2023 Fellow

Presented to: Dr. Zaher (Zak) M. Kassas

Citation: For groundbreaking contributions to the theory and application of navigation with terrestrial and extraterrestrial signals of opportunity, and for dedicated national leadership and scientific service

Dr. Zak Kassas

Dr. Zaher (Zak) M. Kassas is an internationally recognized expert of PNT in GNSS-denied environments by exploiting terrestrial and extraterrestrial signals of opportunity (SOPs). He made breakthrough contributions that proved SOPs could be practically exploited for sustained, high-accuracy, realworld PNT, achieving the highest levels of accuracy to date: submeter- and meter-level accuracy on aerial vehicles and ground vehicles, respectively, including navigation in GPSjammed environments and on US Air Force high-altitude aircraft.

Dr. Kassas and his team were the first to develop a comprehensive approach to extract accurate PNT information from 4G and 5G signals, a tightly-coupled SOP-aided inertial navigation system framework for robust and accurate navigation in a radio simultaneous localization and mapping fashion, and a simultaneous tracking and navigation framework to exploit multi-constellation low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite signals. Dr. Kassas and his team developed a revolutionary framework for SOPs with unknown signal structure, termed cognitive opportunistic navigation, leading to the first ever published results of exploiting unknown Starlink LEO signals for PNT, achieving meter-level positioning.

Dr. Kassas has authored more than 150 peer-reviewed journal and conference papers, nine magazine articles, three invited book chapters, and 19 US patents. He received awards including from the 2022 AFOSR Young Investigator Program (YIP), 2019 ONR YIP, 2018 NSF CAREER, 2019 ION Thurlow Award, 2020 IEEE Signal Processing Society grand prize, 2018 ION Burka Award, 2018 IEEE Walter Fried Award, 2018 ION peer-review recognition, and 25+ best paper/ presentation awards.

Dr. Kassas is currently the director of the Center for Automated Vehicles Research with Multimodal Assured Navigation, which was awarded a US Department of Transportation University Transportation Center for PNT resiliency and accuracy of highly automated transportation systems, and a professor of electrical and computer engineering at The Ohio State University. He received his PhD in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.