Geo-positioning, navigation systems and remote sensing


Satellite navigation technologies became a pervasive technology that in the past 20 years boosted the development of a wide range of applications in several different fields.

Currently, GNSSs, such as the Global Positioning System (GPS), Galileo, Global’naya Navigatsionnaya Sputnikovaya Sistema (GLONASS), and BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS), are the most widespread technologies for PNT. They have been traditionally deployed exploiting Medium Earth Orbit satellites, but upcoming system will be based on the use also of Low Earth orbit satellites. Based on the same concepts, navigation systems are being developed for the Moon and in future for Mars, to provide navigation and timing services for space exploration.

Thanks to their ability to provide positioning and timing services on Earth, they represented a revolutionary step for application in Road, Air and Maritime positioning, but they are also a key element for the evolution of smart agriculture and terrestrial and air drones, as well as distributed synchronisation systems for power and communication networks. Scientific applications use GNSS measurements for remote sensing (GNSS reflectometry) or to sound the atmosphere for modeling purposes. Applications, however, are going to face challenging requirements, and remarkable system changes might be needed to satisfy such demands. Global macro-trends are going to drive the use of GNSS by industries and individuals demanding improved positioning and timing performance. Specifically, better PVT estimation accuracy, signal robustness (e.g. to radio frequency interference and spoofing attacks), and service availability are among the most crucial desiderata for current GNSSs and their evolutions.

A key role is played by the user receiver, that has to be tailored to the specific application (static, dynamic, mass-market professional, etc) and the signal processing algorithm embedded in it. GNSS measurements have to merged with other sensors measurement, they have to be properly processed by advanced signal processing algorithm to increase their robustness, or to extract features of interests.
This requires advanced research to improve performance, as well as new processing concepts that can be exploited in the new fields of applications such as Space and Moon.

ERC sectors 

  • PE6_1 Computer architecture, embedded systems, operating systems
  • PE6_5 Security, privacy, cryptology, quantum cryptography
  • PE6_11 Machine learning, statistical data processing and applications using signal processing (e.g. speech, image, video)
  • PE7_6 Communication systems, wireless technology, high-frequency technology
  • PE7_7 Signal processing
  • PE7_8 Networks, e.g. communication networks and nodes, Internet of Things, sensor networks, networks of robots
  • PE10_2 Meteorology, atmospheric physics and dynamics
  • PE10_3 Climatology and climate change
  • PE10_4 Terrestrial ecology, land cover change
  • PE10_5 Geology, tectonics, volcanology
  • PE10_14 Earth observations from space/remote sensing


  • Positioning
  • Timing
  • Navigation