The primary research interests of the Group are monitoring, and positioning/navigation.
The goal of geodetic monitoring is the reliable determination of changes of the geometry, position and orientation of man-made and natural structures. Typical applications include monitoring of land slides, monitoring of potential settlements in connection with underground construction works, monitoring of dams, bridges and high-rising buidlings. Such applications usually involve data acquisition using a variety of sensors such as GPS/GNSS devices, total stations, laser scanners, cameras, inclinometers and meteorological sensors. Data of these sensors are available at high data rates and at low operational cost, so it is tempting to install as many sensors as possible and collect data at high rates. Processing and interpretation of the data, on the other hand, are tasks which require significant time and cost, and more data does not automatically imply better information in the end. Key questions to be answered are thus, how sensors can be properly selected, carefully calibrated, and accurately controlled during use, and what information can actually be derived from the collected data.
Positioning is a classical task for surveyors. However, given modern construction and manufacturing processes, and given the need to efficiently inspect infrastructure like roads, tunnels, bridges or power lines, positions must often be determined in realt-time and with accuracies of a few centimeters or better, in any environment. This is a challenging problem, especially in environments where GPS is not available, not accurate or not secure enough. Methods, algorithms and systems for position determination and navigation under such circumstances need to be developed. These developments, when eventually applicable also to low-cost components, will also enable the use of autonomously or semi-autonomously moving vehicles on ordinary roads, in public, and in safety-critcial applications.