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DNR, UAA Partner on Global Navigation Satellite System

Oct 19, 2023 | Government, News

Geohydrologist Ronald Daanen installs a Global Navigation Satellite System base station at Barry Arm in Prince William Sound to assist an aerial lidar survey in 2020.

Katreen Wikstrom Jones | Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys

The Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is partnering with the UAA College of Engineering on statewide, publicly available satellite positioning services. The campus will host a cutting-edge Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) reference station at the Engineering and Industry Building.

Growing the ACORN

The collaboration is meant to enhance mapping infrastructure through Alaska’s Continuously Operating Reference Network (ACORN), led by DNR’s Division of Mining, Land, and Water in cooperation with the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities. ACORN coordinates a statewide GNSS reference network capable of providing centimeter-level satellite-based positioning services to the public. The potential applications of ACORN range from land surveys and hazard mapping and to guidance of construction vehicles.

The GNSS reference station at UAA will serve as a catalyst for advancements in geospatial technology benefiting both the academic community and the broader public. Through real-time GNSS corrections, UAA students and faculty in the geomatics program will be empowered to conduct fieldwork, fostering hands-on learning experiences and elevating the quality of research and educational outcomes.

“By hosting the DNR GNSS reference station on our campus, UAA remains at the forefront of geospatial education and research, equipping our students to become trailblazers in this dynamic field,” says Kenrick Mock, Dean of the UAA College of Engineering. “We are excited about the positive impact this collaboration will have on our community and the state of Alaska.”

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Alaska Business July 2024 Cover

July 2024

GNSS reference networks are widely prevalent in the Lower 48 and throughout the world. Connecting Alaska’s GNSS infrastructure presents an opportunity to modernize Alaska’s technical resources, saving time, cutting costs, and providing opportunities for Alaska to attract new business investment in areas that require access to the latest GNSS technology. 

“We are excited to join forces with the University of Alaska Anchorage in this transformative collaboration,” says Peter Flint, ACORN program manager. “This partnership marks a significant step forward in advancing Alaska’s technological landscape and serves as a model for how the state can partner with existing institutions to provide the necessary infrastructure for 21st century location-based technology development in Alaska.”

Alaska Business Magazine July 2024 cover
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