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Dismounted Soldier Navigation in GNSS-Denied Environments

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Paul Groves
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted

Project Description

A fundamental component of a soldier’s situational awareness, and thus their ability to act effectively and as safely as possible, is an accurate, shared appreciation of their, and others, position and (to a lesser extent) their orientation. This applies equally to teams of police, firefighters and paramedics. Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) receivers do not work inside tunnels, deep within buildings or in the presence of simple jamming equipment produced by someone with basic knowledge. Your challenge under this PhD project will therefore be to design and test a practical, accurate navigation system for the dismounted soldier that uses a range of integrated sensors but does not rely on GNSS. The project will initially investigate motion sensing using foot-mounted inertial sensors, together with magnetic anomaly matching, later extending to other technologies, such as person-to-person ranging, opportunistic radio signals and visual techniques.

Through your research, you will develop skills in experimental work, algorithm design, software development, data analysis and effective communication. You will also participate in UCL’s flexible and extensive Doctoral Skills Development Programme and spend about a month per year working within the Navigation Systems capability team at Dstl Porton Down helping to integrate your research with their activities.


Applicants must hold or expect to obtain a 1st class or upper 2nd class bachelors or masters degree in engineering, physics, maths or computer science.

Applicants must also be UK citizens (not dual nationals) who have been resident in the UK for the past three years and must be willing to undergo UK security clearance.

Applicants should send a covering letter and CV to Dr Paul D Groves ([Email Address Removed]). The successful applicant will then have to apply online to UCL by submitting the PhD application form via https://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/research-degrees/civil-environmental-geomatic-engineering-mphil-phd. Please name Dr Paul D Groves as the proposed supervisor.

The proposed start date for this studentship will be the 1st October 2019.

Funding Notes

Tuition Fees plus an annual tax-free stipend of £19,000 (year 1), rising to £20,500 (year 4)



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