Remote Sensing based Navigation in remote areas

Short Description

Routing for vehicles and even pedestrians is widely used especially for urban areas in many navigation applications. However, many user groups like rescue teams or hunters are moving over rough terrain, where routing based on road graph data cannot longer be performed.

RemoteNav will close this gap by developing a navigation system for remote areas based on remote sensing data. Remote sensing is the only reliable source, which provides updated and wall-to-wall information on the parameters and indicators describing the accessibility of rough terrain in remote areas. This is particularly true for alpine regions where only little spatial information on the features of interest exists. Satellite remote sensing represents an ideal instrument for objective and standardized data acquisition especially of data related to terrain and vegetation structures.

In order to effectively plan ideal routes and to operate in rough terrain primary knowledge on the spatial information of terrain and vegetation barriers has to be available. These parameters to be integrated into the navigation system will be selected according to their relevance regarding the accessibility of the terrain. Therefor representatives of the two in the project involved user groups have to define vegetation and terrain features, which have to be considered.

The parameters to be examined include forest status, open areas, hydrological features, constructions and other man induced features, as well as road networks. This essential information will be compiled by means of remote sensing data, LIDAR data and existing map information.

Harmonization of these indicators and parameters will ensure that the navigation system forms on a common and standardized data base. This will guarantee the search and rescue teams or hunters to rely on the navigation systems independent of the region in which they are operating. Based on the harmonized GIS database containing the spatial distribution of all barrier parameters cost functions have to be developed describing the degree of constrains regarding the accessibility of the terrain. For this purpose the outdoor experiences of selected specialists representing the two user communities will be taken into consideration in order to transform the harmonized vegetation and terrain features into different categories of accessibility.

Last but not least the route algorithm for remote areas has to be developed. Pre-condition for a routing algorithm is the existence of a weighted network, based on the time needed to pass a certain segment within a road/path network in order to get the fastest route from one node to another one. The routing algorithm calculates the optimal routes taking into account the restrictions or preferences derived from EO data.

For the calculation of new routes, the origin and the destination point are defined. For this purpose, network data is required in order to calculate the optimal route using an effective and adapted routing algorithm. The implemented algorithm will be integrated to existing Android Smartphone applications to support user groups during their operations in rough terrain.

Project Partners


Graz University of Technology

Project partner

  • OHB Digital Solutions GmbH
  • DI Florian Schöggl - pentamap::mobile GIS services

Contact Address

TU Graz
Graz University of Technology
Rechbauerstraße 12
A-8010 Graz