Remote Sensing based Navigation in remote areas



RemoteNav develops a routing algorithm for remote areas improved by remote sensing data. Earth observation methods provide information on parameters and indicators to describe the accessibility of rough terrain. User requirements based on knowledge of alpine rescue teams and hunters provide detailed information to transform defined barriers into spatial parameters. RemoteNav will be integrated into use cases SARONTAR and Deermapper.

Brief Description

Routing for vehicles and even pedestrians is widely used especially for urban areas in many navigation applications. However, many user groups like rescue teams or hunters are moving over rough terrain, where routing based on road graph data cannot longer be performed. RemoteNav will close this gap by developing a navigation system for remote areas based on remote sensing data. Satellite remote sensing represents an ideal instrument for objective and standardized data acquisition especially of data related to terrain and vegetation structures. 

In order to be able to effectively plan ideal routes and to operate in rough terrain, primary knowledge on the spatial information of terrain and vegetation barriers has to be available. These parameters to be integrated into the navigation system will be selected according to their relevance regarding the accessibility of the terrain. This information will be compiled by means of remote sensing data, LIDAR data and existing map information. Harmonization of these indicators and parameters will ensure that the navigation system is based on a common and standardized data base. This will guarantee the search and rescue teams or hunters to rely on the navigation systems independent of the region in which they are operating. 

Last but not least, the routing algorithm for remote areas has to be developed. The routing algorithm calculates the optimal routes taking into account the restrictions or preferences derived from Earth observation (EO) data. The implemented algorithm will be integrated to existing Android smartphone applications to support user groups during their operations in rough terrain. 


Project Partners

  • Institute of Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry, Graz Univ. of Technology (lead)
  • TeleConsult Austria GmbH, Graz
  • DI Florian Schöggl – pentamap::mobile GIS services, Graz


  • Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG)


  • Successfully completed in 2016