About us

Chair of Geosensors and Engineering Geodesy

The Chair of Geosensors and Engineering Geodesy (GSEG) represents geodetic core subjects related to 3d capturing of the real world, establishing the geometric relations between digital models and reality, and monitoring changes. The Chair is the successor to the previous geomETH group at ETH.

In research, we aim specifically at the development of sensors, sensor systems and data analysis methods for monitoring - and where possible - controlling of critical processes, especially in relation to natural hazards, changes in environment and innovative construction processes. Our main focus is on the prediction and evaluation of the data quality, on the optimization of measurements and analytic procedures for specific application fields, and on the estimation of the relevant information from large amounts of raw data. The research has a strongly experimental and interdisciplinary character. It builds on numerical simulations, parameter estimation, machine learning, lab experiments and fieldwork.

Our teaching and outreach are closely related to this research but also cover more established surveying and geodetic metrology.
We are an interdisciplinary team comprising, among others, geomatics engineers, geodesists, electrical engineers and photonics engineers. Some of us bring in particular mathematical skills, programming skills or experimental skills, and others are particularly experienced in geodetic field work. We benefit from this variety through our collaboration in research and teaching.

Engineering Geodesy

Engineering geodesy can be defined as

“[…] the discipline of reality capture, setting out and monitoring of local and regional geometry-related phenomena, paying particular attention to quality assessment, sensor systems and reference frames.“ external page(Kuhlmann et al., 2014)

It is clear that a characterization purely in terms of possible applications, used instruments or measured quantities will in most cases not be satisfactory to describe all the work done under the name of engineering geodesy. Methods, sensors and technology advance rapidly and with them the scope of applications leading a science interested not only in the production of spatial data but also its use for planning, processing and interpretation into highly technical interdisciplinary projects and –maybe unexpectedly- everyday life.

As much as “setting out” and “monitoring” allude to engineering geodesy’s use for realization and protection of technical objects, “reality capture” hints at its suitability for example for the digital conservation of cultural heritage or the precise reconstruction of skiing trajectories for sports applications. This firmness more in regard to the method of interacting with geometrical data and its uncertainties in a responsible way rather than a fixation on the objects of interest is what makes this field so diverse and interesting, as can be seen by the choice oftopics chosen for research and offered to students.

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