Call for Participation: Round 2 of NGS Kinematic GPS Challenge

January 30, 2013  - By

NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey (NGS) is conducting a 12-year project, called Gravity for the Redefinition of the American Vertical Datum (GRAV-D), to redefine the vertical datum of the United States by flying airborne gravity missions. The accuracy of the resulting vertical datum depends directly on the quality of the aircraft’s GNSS position solutions.

In August 2010, NGS issued a Kinematic GPS Challenge to seek community input on the best practices for processing this large positioning data volume. Ten international groups answered the call, submitting 16 different position solutions calculated with a variety of software and techniques. However, the majority of solutions were corrupted by a characteristic “sawtooth” pattern which was tracked back to the aircraft receiver used in the initial challenge; for this challenge reissue, a second onboard GNSS receiver is used.  Also in this new call for participation, inertial measurement unit (IMU) data are made available for joint GPS+IMU processing.

“To further facilitate our software and method development, we invite interested researchers and practitioners to compute and submit solutions from samples of actual GRAV-D data,” said Gerry Mader and Theresa Diehl, NGS, in an invitation email. “In this new call, NGS requests that all participants submit a GPS-only solution utilizing the new aircraft GPS data. For those able to process with IMU data, we request additional submission of a second IMU+GPS solution. NGS would like to receive all solutions by April 1, 2013.

“This is a strictly voluntary exercise for those interested in such a comparison and we will share our results with the participants. We are also interested in possibly co-authoring a publication with the participants on the topic if results are significant.”

Detailed information on the challenge is available here:

Those interested in participating should read through the PDF (link above), then email Gerry Mader (gerald.l.mader at and Theresa Diehl (theresa.diehl at with any questions.

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