This press release is available in Spanish.
The aim of this company is to exploit the full potential of satellite navigation, combining it with other technologies to develop innovative products and create new applications. "Our effort is focused on developing collaborative navigation network which allows us to establish cooperation between elements distributed in a specific scenario in order to geolocate information related to these elements," explains Rafael Olmedo, the chief promotor of this company and researcher with 20 years of experience at the National Institute of Aerospace Technology (INTA, in Spanish). "Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) includes GPS, , but there are other systems, such as EGNOS (a GPS satellite-based augmentation system), GLONASS , the Russian system, and the future Galileo system which play a fundamental role in the Global Satellite Navigation strategy," says Olmedo, who actively participated in the development of this European satellite navigation program.
This set of technologies can be applied to the areas of intelligent transport, maritime navigation, search and rescue, or other scenarios related with the environmental sector, where geolocating information about the environment is important. One of the specific applications is in the field of forest fire investigation. "There are certain limitations in this sector that we think can be improved through satellite navigation technologies," says Olmedo. At present, he explains, forest fire research teams use heavy equipment cases and manual techniques to indicate the direction of the fire and determine the starting point on the basis of the trails that the fire gradually leaves on the ground. "The integration of satellite navigation technologies and wireless communication networks allows us to develop low-cost, personal devices which can automate the process of research and extract data in real time," he points out.
On the basis of experience with collaborative national and European research and development projects, GEKO NavSat applies advanced satellite navigation technologies to create innovative technological solutions and products in the sectors of aerospace, intelligent transport, information and communication technologies, safety, emergencies and the environment. The social commitment of the company spurs it to create lines of application geared to people with special needs, like a guiding project for the blind on the basis of the integration of GNSS with augmented acoustic reality. "With this project, we hope to create a device which allows blind people to follow a specific route on the basis of three-dimensional sounds," remarks Olmedo. The application of this device would be immediate in the case of blind people, but would also be used by people who must travel in conditions of low or zero visibility.
The business incubator at the UC3M science park has supported the creation of GEKO NavSat and houses this company in its facilities, where it carries out its activity on both strategic and technical levels. "This support, beyond the physical space, is materializing in the opportunities it provides to the company and its projects to gain visibility, the continuous offer of information and training days, opportunities to network with other companies, contact with research groups at the UC3M and above all the opportunity to develop the company plan while guided and accompanied by expert personnel who know how to orient our project," concludes Olmedo.