O'Keefe 2017

Kyle O'Keefe

Pronouns: he/him



Schulich School of Engineering, Department of Geomatics Engineering

Contact information

Phone number

Office: +1 (403) 220-7378


Office: CCIT306
Lab: CCIT329



P.Eng, Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta, 2005

Certificate of Completion, Canadian Board of Examiners for Professional Surveyors, 2020

Educational Background

Ph.D. Geomatics Engineering, University of Calgary, 2004

B.Sc. Geomatics Engineering, University of Calgary, 2000

B.Sc. Honours Physics, University of British Columbia, 1997


Kyle O'Keefe is a professor in the Department of Geomatics Engineering at the University of Calgary. He has worked in positioning and navigation research since 1996 and has been a member of the Position, Location And Navigation research group since 1998. His research focuses on Global Navigation Satellite Systems, Wireless Location using ground-based ranging, and the integration of these two technologies for accurate, available, and reliable positioning and navigation. He leads a medium-sized research team that is focused on the development of highly qualified personnel through research in these areas. He regularly teaches courses related to Global Navigation Satellite Systems, Wireless Location, Field Surveying, and Introductory Computing.


Areas of Research

Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), Satellite and Ground-based Wireless Location, Ultra-wideband Ranging, Estimation for Navigaton and Wireless Location

Participation in university strategic initiatives


Course number Course title Semester
ENGO 419 Geomatics Networks Fall 2024
ENGO 625 Advanced GNSS Theory Fall 2024
ENGO 585/685 Wireless Location Winter 2025


Ultra-wideband Ranging for Pedestrian and Vehicle Positioning and Navigation

UWB research in my group began in 2007 with an investigation into UWB augmentation of GNSS positioning for pedestrians, followed by UWB augmented RTK surveying in 2009. We then tested UWB for vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure between 2010 and 2014, and more recently multi-UWB V2V ranging for relative position and attitude estimation and UWB for indoor radio mapping and in-vehicle smartphone location.

Wearable Sensors

Beginning 2017 our group has been investigating wearable and cellphone GNSS, INS, and UWB for navigation and biomechanics of walking, kayaking, and rowing. Projects have included improved pedestrian navigation using multi-wearable inertial sensors and using periodic filtering to estimate the motion of rowers and kayakers. Some of this work has been supported by the NSERC CREATE We-TRAC Wearable Technology Program.

Particle Filtering for GNSS Carrier Phase Estimation

One of my students is currently investigating the application of particle filtering to the geometry-based GNSS differential positioning and carrier-phase ambiguity resolution problem. While more computationally expensive this approach provides multiple solutions with corresponding probabilities derived from samples rather than a single solution with a covariance matrix.

Machine Learning for RSSI-based Ranging

RSSI fingerprinting is now the most common method of indoor wireless location. Earlier attempts to directly range on RSSI suffered from poor path-loss models. My group has investigated new methods to measure range to calibrate path-loss models as well as to train machine learning-based models to convert RSSI into range.

Assessment of Multi-constellation Multi-frequency GNSS

Starting in 2001 I have worked on numerous projects to evaluate the impact of multi-constellation and multi-frequency GNSS on availability, accuracy, reliability, and ambiguity resolution.

Selected Past Projects
GNSS-Camera Integration for Vehicle Navigation

From 2017 to 2021 two graduate students investigated the use of upward and forward facing monocular cameras to aid in vehicle navigation in urban canyon and winter driving environments.

Space Applications of GNSS

On 28 April 2008, the University of Toronto Institute of Aerospace Studies Space Flight Laboratory launched CanX-2, a 3.5 kg cubesat that carried a NovAtel OEM4 GNSS receiver on a mission to demonstrate low cost radio occultation. Three students developed the methods to operate the receiver in space, schedule observations over Canada, and processed GNSS observations to obtain atmospheric profiles. See the UTIAS SFL CanX-2 mission page for details and this NovAtel Velocity 2018 article for a summary of the our part of the project.


From 2006 to 2009 three undergraduate capstone project teams worked with Inuit hunters from Clyde River, Nunavut, to develop and test a rugged mobile mapping and weather monitoring system to allow hunters to record observations about the impact of climate change on their travel, hunting, and environment. Details of the project can be found at sikuatlas.ca.


  • Best Paper Award (with N. Agarwal), Indoor Positioning and Indoor Navigation Conference (IPIN). 2023
  • Best Paper Award (with S. Naghdi), Indoor Positioning and Indoor Navigation Conference (IPIN). 2019
  • Michael Richey Medal for Best Paper in RIN Journal of Navigation in 2010, Royal Institute of Navigation. 2011
  • Best Paper Award for ION GNSS 2010 Session F2, Institute of Navigation. 2010
  • CASI Alouette Award, (awarded to the CanX2 nanosatellite mission team) Canadian Aeronautics & Space Institute. 2010
  • Best Paper Award for ION GNSS 2008 Session F6, Institute of Navigation. 2008
  • Honourary Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Scholarship, 2002
  • GPS 2001 Best Student Paper Award, Institute of Navigation. 2001

In the News

More Information

  • Naman A. (PhD Student)
  • Michael B. (PhD Candidate)
  • Haoqing L. (Postdoctoral Fellow)
  • Claire M. (MSc Student)
  • Christian P. (MSc Student)
  • Mitch P. (MSc Student)
  • Chavisa S. (MSc Student)

If you are interested in working with me, please send me an email introducing yourself and explaining your background, your interests, and why you would want to work with me. A background in Geomatics Engineering, Physics, or Electrical Engineering as well as an excellent grasp of written and spoken English and at least one programming language is required. Finding good graduate students is difficult, so is finding grants and contracts to support good students. Finding a good supervisor is even harder, so if you are considering grad school, make sure you do your research and find a supervisor and lab that you will actually want to work with and a project that keep you interested for several years. Take your time and research your potential supervisor and lab carefully. I will not necessarily respond to all inquires, especially those that appear to be form letters.