The GeoSHM project on the Forth Road Bridge

UBIPOS Co-Founder, George Ye, on life-saving Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) for self-driving.

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On PNT for self-driving: More award winning Forth Road Bridge safety tech

You all know about CAVForth – Vehicle of the Year winner at the inaugural Self-driving Industry Awards – well, it turns out that’s not the only world-beating Forth Road Bridge tech project.

In 2019, the GNSS and Earth Observation for Structural Health Monitoring (GeoSHM) demonstration project, led by UBIPOS UK, won The Engineer’s Collaborate to Innovate (C2I) award for Information, Data & Connectivity for a long-term commercial project designed to consign major bridge disasters to history. A pretty epic goal, we’re sure you’ll agree!

GeoSHM uses multiple space technologies and insitu sensors to provide a real-time picture of bridge movements and stresses. At its core are GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) receivers that pick up positional data via the GPS, Galileo, BeiDou, GLONASS, IRNSS and QZSS global and regional satellite constellations. This monitoring is complemented by interferometric synthetic-aperture radar (InSAR) data provided by Earth Observation (EO) satellites that can track potential subsidence.

George Ye

The GeoSHM project was supported by The University of Nottingham, BRDI, Leica Geosystems, GVL and Transport Scotland – and the technology is now being brought to market by UBIPOS, along with more self-driving-specific services, as Co-Founder and Managing Director, George Ye, explains…

UBIPOS Co-Founder and MD, George Ye, on PNT for self-driving
UBIPOS Co-Founder and MD, George Ye, on PNT for self-driving

GY: “The GeoSHM project on the Forth Road Bridge has run in various incarnations for over a decade now, and we’ve conducted extensive tests on the Humber Bridge and Yangtze River Bridge in China too. We’re confident the tech is proven, so we are moving to commercialise it domestically and globally as the GeoSHM Pro Structural Health Monitoring System, a high-precision solution to optimise maintenance. It has the potential to save many, many lives.

“UBIPOS was formed in 2010 to solve the most challenging and complex sustainable smart city, intelligent mobility and precision agriculture issues. We are now recognised as a world-leading geospatial science company. We have offices in Central London and Milton Keynes, and a subsidiary in the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

Into self-driving

“We followed the CAVForth project with great interest because we are very into self-driving ourselves. We were closely involved in the European Space Agency’s recent CoDRIVE demonstration project, which aimed to build an intelligent mobility service platform for connected and automated vehicles to advance the transition towards shared mobility. Out of that, we are building towards establishing the ESA CONTACT demonstration project as a game-changing on-board Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) platform, offering cm- and eventually mm-level real-time positioning data for the manufacturers of traditional, hybrid and electric vehicles, as well as intelligent fleet mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) operators.

“To commercialise this ground-breaking product, we are partnering with a number of leading UK organisations and companies your readers will be familiar with – Imperial College London, Cambridge University spin-out, National Highways contractor Kier Highways, globally leading engineering services specialist WSP UK, and the West Midlands Combined Authority. We have been sponsored by Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) and our priority is to get the costs down to enable this unit to be fitted into millions of new cars per year.”

George Ye keynote on self-driving at Cenex 2023

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Author: Neil Kennett

Neil is MD of Featurebank Ltd. He launched in 2019.