Sanfelice to develop safer GPS alternative for aerial vehicles

Redwoods at UC Santa Cruz campus.

Ricardo Sanfelice, director of the CITRIS Aviation initiative, has received approximately $100,000 from the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) to design a new position, navigation and timing (PNT) system, which will employ novel methods to safely track and direct aerial vehicles in places where GPS is weak.

Sanfelice and his research team will develop mathematical models to extract the relative distances between objects providing a “signal of opportunity” to the object being navigated.

The PNT system will be tested on the UC Santa Cruz campus using an electric car. According to Sanfelice, the campus is an ideal setting to test the system because of its wooded terrain and natural environment that weaken GPS signals.