University of Calgary
UofC Navigation

Yang Gao

Faculty Listing

Geomatics Engineering

Yang Gao



(403) 220-6174

ENE 229C


Dr. Yang Gao is a professor in the Department of Geomatics Engineering at the University of Calgary, with over 25 years of experience in development of precise positioning and navigation systems using GNSS and INS technologies and commercialization of research results into products. He has led many highly competitive research projects including the NSERC Strategic Partnership, the Canadian Network Centers of Excellence (NCE) and the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI) grants. His research has contributed to the development of several new positioning and navigation systems including commercial products that have been sold world-wide.

Dr. Gao has published over 250 papers in academic journals and conference proceedings, in which he and his students have received over 20 national and international paper awards. He has supervised and graduated over 40 MSc and PhD students. He is the recipient of various national and international awards in recognition of his academic contributions including Changjiang Scholar, IAG Fellow, CPGPS Distinguished Leadership Award. He also received the research excellence award, teaching excellence award and graduate educator award from Schulich School of Engineering.

Dr. Gao is an internationally recognized scholar in the field of satellite-based positioning and navigation. He is the current vice-chair of International Association of Geodesy’s sub-commission on “multi-constellation GNSS” and has served the chair on “Next Generation RTK”, “High-Precision GNSS” and High-Precision GNSS Algorithms and Applications” from 2003-2015. He is the founding president of the International Association of Chinese Professionals in Global Positioning Systems. He has served on the editorial boards of six international journals including Journal of Geodesy, IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology, Journal of Global Positioning Systems.

Prior to joining the University of Calgary, Dr. Gao spent two years as a post-doctoral fellow at the Geodetic Survey of Canada and three years in industry holding several positions from research scientist, R&D manager to manager on business development of Asia-Pacific.

Cross Appointments and Affiliations:

  • Positioning and Mobile Information Systems Group

Selected Awards:

  • 2014 - Teaching Excellence Award, Schulich School of Engineering
  • 2012 - Best Paper Presentation Award, ION GNSS+, Nashville, Texas, USA
  • 2010 - Best Paper Presentation Award, ION GNSS+, Portland, Oregon, USA
  • 2009 - Outstanding Faculty Research Project Award, US National Homeland Security Project
  • 2008 – Distinguished Leadership Award, International Association of Chinese Professionals in Global Positioning Systems
  • 2007 - Fellow, International Association of Geodesy
  • 2007 – Changjiang Scholar, Chinese Ministry of Education
  • 2006 – Intermap Award, Canadian Institute of Geomatics
  • 2006 – Best Paper Award, International Multiconference of Engineers and Computer Scientists
  • 2006 – Graduate Education Award, Schulich School of Engineering
  • 2005 – Luojia Scholar, Wuhan University
Research Activities: 

Dr. Gao's current research focuses on the development of high-precision GNSS technologies and systems, including positioning algorithms, receiver design and their integration with inertial sensors. His research work is particularly driven to develop low-cost and high-availability precise positioning and navigation systems for autonomous cars, unmanned aerial vehicles and mobile handheld devices.

Current research activities include:

  • Precision Augmentation and Integration of Low-cost GNSS and MEMS Inertial Sensors for IoT Mobile Devices
  • Advanced Algorithm Development for Real-time Kinematic Precise Point Positioning (PPP)
  • Low-cost High-Precision GNSS Receiver Design
  • GNSS PPP and MEMS IMU Integration
  • Multi-Frequency GNSS RTK and PPP
  • Next Generation Direct Geo-Referencing Systems
  • High-Precision Global Ionosphere Modeling
  • GNSS/GIS/Wireless Integration for Disaster, Emergency and Rapid Response Systems

Selected Publications:

Gao, Y., Zhang, W. and Li, Y. (2016). “A New Method fro Real-Time PPP Correction Updates”, International Association of Geodesy Symposia, In Press.

Gao, Y. (2016). “Precise Point Positioning (PPP)”, Encyclopedia of Geodesy, doi:10.1007/978-3-319-02370-0_13-1.

Sarvrood, B., Hosseinyalamdary, S. and Gao, Y. (2016). “Visual-LiDAR Odometry Aided by Reduced IMU”, ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, 5, 3, doi:10.3390/ijgi5010003.

Nie, Z, Gao, Y and Wang, Z (2016). “A New Method for Satellite Selection with Controllable Weighted PDOP Threshold”, Survey Review, pp. 1-9.

Li, Y, Gao, Y and Shi, J. (2016). “Improved PPP ambiguity resolution by COES FCB estimation”, Journal of Geodesy, pp. 1-14.

Zhang, W and Gao, Y (2015). “Proposed GNSS Navigation Messages for Improved Performance”, Innovation, GPS World, October, 2015.

Cai, C, Gao, Y, Pan, L, Zhu, J (2015). “Precise point positioning with quad-constellations: GPS, BeiDou, GLONASS and Galileo”, Advanced Space Research, Volume 56, Issue 1, pp. 133–143.

Shi, J, Xu, C, Li, Y and Gao, Y (2015). “Impacts of real-time satellite clock errors on GPS precise point positioning-based troposphere zenith delay estimation”, Journal of Geodesy. Doi: 10.1007/s00190-015-0811-7.

Shi, J, Xu, C, Guo, J and Gao, Y (2015). “Real-Time GPS Precise Point Positioning-Based Precipitable Water Vapor Estimation for Rainfall Monitoring and Forecasting”, IEEE Transaction on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 53(6):3452-3459.

Shi, J, Xu, C, Guo, J and Gao, Y (2015). “Local troposphere augmentation for real-time precise point positioning”, Earth, Planets and Space, 66:30. doi:10.1186/1880-5981-66-30.

Li, Y, Gao, Y and Li, B (2015). “An Impact Analysis of Arc Length on Orbit Prediction and Clock Estimation for PPP Ambiguity Resolution”, GPS Solutions, 19(2):201-213.

For more publications, visit his research website.


Dr. Gao has taught the following courses:

  • ENGO 316 – Least Squares Estimation
  • ENGO 419 – Geomatics Networks
  • ENGO 423 – Geodetic Positioning
  • ENGO 465 – Satellite Positioning
  • ENGO 563 – Data Analysis in Engineering
  • ENGO 629 – Advanced Estimation Methods and Analysis

PhD, Geomatics Engineering, University of Calgary

MSc, Surveying Engineering, Wuhan University

BSc, Surveying Engineering, Wuhan University


Graduate Program Affiliations: 

Dr. Gao's research group is accepting MSc, PhD, and post-doc applications on a regular basis.

If you are interested in these positions, please don't hesitate to send your application and description to