Gerard Lachapelle

Professor Emeritus

Department of Geomatics Engineering

Former CRC/iCore Chair in Wireless Location

Department of Geomatics Engineering


Laval, 1971


Oxford, 1972


Helsinki, 1973


Graz, 1975

Contact information


Research and teaching

Research activities

Positioning, Navigation and Wireless Location

Dr. Lachappelle's research deals mainly with the development of satellite and ground-based RF and non-RF methods for wireless location, navigation and positioning.

As a result of his work, several software packages have been developed and are currently being licensed to various industrial and government groups world-wide through University Technologies International, a wholly-own subsidiary of The University of Calgary. The many novel applications of satellite positioning in which Dr. Lachapelle has been involved include precision farming, aircraft-to-aircraft positioning, vehicular navigation, shipborne positioning and attitude determination. He is widely published in this area and he has received major awards for his research contributions. Dr. Lachapelle is also involved in teaching professional courses related to satellite positioning and navigation. He holds a CRC/iCORE Chair in Wireless Location since early 2001.

Current Research Activities

  1. Outdoor/indoor wireless location for personal applications using RF and augmented RF sensors.
  2. Combination of the Global Positioning System (GPS) with the European Union's GALILEO system to improve navigation and positioning availability, reliability and accuracy.
  3. Development and testing of GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite Systems) methods and algorithms for multiple reference stations carrier phase ambiguity resolution which is key to improving three-dimensional cm-level accuracy real-time kinematic positioning.


FRSC, FCAE, FION (Fellow Institute of Navigation)

Consulting Activities/Interests

  • Consulting to national and foreign industrial and government groups in several areas of GPS equipment evaluation and system applications.
  • Professional courses on GPS theory and applications given to research engineers and surveyors.

Other Professional Activities

  • Technical Editor (Navigation), IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems, since 2003
  • Past President, Canadian Institute of Geomatics, and Past President, Association of Canada Lands Surveyors
  • Past Chair, Canadian Navigation Society, Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute
  • Western Vice President, U.S.-based Institute of Navigation, 2002-2003
  • Chair, Alberta Section of U.S.-based Institute of Navigation, 1999 - present



  • 2006 - Fellowship from the Royal Institute of Navigation
  • 2005 - Casey Baldwin Award, Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute, together with colleagues from the University of Calgary and Spirent Communications (SW) Limited, U.K.
  • 2005 - Faculty Graduate Education Award
  • 2004 - ASTech Award
    • Prof. Lachapelle received the 2004 Alberta Science and Technology (ASTech) Leadership Foundation Award for Outstanding Leadership in Alberta Technology. The ASTech awards and prizes recognize the brightest minds and outstanding achievements in the Alberta science and technology community.
  • 2004 - Research Excellence Award, Faculty of Engineering, University of Calgary
  • 2003 - Honorary Professor, Universita' Degli Studi Di Napoli Parthenope, Naples, Italy,
  • 2003 - elected Fellow of the U.S.-based Institute of Navigation in recognition of his sustained contributions in the field of global navigation satellite systems and related educational accomplishments.
  • 2003 - elected Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering in recognition of his extensive contribution to the development and dissemination of satellite-based navigation technologies in Canada and internationally.
  • 2002 - conferred an Honorary Professorship from the University of Wuhan, People's Republic of China. In awarding the status of Honorary Professor to Dr. Lachapelle, the University of Wuhun cited his pioneering contributions and numerous outstanding achievements in the area of satellite-based positioning and navigation during the past 25 years. His sustained involvement in graduate education and in related professional and scientific societies was also cited.
  • 2002 - elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada for the development and dissemination of satellite-based navigation technology in Canada and internationally in the area of satellite-based positioning. Fellowship in the Royal Society of Canada is considered Canada's most prestigious academic accolade to which scholars and scientists aspire. "These distinguished individuals have accomplished work of truly outstanding quality," said Howard Alper, President of the Royal Society of Canada. "They add enormous value to the extraordinary resource of talent and experience that constitutes the Society."
  • 2002 - Elected Western Region Vice President of the Institute of Navigation
  • 2001 awarded a prestigious Canada Research Chair (CRC)/iCORE Chair in Wireless Location
  • 2000 - Frank Spragins Technical Award. The Frank Spragins Technical Award is awarded to members of APEGGA who are recognized by their peers for their integrity and expertise and for their outstanding accomplishments in fields related to engineering, geology or geophysics. In making the award, APEGGA cited Dr. Lachapelle's outstanding contribution to the field of satellite-based positioning development and novel applications during the past twenty years.
  • 1999 - Department Research Excellence Awards
  • Honorary Professorship from the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China (UESTC).
  • 1998 - Faculty Research Excellence Award
  • 1998 - Geomatics Engineering Research Excellence Award
  • 1998 - Alouette Award
  • 1997 - Johannes Kepler Award - given annually for sustained and significant contributions to satellite navigation, at the GPS-97 conference of the Institute of Navigation (ION) held in Kansas City, September 16-19, 1997. The coveted award was presented by Mr. Gaylord Green, chairman of the ION Satellite Division.
  • 1993 - Terra Award