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AR Technology for Indoor Positioning Systems PhD

   School of Aerospace, Transport and Manufacturing (SATM)

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  Mr Samuel Court  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Cranfield University and the Centre for Digital Engineering and Manufacturing are seeking a high calibre candidate to undertake research leading to a PhD award.

This funded PhD opportunity provides the future field operative with the key contextual data overlaid in real-time to assist with indoor navigation in relation to key assets. The research will develop a real-time system able to visualize essential information in a number of example use case demonstrations – for example: emergency response, crowd control, security and asset management.

Situational awareness is key to emergency response. With additional sensor data and knowledge shared by other operators, Augmented Reality provides the ready means to enhance response times and link directly with digital assets. The research will explore the potential of these technologies in a series of case study investigations.

The potential technology has cross-over potential for retail environments where consumer activity can be enhanced in real-time, with personalised advertising provided dynamically or specific navigation in purchasing scenarios. 


The aim of the PhD is to develop an AR solution that focuses on assisting the next generation of field operatives. The solution is expected to support a wide-range of scenarios that the field operative will be involved in such as:

  • Maintenance engineer – fault detection, status indication, beyond-visual sight enhancement
  • Security – thermal vision, crowd movement prediction, indoor navigation
  • Emergency responder – diagnostic data, medical records, specialist remote assistance

The research is expected to include many concepts and technologies: Internet of Things (IoT), big-data analytics, AI, AR/VR. Consideration should be given to these concepts and the scalability of these to enhance the viability of field operatives. The project should consider what information or data needs to be provided within the context of indoor navigation.

The AR solution will provide real-time support to the field operative in various areas such as a) information overlay, b) sensor integration, c) situational awareness and d) navigation. Each of these areas provides distinct benefits to the field operative and demonstrate the art of the possible with emerging technologies and embedded sensors.


  1. Conduct a literature review to identify best practice in AR
  2. Identify suitable use cases for the AR platform
  3. Construct an AR solution for the next generation of field operatives
  4. Establish a set of common principles or approaches for AR-enhanced guidance for field operatives

At Cranfield, the candidate will be based at the Centre for Digital Engineering and Manufacturing, which hosts cutting-edge simulation and visualisation facilities. The student will have access to high-end computers for constructing the proposed solution. There will be relevant opportunities throughout the PhD to develop and demonstrate the research.

Funding Notes

Sponsored by: Cranfield Industrial Partnership PhD Scholarships Scheme (CIPPS) (£19K stipend)
Students of UK/EU Fee Status are eligible for the project.
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