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Two Engineering Technology students at the University of Houston-Downtown, Amir Aghajani and Alexander Camacho under the guidance of Dr. Alberto Gomez-Rivas, designed and built a high performance GPS antenna that will be used by students in the Surveying course that includes instruction in GIS-GPS. The project was motivated by the need to have an antenna capable of performing high precision measurements instruction in the surveying course. A critical factor was cost: whereas estimated for construction cost of the antenna was only $70, a commercial antenna available for the Trimble GPS receiver costs $2700.
The antenna was designed and crafted by Aghajani, Structural Analysis and Design major and Camacho, Fire Protection major, using off-the-shelf components, meeting our strategy to simultaneously educate and do research at very low cost. This was the same methodology implemented earlier by Dr. Gomez-Rivas in the development of the NSF-sponsored Engineering Technology Department Structures Laboratory.
The antenna captures twice as many satellites as the built-in antenna that usually is included with the receiver; however, accuracy of of measurement was found to increase by a factor of six.
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Last updated or reviewed on 9/21/10