Dec 11th 2013, General Meeting

Please join us and be a part of the Avionics in the Midwest Lecture Series.

In this Lecture Series, we will explore the accomplishments of those who have made significant contributions to the field of Avionics.  Each lecture will focus on a particular Guidance, Navigation, and Control technology, the history and impact of the technology, the professional and personal relationships of those involved in the development of the technology, and the theory behind the technology.

In the field of engineering, our current accomplishments are built on existing technologies and accomplishments of those who came before us.  This Lecture Series explores significant technologies developed by engineers who came before us that we use and take for granted today.  Further, this Lecture Series explores the technologies developed by engineering graduate students as they test and extend the limits of the current technologies.

The Twin Cities Section of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and the North Star Section of the Institute of Navigation (ION) are proud to continue to host a Lecture Series that explores the history and impact of the technology and engineering behind avionics systems. 

In this third part of the Lecture Series, the AIAA and ION are pleased to welcome Dr. Wouter Pelgrum of Ohio University and Mr. Hamid Mokhtarzadeh of the University of Minnesota.  Dr. Pelgrum is a dynamic speaker with both academic and industrial experience who will share his experiences and thoughts on navigation in GNSS denied environments.  Mr. Mokhtarzadeh is a Ph.D. candidate who will discuss the fusion of correlated random vectors which has applications in many real world navigation problems.

Avionics Lecture Schedule:

Date: Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Event Schedule:

                                     6:00 – 6:30 pm    Meet and Greet

                                     6:30 – 7:00 pm    Presentation: Mr. Hamid Mokhtarzadeh

                                     7:00 – 8:30 pm     Presentation: Dr. Wouter Pelgrum

Event Location:

Akerman Hall: 

                                Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics Hangar

                                University of Minnesota

                                110 Union Street SE

                                Minneapolis, MN 55455-0153

Dinner: Compliments of AIAA and ION

RSVP:    Please email us at if you plan to attend 


Presenter: Dr. Wouter J. Pelgrum

Title: High-Performance Positioning, Navigation, and Timing When GPS is Not Available

Abstract: The American GPS system has made ultra-precise Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) virtually ubiquitous, affordable, and available worldwide to everyone. And satellite navigation is only getting better with the other existing and upcoming Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS): GLONASS (Russia), Galileo (Europe), Beidou/Compass (China), QZSS (Japan), and IRNSS (India).

The unsurpassed performance of GNSS and its low user cost has fueled a wide range of applications, such as Personal Navigation Devices (PND) in cars, Automatic Identification System (AIS) for shipping, and Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) for aviation. And not to forget GNSS time and frequency that is used for the synchronization of, for example, electrical power grids, communication systems, and financial networks.

With the growing number of GNSS-PNT applications there is also an increasing dependency: GNSS has become part of the world’s critical infrastructure, with significant safety, environmental, and economical impact associated with the unavailability or failure of GPS or other GNSS.  The low received signal power, intrinsic to satellite systems, makes GNSS vulnerable to jamming and spoofing. Furthermore, solar events can cause significant ionosphere scintillation and thereby hinder acquisition and tracking of the L-band GNSS signals.

Over the past decade, there has been a significant and ongoing effort to improve the robustness of PNT: GNSS receiver and satellite technology have been improved, and GNSS has been integrated with a variety of sensors. Examples of multi-sensor integration are the combination of GNSS with inertial, barometric, vision, LIDAR, radar, and WIFI-based navigation solutions. All these new developments make you almost forget we navigated long before GPS was even conceived. Mariners navigated using celestial methods, and with systems such as Loran, Decca, and Omega. Aviators used, and often still use, NDB, VOR, DME, and Loran.

This presentation focuses on the legacy radio navigation systems Loran-C (100 kHz) and DME/N (1 GHz), their working principles, performance, past and current usage, and their potential for future applications. Loran-C’s legacy position performance of 0.25 nmi and DME/N’s ranging performance of 0.2 nmi are no match for most of today’s stringent performance requirements, which necessitates system enhancements.

The maritime “Harbor Entrance and Approach” (HEA) procedure, for example, requires 8-20 m 95% positioning accuracy. A completely overhauled Loran-C system called “eLoran” makes this possible with modern solid-state transmitters, DSP receiver technology, novel receiver antenna design, and compensation of propagation-induced errors using differential corrections and ASF correction maps. HEA eLoran measurements in Tampa Bay Florida in 2004 demonstrated better-than 10 meter accuracy. Now, almost a decade later, Great Britain is rolling out eLoran services for all their major harbors. This is one of the examples of eLoran technology and applications that will be presented, together with land-mobile, maritime, and airborne measurement results.

The aviation community faces a challenge similar to that of the maritime community: GPS has enabled enhanced procedures at low cost, but how to protect against GPS outages? FAA’s Alternative Positioning, Navigation, and Time (APNT) program is tasked with that challenge. One of the candidate architectures is the Distance Measuring Equipment (DME) system. The legacy DME/N system is only specified to 0.2 nmi ranging performance, with DME/DME/IRU specified to the RNAV 1 level (approximately 1610m 95% positioning performance). The APNT target performance is RNP 0.3, or 370 m 95%, with integrity. Various techniques are under consideration to improve DME’s performance such as upgraded, state-of-the-art ground-station and avionics equipment. More revolutionary performance enhancements are obtained by novel techniques such as DME carrier phase, beat signal, and pulse modulation and TOA determination techniques. A brief overview of these techniques will be presented accompanied by flight test results and an outlook on the future of the system.

Biography: Dr. Wouter J. Pelgrum is an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at Ohio University where he teaches electronic navigation-related courses.  His research programs include GNSS, Inertial, DME, Loran, Time and Frequency transfer, integrated navigation systems, and advanced ground/flight test instrumentation systems.  Prior to joining Ohio University in 2009, Wouter worked in private industry where he contributed to the development of an integrated GPS-eLoran receiver and antenna.  From 2006 until 2008, Wouter operated his own company specializing in navigation-related research and consulting.              

Presenter: Mr. Hamid Mokhtarzadeh

Title: Data Fusion when Correlation Matters

Abstract: The problem of fusing two or more uncertain quantities arises in aerospace applications.  When the correlation between the quantities are zero (or known), the Kalman filter (or an alternative formulation) is an effective fusion algorithm.  However, some amount of correlation is common, and if left unrestricted, this correlation could lead to filter divergence. 

In this talk I describe scenarios where handling correlation is important.  This is followed by the presentation of a fusion technique, known as covariance intersection, for handling unknown correlation.  Finally, an automotive application simulation is used to demonstrate the performance of the filters.

Biography: Mr. Hamid Mokhtarzadeh is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics at the University of Minnesota. He earned a B.S. and M.S. in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics from the University of Minnesota.  His M.S. research focused on modeling and control of dynamical systems. Hamid’s current interests include data analysis and visualization, estimation, and integrated navigation systems.

General Meeting on Oct 3, 2013. Keynote Speaker: Tom Jakel from the Univ of MN

The next general meeting of the ION North Star Section will be
Tuesday, Oct 3th in Mechanical Engineering Building Room 1130 at the
University of Minnesota (,
starting at 6:00 PM.

Tom Jakel of the University
of Minnesota will be the keynote speakers. Tom will give a presentation entitled  “Use of Trunk Roll Constraint to Improve Heading Estimation in Pedestrian Dead  Reckoning Navigation Systems.” This presentation is co-authored with Demoz Gebre-Egziabher of the University of Minnesota

Sandwiches and beverages will be served during the Meet and Greet
portion of the meeting.

Please email us at, if you plan to attend.


6:00 Meet and Greet

6:30 Keynote Speaker

7:45 Section Business

8:00 Final remarks

Keynote presentation:

Title: Use of Trunk Roll Constraint to Improve Heading Estimation in Pedestrian Dead
Reckoning Navigation Systems:

Authors: T. Jakel ,Honeywell; D. Gebre-Egziabher, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities


Abstract:  A  method for increasing the accuracy of the
heading estimate in IMU-based personal navigation system will be discussed.
Heading estimation without use or emittance of any external electromagnetic
signals for reference is a critical but challenging component of pedestrian
dead reckoning navigation systems. In the environments where these systems are
normally used, electromagnetic signals may be unavailable. Even when available,
these signals may be intentionally or inadvertently corrupted for an extended
period of time. In such environments, the navigation system must determine
initial heading through gyro-compassing or using information from other sensors
such as magnetometers or radio frequency multilateration systems. Subsequently,
these external measurements may be used periodically to arrest the heading
drift when signal conditions and trajectory allow it.

Due to the size, weight, power, and cost constraints
imposed on a pedestrian navigation systems as well as current IMU performance
limitations, the gyroscopes used to determine heading have significant drift.
To deal with this drift problem without having to rely on information external
to the navigator, the use of human motion models as constraints has been
proposed. For example, one such motion model used as a constraint predicts the
onset of turning motion of the pedestrian by thresholding the outputs of the
yaw gyroscope. For example, unless a significant yaw rate is detected, the user
is assumed to be moving in a straight line. This gyroscope is also integrated
to determine the change in angle over the period of turning, such constraints delay
the open loop gyro integration time onset which increases the accumulated
drift, especially for sudden turns, which can occur during indoor navigation.

The use of the trunk roll angle and angular rate are
presented as additional signals used to predict the onset of pedestrian turning
motion. The signature of the trunk roll motion relative to foot and body
reorientation is described. Integration of the trunk roll motion based turning
prediction method with existing yaw threshold methods is described and
analyzed. Experimental data from ten subjects was captured in a gait
laboratory, where a Vicon motion tracking unit is used for validation. In these
experiments the subjects were instrumented with five low cost IMU units; one on
the right foot, one on the right ankle, one on the right thigh, one on the
lower back and one on the chest. The outputs of the foot-mounted IMUs are used
with Zero Velocity Updates (ZUPTs) to determine the subject’s gross body
motion. The torso mounted IMUs are used to sense upper body motion and this
information is used in activating the trunk-roll constraint. The analysis of
experimental data demonstrates that trunk rolling motion precedes heading
change and can be used together with yaw rate threshold methods to predict the
onset of a turning motion. This technique provides a smaller latency in the
turn detection, which produces a more accurate open-loop gyro integration time
leading to lower accumulated gyroscope drift.

Oct 30 – General Meeting, Keynote Speaker: John F. Raquet

The next general meeting of the ION North Star Section will be Tuesday, Oct 30th in Mechanical Engineering Building Room 1130 at the University of Minnesota (, starting at 6:00 PM.

John F. Raquet, the keynote speaker, will give a presentatation is entitled “Magnetic Field-Based Navigation and the Need for Self-Building World Models.”

Sandwiches and beverages will be served during the Meet and Greet portion of the meeting.

Please email us at, if you plan to attend.

  6:00 Meet and Greet
  6:30 Keynote Speaker
  7:45 Section Business
  8:00 Closing remarks

Keynote presentation:

Speaker: John F. Raquet

John F. Raquet is the Director of the Advanced Navigation Technology (ANT) Center at the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), where he is also an Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering.  The ANT Center consists of 22 faculty members, 6 staff members, and over 40 students working to solve a wide variety of problems related to autonomy and navigation.  Dr. Raquet directly supervises the research of 6-10 MS and PhD students.  He has a PhD in geomatics engineering from the University of Calgary, a masters in aero/astro engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a BS in astronautical engineering from the U.S. Air Force Academy.  He has published over 140 navigation-related conference and journal papers and taught 44 navigation-related short courses to over 1500 students in many different organizations.  He just completed his term as Chairman of the Satellite Division of the Institute of Navigation, and he is an ION Fellow.

Abstract: Magnetic Field-Based Navigation and the Need for Self-Building World Models

Variations in Earth’s magnetic field present a practical source of navigation information. A magnetometer and magnetic field maps can be used for determining position ground vehicles in a variety of environments. This presentation describes a navigation approach using only a magnetometer and magnetic field maps created in the same vehicle, as well as navigation when magnetic field maps are created in a vehicle of a different type. Pairing the three-axis magnetometer measurements with position information creates a magnetic field map containing the variation and localized perturbations in Earth’s magnetic field as a function of position. For navigation solutions, a particle filter uses the three-axis magnetometer measurements to produce road-level navigation exploring three suburban environments. The results demonstrate navigation using magnetic field variations in large vehicles is viable and achieves good performance for road-level navigation in suburban areas. Additionally, I will use this system as an example of the need to develop improved methods for generating what I call “self-building world models”–that is, to have the capability of efficiently generating maps of natural features (such as the magnetic field) without the need for a large-scale measurement campaign.  This capability will be key for most approaches that rely on natural signals for navigation.

North Star Section Plans for year ’12 and ’13

The North Star Section completed it initial planning for our general meetings from Sept 2012 to June 2013.

Calendar of Events:

  • Approx Oct 30, 2012: General Meeting (Tentative: John Raquet USAF, Alternative Nav)
  • Approx Early Dec:          General Meeting (Tentative: Speaker TBD)
  • January 25-27:                Annual Snow plow competition at the St. Paul Winter Carnival
  • Month of Feb:                   General Meeting: Tour of local company. Location is TBD
  • Month of March:             Annual volunteer recognition gathering
  • Month of May:                 General Meeting (Speaker: TBD)


May 17th, 2012 – General Meeting (Peter Seiler – U of M)

The next general meeting of the ION North Star Section will be Thursday May 17th in Mechanical Engineering Building Room 1130 at the University of Minnesota ( The keynote speaker at this meeting will be a presentation on the Design and Analysis of Safety Critical Systems by Peter Seiler from the University of Minnesota.

Please email us at, if you plan to attend.

  6:00 Meet and Greet
  6:30 Keynote Speaker
  7:45 Section Business
  8:00 Closing remarks

Sandwiches and beverages will be served during the Meet and Greet portion of the meeting.

The keynote presentation will be:

Title: Design and Analysis of Safety Critical Systems

Presenter: Peter Seiler (University of Minnesota)

Abstract: The FAA (US) and JAA (European) certification authorities impose high demands on the reliability of safety-critical aircraft systems.  The high degree of reliability is typically achieved through the use of physically redundant components. Commercial aircraft such as the Boeing 777  have redundant control surfaces, sensors, processors, hydraulic lines, and communication networks. This talk will first review the design challenges associated with redundancy management for commercial aircraft.  One drawback of physical redundancy is the increased size, cost, weight, and power requirements.  Some aircraft, e.g. UAVs, cannot be designed to meet the conflicting design requirements imposed by the use of physical redundancy for reliability. Model-based fault detection provides an alternative means to achieve high levels of reliability without using redundant physical hardware.  These analytical methods detect faults using dynamic models to relate the behavior of various subsystems and sensor measurements.

Systems that use analytical redundancy must also demonstrate the required levels of reliability to certification authorities. A major obstacle to the use of analytical fault detection in aerospace systems is the lack of appropriate tools to analyze and certify the performance of these systems. The second part of the talk will describe a mathematical framework that can be used to analyze the performance of systems that rely on analytical redundancy.

General Meeting (Speaker: Jade Morton) on Wed. Dec 14th

The next general meeting of the ION North Star Section will be Wednesday Dec 14th in Mechanical Engineering Building Room ME 1130 at the University of Minnesota (

Please email us at, if you plan to attend.

The agenda for the meeting is:

    6:00 Meet and Greet
    6:30 Welcome
    6:35 Keynote Speaker
    7:30 Closing remarks

Sandwiches and beverages will be served during the Meet and Greet portion of the meeting.

Keynote Presentation:

Title: Ionosphere Effects and other GNSS and RF Navigation Research at Miami

Presenter: Jade Morton, Professor at Miami University


The ionosphere is a dynamic medium characterized by irregularities in electron density distributions which cause refraction, scattering, and diffraction of GNSS signals that traverse the ionosphere.  The results of these signal interactions with the ionosphere are highly variable signal group delays and carrier advances, deep signal amplitude fading, and random carrier phase fluctuations.  While the group delay and carrier advances cause GPS range measurement errors which cannot be totally eliminated by the current state-of-the-art receivers, the signal amplitude fading and carrier phase fluctuations, collectively referred to as ionospheric scintillations, may result in receiver loss-of-lock of satellite signals.  These ionosphere effects pose a serious challenge for applications that require continuous and high accuracy measurements.

In this presentation, I will focus on two of our current research efforts in ionosphere effects.  The first effort aims to assess the higher order ionosphere error in GPS receiver range measurements and to characterize the higher order error temporal and spatial structure.  The second study concerns the establishment of a multi-constellation, multi-band GNSS receiver array in Alaska to collect GNSS signals under both natural and controlled ionospheric scintillation conditions, and the development of robust GPS receiver algorithms for the estimation of satellite signal parameters. Technical approaches, recent findings, and significance of both projects will be discussed in the presentation. 

Additional research activities involving short delay time GPS multipath estimation and mitigation, multi-use of ultra-wideband radar for imaging, communication, and navigation, and a few navigation application projects will be briefly highlighted


Dr. Jade Morton is a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Miami University. She holds a BS in Physics from Nanjing University, China, a MS in Electrical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University, a MS in Systems Analysis from Miami University, and a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University.  She was a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Michigan Space Physics Research Laboratory working on satellite-based remote sensing of the atmosphere.  Her current research interests are in high accuracy and high sensitivity GNSS receiver algorithms, ionosphere effects on GNSS performance, software defined UWB radar for navigation, and navigation sensor integration and applications.   She has served in various capacities at the Institute of Navigation (ION) and IEEE and chaired numerous sessions, tracks, workshops, and conferences for ION and IEEE.  She is a member of the editorial board of the journal GPS Solutions and is an associate editor for IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronics Systems.  She is also a technical committee member of the IEEE Microwave Theory and Technology Society, Digital Signal Processing Subgroup.  Dr. Morton has published over 100 technical papers, received over $3M in grants and contracts, and mentored hundreds of students on navigation related projects.  She is currently the vice chair of the ION Satellite Division and ION Outreach Chair.

General Meeting at Honeywell on Oct 27th

The next general meeting of the North Star Section will be held at Honeywell’s Stinson Ridgway facility on October 27th, starting at 6:00 PM. If you plan to attend follow the special instructions at the end of this email.

The address of Honeywell, which is 2 miles north of the University of MN, is:

    2600 Ridgway Parkway
    Minneapolis, MN 55413


When you arrive go to the Guard Desk on East side of the building. This entry is on the back of the building. Please use the parking lot that is accessed by way of the second Honeywell driveway east of Stinson Blvd on Ridgway Parkway.

      6:00-6:30 pm             Social time, including beverages and sandwiches
      6:30-7:00 pm             Tour of Honeywell’s Gyro Manufacturing
      7:00:7:45 pm             Keynote speaker
      7:45           pm             Conclusion


Keynote Speaker:

Ryan Supino
Senior Scientist RDE, Honeywell Advanced Technology, Advanced Sensors and Microsystems
Presentation Title:
Current and Future Directions in Gyroscope Development


Presentation Abstract:

Even as GPS location technology has rapidly expanded in military, automotive, and commercial applications over the past decade, there is a continued focus on inertial sensor development due to concerns regarding GPS reliance for military, aviation, and first responder applications.  Of particular interest is the current and future direction of gyroscope technology.  Current research efforts are focusing on improving performance and reducing the size of sensor technologies to enable a new range of inertial navigation applications.  This discussion will focus on a wide range of gyroscope research trends ranging from MEMS gyro and IMU miniaturization to development of high performance atomic inertial sensors.  


If you plan to attend, you must do the following:     

     Honeywell employees who are US Citizens or
     Permanent Residents (Green Card holder)
         RSVP to
     Honeywell employees who are not US Citizens nor Permanent Residents
         RSVP to

         Contact Chuck Bye at Honeywell for Honeywell employee specific
              instructions by Oct 20nd.
         RSVPs received after Oct 21st may not be processed.
    Non-Honeywell attendees:
        Complete the Honeywell Visit Request Form.
        RSVP and email the form to by Oct 21st.
        You will be emailed confirmation that your visit has been approved.
        RSVPs received after Oct 21st may not be processed.

If you have any questions, please email me at

2011 Election Results

The election of Section officers for the North Star section has been completed. Wayne Soehren is the newly elected Publicity chair. All other officers were reelected. The officers will begin their one year terms on July 1, 2011. The 2011 section officers are:

     Chair: Mr. Charles Bye, Honeywell
     Secretary: Vibhor Bageshwar, Honeywell
     Finance Chair: Mark Ahlbrecht, Honeywell
     Program Chair: Demoz Gebre-Egziabher, University of Minnesota
     Publicity Chair: Wayne Soehren, Honeywell
     Outreach Chair: Suneel Sheikh, Aster Labs, Inc.

General Meeeting – April 14, 2011

The next general meeting of the North Star Section will be held at Dunwoody College of Technology on April 14th, starting at 6:00 PM.

The address of Dunwoody, which is near downtown, is:
         818 Dunwoordy Blvd.
         Minneapolis, MN 55403 


      6:00-6:30pm             Social time, including beverages and sandwiches
      6:30-6:50pm             Welcome and Presentation
      6:50:7:35pm             Tour
      7:35 pm                     Conclusion

Keynote Speaker

E.J. Daigle III – Academic Director for Robotics and Manufacturing at Dunwoody College

Presentation Abstract

Mr. Daigle will present an overview of the Robotic and Manufacturing Deparment and tours of their Electronics, Engineering Design, Machining and Automation laboratories. This presentation and tour will include a brief description of their experiences at the first Annual Snow Plow competition during the St. Paul Winter Carnival. This includes viewing Dunwoody’s 3rd place autonomous snowplow vehicle and meet with some of the team members.

Overview of Dunwoody

Dunwoody College of Technology is a Private non-profit technical college on the western edge of downtown Minneapolis. Founded in 1914 by William Hood Dunwoody’s endowment of $2 million dollars, Dunwoody continues to thrive off the interest earned over the years. Dunwoody has been teaching many skilled trades associated with the Manufacturing, Construction, and Automotive industries. The college has since added several technical disciplines, medical programs and Bachelor completion options. In its nearly 100 year history, Dunwoody has had over 300,000 alumni several of whom started their own successful businesses. These businesses include Standard Heating and Air, Entemann’s Bakery, Moori’s Automotive Group, Mortenson Construction and Lund Boats

If you plan to attend, please RSVP to