Adding GRACE to GNSS
The GNSS Research and Application Centre of Excellence (GRACE), is a cross disciplinary centre providing cutting edge research, high calibre teaching, and business support services to the GNSS community. In October 2009 GRACE will move into its own state-of-the-art purpose built centre. A ground breaking ceremony took place on the 11th of November 2008, and construction of the centre is underway at the University of Nottingham Innovation Park (UNIP) on the Jubilee campus of the University of Nottingham.
Professor David Greenaway, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research said, “With EMDA we are investing not only in the University and region, but in a national asset. There is enormous potential here and I expect significant benefits to follow, not only in terms of support for the business community, but also in visibility for our region.”
Bringing expertise together
The newly formed team of GRACE will synergise with the staff, research students and the research and training facilities of two institutes of the University of Nottingham – the Institute of Engineering Surveying and Space Geodesy (IESSG) and the Centre for Geospatial Science (CGS). Both institutes are coming together to occupy the new GRACE building.
Research at IESSG encompasses fields such as Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing, Sensor Integration and GIS besides the traditional focus around satellite navigation and positioning systems. CGS is a cross disciplinary research centre focussing its research efforts in geospatial techniques and how they can augment other fields.
World class research and development
Occupying an area of over 2,000 sq m the GRACE centre will provide regional, national and international business access to facilities that will include customised incubation units, project offices, latest testing equipment, secure research and development laboratories and dedicated training suites.
Infrastructure and services at GRACE
GNSS Research Laboratory and Training Services
The GRACE building will have a series of geospatial laboratories, each focussing on a specific area – from GNSS activities to Image Processing to Location Based Services and GIS. An innovative feature will be the state of the art laboratory designed into the roof of the building. It will have a series of stable monuments which are supported through the whole of the building and into the foundations. These will provide high tolerance platforms for continuously operating GNSS receivers used for both earth movement research and to provide support to the RTK Network project.
The Mobile laboratory
The Integrated Positioning Vehicle or the GRACE Mobile Laboratory is capable of providing centimetre level accuracy of position in all road environments. The vehicle will be used to support both systems testing and systems integration. It is hoped that these advanced facilities will stimulate industry to develop and test applications and services in the UK by providing an environment in which researchers and developers can conduct repeatable tests in controlled envelopes and real-life environments.
Making its presence felt
A feather in the cap for the GRACE team was to host the UK ‘Growing Galileo’ event earlier this year in conjunction with the Location and Timing Knowledge Transfer Network. The event was held in the Sir Colin Campbell building adjacent to the new GRACE site. In the second call for proposals for the EU’s 7th Framework Programme, about €40m is available for GNSS research and development projects. The UK ‘Growing Galileo’ event focussed on access to new funding from the European GNSS Supervisory Authority (GSA) for collaborative projects under the FP7. With over 100 registrations and 80 attendees the event was a great success. Professor Terry Moore, Director of GRACE and Professor of Satellite Navigation said: “This seminar has been hugely beneficial to all taking part and it represents a real signal of intent for GRACE. We aim to make GRACE a true centre of excellence in the East Midlands and that work begins with opportunities like this.”
Shaping the future
The GRACE team has provided an important tool in the form of the feed back form on their website to receive information from their target markets. This information will help to shape the direction of GRACE.
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