2006 Early Achievement Award

Presented to: Dr. Mark G. Petovello

Citation: For sustained technical and professional contributions to GNSS and navigation.


Dr. Mark G. Petovello is a senior research engineer in the Position, Location and Navigation Group, Department of Geomatics Engineering at the University of Calgary where he is responsible for conducting and supervising research related to positioning and navigation.

Dr. Petovello has made numerous contributions to navigation throughout his early career. He has developed several novel algorithms and methods to improve accuracy, reliability, and efficiency of navigation systems including two preliminary patent filings. He has authored and co-authored over 45 papers and technical reports and has given numerous presentations at conferences and symposiums. He has also led the development of four different navigation software packages licensed through the University of Calgary. For his dissertation (completed in April 2003), Dr. Petovello performed an extensive study on the integration of a tactical-grade inertial unit with GPS for real-time high-accuracy navigation. The major contributions of this work were the characterization of benefits and limitations of integrating GPS with tactical-grade IMUs for real-time applications; the modification of the statistical reliability equations for use in cascaded filter architectures and for sequential updating of Kalman filters; and the development and testing of a software program capable of using data from various qualities of IMUs and GPS receivers, and able to implement user selectable processing strategies.

From 2003 to 2005, Dr. Petovello led the University of Calgary’s Joint Precision Approach and Landing System (JPALS) research that included a seminal assessment of the amount of flexure experienced upon an aircraft carrier at sea using GPS and inertial sensors, and he led the development of a novel algorithm for assessing the probability of correct ambiguity resolution for geometry- based positioning strategies.

Dr. Petovello supervised the execution of a research contract with a major automobile manufacturer in which low-cost, onboard sensors are used for centimeter-level positioning. Part of this work resulted in a patent filing in 2006. Since 2005, Dr. Petovello led the group’s software-based receiver development effort with a focus on carrier phase tracking under degraded signal environments. As part of this, Dr. Petovello developed a new algorithm to improve the processing efficiency of software-based receivers by 25 percent for which a patent on this algorithm was filed in 2006.