The ever-growing applications of autonomous vehicles such as self-driving cars and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) require the vehicles to navigate at low altitude and in urban environments. Such environments pose positioning challenges, such as blockage and multipath effects for GPS signals and unreliable features for vision or LiDAR-based navigation.
In this talk, we will first present an overview of our recent work on reliable and safe positioning and navigation for autonomous systems. We will then provide examples of model-driven, data-driven and proof-based approaches for intelligently fusing GPS, LiDAR, vision and inertial measurements. Our research has been extensively tested in real-world scenarios, including flight tests using a Beech C-12 aircraft under extreme vehicle dynamics and GPS signal masking; government-sponsored live jamming and spoofing tests; and a mobile UAV testing platform, which allows UAVs to fly in a moving cage carried by a flat-bed truck over busy streets while ensuring safety.
Grace X. Gao is an assistant professor in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University. Before joining Stanford University, she was an assistant professor at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She obtained her Ph.D. degree at Stanford University. Her research is on robust and secure positioning, navigation and timing with applications to manned and unmanned aerial vehicles, robotics and power systems.
Prof. Gao has won a number of awards, including the NSF CAREER Award, the Institute of Navigation Early Achievement Award and RTCA William E. Jackson Award. She received Distinguished Promotion Award from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2019. She has won Best Paper/Presentation of the Session Awards 14 times at ION GNSS+ conferences. She received the Dean's Award for Excellence in Research from the College of Engineering, University of Illinois in 2017. For her teaching, Prof. Gao has been on the List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students at University of Illinois multiple times. She won the College of Engineering Everitt Award for Teaching Excellence in 2015, AIAA Illinois Chapter's Teacher ofthe Year in 2016, and the Engineering Council Award for Excellence in Advising in 2017 and 2018.