The use of satellites for positioning and navigation has become an important tool for scientists and engineers concerned with locating and monitoring various features and phenomenon. The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a twenty-four satellite system which provides global, all-weather, twenty-four hour a day navigation capability. The elements of the GPS system are described and its benefits over other navigation systems are outlined.

GPS became fully operational in the spring of 1994 and the number of applications for which it is being used is growing exponentially. The main focus of the presentation will be a description of some of these applications with emphasis on selected work being performed at The University of Calgary. These include precise positioning of aircraft for mapping and oil exploration, accurate navigation of farm machinery for precision fanning, monitoring of structures such as the Calgary Tower and offshore platforms, as well as the determination of sea level heights for tidal studies.

The presentation will conclude with a discussion of emerging uses of GPS such as an "in-car" navigation and guidance systems and tracking of wildlife for migration studies.



About the Author(s)

Dr. M. Elizabeth Cannon P. Eng., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geomatics Engineering at The University of Calgary where she conducts research and teaching in the area of satellite navigation for land, air and marine applications. She conducts research for various international agencies and has developed software that is being licensed world-wide.

Elizabeth holds a B.Sc. in Mathematics from Acadia University as well as a B.Sc., M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Surveying Engineering from The University of Calgary. She has served on the US Institute of Navigation Executive Council, chairs an international working group within the International Federation of Surveyors and is a member of the US Academy of Sciences Geodesy Committee.

Elizabeth has been awarded numerous literary awards for her work in satellite navigation and was also presented the 1993 YMCA Women of Distinction Award for Science and Technology. She was also awarded the APEGGA Early Achievement Award in April, 1994.

In addition to her work at the university, Elizabeth is involved with Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) as a leader of an Engineering Connections group which is aimed at providing a network for women engineering students. She actively participates in school visits to promote engineering and is also a member of the Association of Women in Engineering and Science (AWES).



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