Kassas elected Institute of Navigation Fellow

Posted: February 3, 2023
two people standing next to each other
Professor Zak Kassas (left) with Frank Van Diggelen, President of ION

Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Zak Kassas has been elected to Fellow membership of The Institute of Navigation (ION). He was recognized 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.

ION Fellow membership recognizes sustained professional accomplishments that have significantly contributed to the advancement of the arts and sciences of Positioning, Navigation and/or Timing (PNT) in the areas of technology, management, practice or teaching, and a demonstrated and sustained impact on the PNT community. The number of ION Fellow promotions every year cannot exceed 0.1% of the total number of members. 

Kassas is an internationally recognized expert of PNT in Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)-denied environments by exploiting terrestrial and extraterrestrial signals of opportunity (SOPs). He made breakthrough contributions that proved SOPs could be exploited for sustained, high-accuracy, real-world PNT, achieving the highest levels of accuracy to date—submeter- and meter-level accuracy on aerial vehicles and ground vehicles, including navigation in GPS-jammed environments and on U.S. Air Force high-altitude aircraft.

He and his team were the first to develop a comprehensive approach to extract accurate PNT information from 4G and 5G signals and a simultaneous tracking and navigation framework to exploit low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite signals. They developed a revolutionary framework for SOPs with unknown signal structure, termed cognitive opportunistic navigation, leading to the first published results of exploiting unknown Starlink LEO signals for PNT.

Kassas is currently the director of the Center for Automated Vehicles Research with Multimodal Assured Navigation (CARMEN), a U.S. Department of Transportation University Transportation Center led by The Ohio State University, which investigates PNT resiliency and accuracy of highly automated transportation systems.

Kassas has authored more than 150 peer-reviewed journal and conference papers, nine magazine articles, three invited book chapters and holds 19 U.S. patents. His numerous awards include the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) Young Investigator Program, Office of Naval Research (ONR) Young Investigator Program, National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award, ION Thurlow Award, ION Burka Award, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Walter Fried Award and IEEE Signal Processing Society grand prize.

Kassas is the fourth Ohio State faculty member named an ION Fellow. Professors Dorota Grejner-Brzezinska, Jiti Gupta and Charles Toth are also ION Fellows.

The Institute of Navigation is a not-for-profit professional organization advancing Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT).

Categories: AwardsFaculty