AEM alumna receives Parkinson Award
AEM alumna Susmita Bhattacharyya was recently awarded the Bradford W. Parkinson Award for her thesis in the field of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS). Dr. Bhattacharyya received her PhD from the AEM department in April.
The Parkinson Award, named after one of the key inventors of GPS (and Twin-Cities native), is presented annually by the Satellite Division of the Institute of Navigation (ION) for a PhD thesis with an emphasis on GNSS technology. GNSS includes all global and regional satellite navigation systems, including the United States’ Global Positioning System (GPS). The Parkinson Award specifically recognizes novel contributions representing significant innovations in the technology, application, or policy of modern satellite navigation systems.
Dr. Bhattacharyya’s thesis focused on examining the performance of an improved method for processing the signals transmitted by GPS satellites to compute position. The method is called vector tracking and makes GPS more immune to outages caused by interfering radio signals or, as is common in urban settings, buildings that obstruct the signal coming from satellites. Dr. Bhattacharyya’s thesis developed a method for detecting faulty satellite signals in vector tracking receivers so that they can be used in applications that demand a high level of safety and reliability such as precision landing of commercial aircraft.
“When I was first introduced to the field of satellite navigation during my master degree in India, I wanted to know about the internal operations of a GPS receiver. However, I did not get the opportunity then,” Dr. Bhattacharyya said. “So, when my advisor (AEM professor Demoz Gebre-Egziabher )told me that I would work on an advanced GPS receiver architecture in my PhD, I grabbed that opportunity right away. Although it was not very clear to me in the beginning where I was headed, I took it up as an opportunity to learn the workings of a GPS receiver.”Dr. Bhattacharyya received a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Jadavpur University in Kolkata, India. She is currently a Senior Systems Engineer at Accord Software and Systems Pvt. Ltd. in Bangalore, India. She hopes to eventually return to academia. The citation to Dr. Bhattacharyya’s award can be found here. Her full thesis can be found here.