AE Presents: Dr. Grace Gao from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Grace Gao

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Monday, November 20 @ 10 a.m.
Montgomery Knight, Room 317

Robust and reliable GPS-based navigation is critical and challenging for a variety of applications, such as airplanes, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and autonomous driving cars. GPS may suffer from signal blockage due to building and terrain masking and multipath issues. Moreover, GPS signals are vulnerable against attacks, such as jamming or spoofing. These attacks either disable GPS positioning, or more deliberately mislead with wrong positioning.

We first present our recent work on robust GPS-based navigation. We will focus on two projects: 1) multi-receiver direct position estimation, flight tested on a Beech C-12 aircraft; 2) tight GPS/LiDAR/IMU sensor fusion on the raw signal level, validated using a quadcopter designed and built by our lab. We have demonstrated improved navigation accuracy, reliability and resilience to attacks.

Grace X. Gao is an assistant professor in the Aerospace Engineering Department at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She obtained her Ph.D. degree from the GPS Laboratory at Stanford University in 2008. Before joining Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as an assistant professor in 2012, Prof. Gao was a research associate at Stanford University.

Prof. Gao has won a number of awards, including the Institute of Navigation (ION) Early Achievement Award and RTCA William E. Jackson Award. She was named one of 50 GNSS Leaders to Watch by the GPS World Magazine. She has won Best Paper/Presentation of the Session Awards 12 times at ION conferences. She received Dean's Award for Excellence in Research from College of Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 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 at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She was chosen as American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Illinois Chapter’s Teacher of the Year in 2016. She also received the Engineering Council Award for Excellence in Advising from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2017.

Event Details


  • Monday, November 20, 2017
    10:00 am - 11:00 am
Location: Montgomery Knight Room 317