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Course 541 Details

Course 541: Using Advanced GPS/GNSS Signals and Systems (2.4 CEUs) On-Site Only
Instructors: Dr. John Betz, MITRE


Course 541 (4-days) is similar to the Course 551 (5-days), but without the Kalman filtering content. Course 541 will enable attendees to achieve proficiency, not merely familiarity, with the essential aspects of using GPS/GNSS signals. It addresses current and future GPS signals along with available details of signals from other satellite-based positioning and timing systems. Receiver processing techniques are described along with ways to characterize their performance. Review problems, worked in class, help students understand and apply the key concepts. As attendees understand similarities and distinctions between different systems and signals, they will become equipped to take advantage of signals from multiple systems.

NavtechGPS developed special course materials in collaboration with a rich pool of experts, including Dr. John Betz, MITRE; Dr. James Sennott, Tracking and Imaging Systems, Inc. (TISI); Mr. Phil Ward, Navward GPS Consulting; Professor Dennis Akos, University of Colorado at Boulder; Professor Michael Braasch, Ohio University; Mr. Michael Vaujin, Raytheon Missile Systems; Dr. Frank Van Diggelen, Broadcom Corporation; and Dr. Alex Cerruti, MITRE, to provide you with the latest and most relevant information.


To develop proficiency with advanced receiver processing of modernized and new signals from GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, COMPASS, QZSS, supplemented by systems engineering skills, integrated with techniques for assessing performance and performing design trades concerning receiver processing.


Attendees should already have a solid background in GPS and be ready to develop advanced skills. Previous exposure to basic signal processing techniques and terminology as w ell as familiarity with engineering mathematics is needed.

Who Should Attend?

This extensive, fast-moving course is targeted to engineers, scientists and professionals who already have a solid background in GPS and are ready to develop advanced skills in using GPS and other satellite-based navigation and timing systems. Attendees should have previous exposure to basic signal processing techniques and terminology. Familiarity with engineering mathematics is needed.

Materials You Will Keep

  • Extensive electronic course notes in color, including review questions and solutions that will be addressed during the course, will be provided on a USB Drive or CD-ROM. Bringing a laptop to this class is highly recommended for taking notes using the Adobe Acrobat® sticky notes feature; power access will be provided.
  • A black and white hard copy of the course notes will also be provided.

Book Allowance

Book allowances for on-site group contracts, if any, are negotiated as part of the contract. For your allowance, we encourage you to consider John Betz' new book, Engineering Satellite-Based Navigation & Timing: GNSS, Signals, & Receivers, Betz. Wiley-IEEE Press, 2015. .)

Attendee Testimonials    PDF Course Outline     Dates and Locations    On-Site Information

Day 1 Morning

Objectives: Establish common level on basics of satellite-based positioning and timing, establish common terminology and notation, become proficient with techniques for systems engineering and analysis.
Course Overview and Introduction
  • Basic principles of satellite based navigation
  • Constellations and satellite orbital basics

‚ÄčLink Budgets

  • Space-to-earth
  • Terrestrial
  • Building and foilage effects

Error sources and error characterization

  • System error sources and error budgets
  • Dilution of precision
  • Error measures, including CEP, SEP, CE50, CE90
Review questions for day 1, morning

Day 1 Afternoon

Objectives: Finish learning techniques for systems engineering and analysis, understand details of GNSS signal structure and characteristics, obtain overview of GPS and SBAS
Signal structure and characteristics: motivation and physics
  • Overview and rationale for signal characteristics
  • Polarization
  • Pilot and data components
Signal structure and characteristics: spreading modulations and signal mathematical representations
  • Spreading modulations including BPSK-R, BOC, MBOC
  • Mathematical representation of signals and their second-order statistics
GPS and SBAS history and description
Review questions for day 1, afternoon

Day 2 Morning

Objectives: Understand GPS and SBAS signals in-depth, understand basic structure of receiver processing
Solutions to day 1 review questions
GPS and SBAS signals
  • SBAS concept and architecture: WAAS, EGNOS, MSAS, GAGAN, SDCM
  • Description of C/A code signal and P(Y) code signal, IS-GPS-200
  • Description of SBAS signals
Overview of receiver processing
  • Trends
  • Constraints
  • Opportunities
Review questions for day 2, morning

Day 2 Afternoon

Objectives: Develop skills in receiver processing—front-end design, analog to digital conversion, and basics of initial synchronization
Receiver front-end design: components and RF to baseband conversion
  • RF to baseband architecture alternatives
  • Components: antennas, oscillators, amplifiers, mixers
  • Frequency plans
  • Trade-offs
Analog to digital conversion
  • Architecture alternatives
  • Number of bits, sampling rate
  • Quantization set points
  • Bandlimiting, sampling, and quantization (BSQ) losses Incorporating BSQ losses in effective C/N0
Initial synchronization basics
Review questions for day 2, afternoon

Day 3 Morning

Objectives: Understand receiver processing—front-end design, analog to digital conversion, and basics of initial synchronization
Solutions to day 2 review questions
Initial synchronization processing algorithms, techniques, and performance
  • Time and frequency search: the cross-ambiguity function
  • Time and frequency domain implementation and tradeoffs
  • Massively parallel correlator architecture
  • Initial synch performance
Digital tracking loop design and performance
  • Loop design concept and theory
  • Selecting loop order and parameter values
  • Discrete and continuous update approximations
  • Relationship to analog loop design
Review questions for day 3, morning

Day 3 Afternoon

Objectives: Develop skills in receiver processing—carrier and code tracking, data demodulation, and position calculation
Carrier tracking: frequency-locked loops, Costas loops, phase locked loop design and performance
  • FLL, Costas loop, PLL
  • Discriminator designs
  • Linearized performance
  • Loss of lock
  • Selecting parameter values
Code tracking: delay-locked loop design and performance, including unique aspects of BOC and tracking other modern spreading modulations
  • DLL discriminators for different spreading modulations
  • Coherent and noncoherent discriminators
  • Loop aiding
  • Linearized performance in white noise
  • Handling multiple peaks in BOC autocorrelation functions
Data demodulation and positioning
  • Calculation
  • Soft and hard data symbol demodulation
  • Position calculation from pseudorange, including use of code tracking and carrier phase measurements
  • Dual-frequency ionospheric correction
  • Use of overdetermined measurement and other inputs
Review questions for day 3, afternoon

Day 4 Morning

Objectives: Understand other satnav systems, their signal characteristics, and their unique processing opportunities
Solutions to day 3 review questions
GLONASS signals and receiver processing
  • GLONASS history, description, plans
  • GLONASS standard accuracy and high accuracy signals
  • GLONASS modernized signals; GLONASS ICD
  • Summary of GLONASS signal characteristics
  • Receiver processing of GLONASS signals
Galileo signals and receiver processing
  • Galileo history, description, plans
  • Galileo ICD
  • Galileo signals: E1, E6, E5
  • Summary of Galileo signal characteristics
Review questions for day 4, morning

Day 4 Afternoon

Objectives: Understand additional satnav systems and their signal characteristics, understand some other advanced topics in receiver processing
QZSS signals and receiver processing
  • QZSS history, description, plans
  • QZSS signals; QZSS ICD
  • Summary of QZSS signal characteristics
  • Receiver processing of QZSS signals
BeiDou (COMPASS) signals and receiver processing
  • BeiDou history, description, plans
  • BeiDou signals
  • Summary of BeiDou signal characteristics
  • Receiver processing of BeiDou signals
Interference effects and mitigation
  • Types of interference
  • Quantifying effects of interference on receiver processing
  • Measuring interference in receiver
  • Receiver processing against interference
Multipath effects and mitigation
  • Multipath phenomena and effects
  • Narrow correlator benefits
  • Advanced multipath mitigation
Differential GNSS
  • Architectures
  • Use of code and carrier measurements
  • Ambiguity resolution
Looking back over 4 days

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