GEO-ESCON Projects and Initiatives

Stay Informed on GEO-ESCON's Ongoing Projects and Initiatives!

These projects exemplify the diverse range of activities and expertise within GEO-ESCON and their summaries provide valuable insights into the type of research and initiatives NGA has committed to funding.

PI: Ezra Che, Oregon State University

CO-PIs: Michael Olsen, Oregon State University and Chase Simpson, Oregon State University

Summary: Thanks to the rapid evolvement of 3D sensing technologies, a wide variety of systems are accessible for “reality capture” with tremendous quality and efficiency. It is crucial to clearly report the uncertainty of various data products and subsequent models considering their use cases, which can be challenging for the conventional accuracy assessment and reporting approaches. To overcome this challenge, this project aims to develop a novel, data-driven, scale-variant QA/QC method to estimate, report, and visualize the uncertainty of the data acquired from multiple sources to guide the data fusion process and support 3D modeling and other applications.

PI: Demián Gómez, The Ohio State University

CO-PI: Michael Bevis, The Ohio State University

Summary: The main goal of this project is to develop and produce a trajectory parameter prediction model (TPPMs) that can be used to generate dynamic trajectory models in South America (SA). These TPPMs will be created using most of the geodetic GNSS stations and DInSAR data in the region of interest. The target uncertainty of the TPPMs is 1-2 cm in the horizontal and of 3-5 cm (or better) in the vertical. We selected SA as the demonstration region for our approach since large amplitude and non-steady deformation is common in this continent.

PI: Kevin Mickus, Missouri State University

Summary: Ground gravity and magnetic data will be collected by Missouri State University and the Iraq Geological Survey at intervals between ¼ and ½ kilometers along all roads in northeastern Iraq. The horizontal location and elevation of each station will be determined using differential Global Positioning System methods. The gravity data will be processed into Complete Bouguer gravity anomalies and the magnetic data will be processed into residual magnetic anomalies in order for the data to be used to determine the crustal structure in northeastern Iraq.

PI: Seth Warn, University of Arkansas 

CO-PIs: Jackson Cothren, University of Arkansas and Hank Theiss, University of Arkansas 

Summary: Images taken by "KeyHole" reconnaissance satellites from 1960 to 1984 are now available to the public, and are the best imagery available for many locations during that period. However, as currently provided, these images are incompatible with modern geospatial workflows. The OpenKeyhole project is developing tools that bridge the gap, allowing users to fully take advantage of keyhole imagery.

PI: Michael Olsen, Oregon State University

CO-PIs: Ezra Che, Oregon State University, Jaehoon Jung, Oregon State University, and Chase Simpson, Oregon State University

Summary: Tools to perform coordinate system transformations have different levels of complexity and accuracy. Some are focused at producing mapping grade products while others are more rigorous for geodetic applications. Users are often confused and do not understand potential limitations of these tools. As a result, errors and inconsistencies become difficult to detect, particularly when processing the data volumes associated with point clouds. This project explores the reliability of point cloud coordinate and reference frame transformations and develops robust techniques to perform and evaluate these transformations.  The project will produce a “Point Cloud Transformation Toolkit (PoCToK)” capable of geodetic grade transformations. 

Change analysis displayed on a digital elevation model that shows erroneous change, particularly on ridges, due to improper datum realization.  Those artefacts are reduced after this issue is corrected.

Example change analysis for airborne lidar datasets acquired 9 years apart in the Columbia River Gorge with horizontal offsets due to improper datum realization (left) and corrected data (right). Green/Blue values indicate positive change and orange/red values indicate negative change. 

PI: Alper Yilmaz, The Ohio State University

CO-PI: Charles Toth, The Ohio State University

Summary: Precise gravitational measurements are necessary to create a model of the Earth's gravity field. This model helps establish the connection between the reference ellipsoid and the geoid, which is crucial for GPS positioning. Having a better understanding of the gravity field's details allows for a more accurate conversion of WGS84 GPS positions into a standardized coordinate system.

Measuring gravitational fields requires specialized and costly equipment, and deploying gravimeters becomes especially complex when dealing with vast areas. The current methods face two primary challenges. Firstly, the instruments themselves used for gravity measurement are quite large. Secondly, there are limitations in both the coverage area and the level of detail in the spatial measurements of gravity. To address these challenges, our project suggests an innovative crowd-sourcing solution. We utilize MEMS IMU sensors found in smartphones to measure the specific force and subsequently calculate gravity. This approach aims to overcome the size and coverage limitations associated with traditional methods.

Real-time tracking of gravitational field via crowdsourcing image

PI: Jinha Jung, Purdue University

Summary: This project addresses the geomatics challenge of constructing a real-world representation of the globe by establishing a foundational Digital Twin. We propose developing an integrated web-based geospatial database for a nation-scale Digital Twin. A reliable state-wide 3D topographic map and large-scale 3D urban maps of major US metropolitan areas will form the initial foundation. The web-based database will be designed to allow people to easily access, develop, and update geospatial data in an open, collaborative manner. Furthermore, we will demonstrate the utility of our Digital Twin in various applications, primarily focusing on enhancing citizens' livability and promoting the nation's safety.