Engineering Research Assistant Professor Khanafseh Receives Early Achievement Award

Congratulations to MMAE Research Assistant Professor Samer Khanafseh for receiving the Institute of Navigation’s Early Achievement Award. This competitive international award honors the best young researchers in the field each year. Khanafseh received the award for his outstanding contributions to the integrity of carrier phase navigation systems.

In 2004, Dr. Khanafseh developed a new method for on-site calibration of differential phase pattern variations in GPS antennas using spherical harmonics. The method was immediately applied with success to Integrated Multipath Limiting Antennas (IMLA) in the LAAS ground system, and it opened up potential applications for the direct monitoring of ionospheric fronts and GPS orbit ephemeris faults. Based on Dr. Khanafseh’s foundational work, these differential carrier phase monitors are currently of intense international interest for use in Ground Based Augmentation Systems (GBAS).

Subsequently, Dr. Khanafseh’s Ph.D. dissertation (2008) represented the culmination of an effort to develop, implement, and experimentally validate new, high-accuracy carrier phase navigation architectures for dynamic environments where GPS satellite visibility is significantly obstructed. As part of this work he developed high-fidelity dynamic sky blockage models for Autonomous Air Refueling (AAR); derived new algorithms to optimally exploit antenna redundancy for high integrity navigation; and defined a new method for directly evaluating cycle ambiguity resolution integrity risk in the position domain. His Ph.D. work was ultimately validated experimentally in real-time, autonomous airborne refueling flight tests conducted at China Lake, CA (2005) and over Niagara Falls, NY (2007) using a Lear Jet and a KC-135 tanker aircraft.  Read more on the ION award site.

Khanafseh received his Ph.D. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from IIT in 2008, and continues to teach while conducting research in the MMAE department at IIT.  He currently teaches MMAE 200: Statics and Dynamics.