Student Startup Brings Precise Positioning to Mass Market

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Imagine drawing a light painting using a phone’s antenna and GPS system. Imagine a world of virtual reality, where buildings are perfect replicas of their real-world counterparts, down to the exact height of a piece of gum stuck under a desk. Where a person cannot only see their location on the street but also the exact height and orientation of their mobile device in hand.

This world of imagination and precise positioning is now becoming a reality, and through the efforts of WNCG students, even finding its way to market. 

Over the last few months, WNCG students Andrew Kerns, Daniel Shepard, Jahshan Bhatti and Ken Pesyna founded a startup focused on pushing low-cost, high-precision Global Navigation Satellite Systems to the mass market. 

“We noticed there was a demand in the industry for low-cost, centimeter-accurate, GPS receivers,” Radiosense co-founder Ken Pesyna states. “We knew we had the precise expertise and codebase to bring this solution to the market.”

In the consumer space, this technology could influence augmented and virtual reality and semiautonomous vehicles. In the commercial space, Radiosense could provide centimeter-accurate 3D mapmaking and precise control of UAVs and drones.

Founded under the supervision of Prof. Todd Humphreys, Radiosense is the product of years of research, doctoral dissertations, UT’s Radionavigation Lab and the dedication of the WNCG students involved.

“Prof. Humphreys played a big role in the experience,” Pesyna states. “He’s normally the one with the wild ideas that we work together to massage into something achievable. He also initiated conversations with industry representatives that helped spur our initial work.” 

Though the WNCG Industrial Affiliates were not involved in the founding of Radiosense, over the last few years, CommScope and Samsung helped collaborate on and fund much of the research that led to Radiosense’s development, Kerns mentions.

“We first met the CommScope employees through the WNCG Industrial Affiliate program,” Kerns states. “Since founding Radiosense, we have continued our partnership with CommScope.”

Over the last year, the founders of Radiosense gained significant recognition through their research in drone security, navigation and with their most recent breakthrough in the field of centimeter-accuracy, which received attention on the cover of GPS World magazine.

“The most challenging part of running our own start-up is figuring out what direction to take and what areas of need to focus on,” Pesyna states. “The most rewarding part is the everyday work.”