable, cost-effective alternative for absolute coordinate positioning in obstructed environments where GNSS fails. It can cover multiple targets, including cars, people, and vessels. It offers a basis for other related challenges, including UAV GNSS networks, indoor positioning, and error mitigation.





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