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Course 551 Details

Course 551: Using Advanced GPS/GNSS Signals and Systems  (3.0 CEUs)  On-Site Course
Instructors: Dr. John Betz, MITRE


This 5-day course will enable attendees to achieve proficiency, not merely familiarity, with the essential aspects of using GPS / GNSS signals. It will not only thoroughly address current and future GPS signals, but also drill deeply into available details of signals from other satellite-based positioning and timing systems. As attendees understand similarities and distinctions between different systems and signals, they will become equipped to take advantage of signals from multiple systems. 
Receiver processing techniques are described along with ways to characterize the performance of receiver processing. These processing techniques are customized to specific characteristics of signals from GPS and other satnav systems. Specialized topics, including dealing with interference and with multipath, differential satnav, and assisted satnav, are also addressed.
Attendees will be given review questions each evening that will be reviewed in class each morning. Working the review problems in class helps attendees understand and apply key concepts. 


To develop proficiency with advanced receiver processing of modernized and new signals from GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BeiDou, and 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 and to matrix algebra as well 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.

Course Fee Entitles You to the Following Books

Understanding GPS: Principles and Applications, 2nd ed., Elliott Kaplan & Chris Hegarty, Eds., Artech House, 2006, OR Global Positioning System: Signals, Measurement and Performance, P. Misra and P. Enge, 2nd ed., 2011. (Note: This arrangement does not apply to on-site contracts. Any books for on-site group contracts are negotiated on a case by case basis.)

Course Outline     PDF Course Outline      On-Site Information

Monday Morning

Objectives: Establish common level on basics of satellite-based positioning and timing, establish common terminology, develop insights into signal construction and signal mathematical representations, become proficient with systems analysis tools.
Course Overview and Introduction
● Basic principles of satellite based navigation
● Constellations and satellite orbital basics
Signal Structure and Characteristics I
● Overview and rationale for signal characteristics
● Polarization
● Pilot and data components
Signal Structure and Characteristics II
● Spreading modulations including BPSK-R, BOC, MBOC
● Mathematical representations of signals and their second-order statistics
Review questions for day 1, morning

Monday Afternoon

Link Budgets
● Space to earth
● Terrestrial
● Building and foliage effects
Effective C/N0 and I/S
● Relationship between correlator output SNR and effective C/N0
● Spectral separation coefficients
● Effective C/N0 computation
● Relationship between effective C/N0 and I/S
Error Sources and Characterizing Errors
● System error sources and error budgets
● Dilution of precision
● Error measures including CEP,
● SEP, CE50, CE90
Review questions for day 1, afternoon

Tuesday Morning

Objectives: Review GPS, learn technical details of its signals, then begin to learn the details of receiver processing using GPS as the baseline.
Solutions to day 1 review questions
GPS Introduction and SBAS
● GPS history, description, plans
● SBAS concept and architecture;
● Description of C/A code signal and P(Y) code signal, IS-GPS-200
● Description of SBAS signals
Modernized GPS Signals
● M code signal
● L2C signal and IS-GPS-200
● L5 signal and IS-GPS-705
● L1C signal and IS-GPS-800
● Summary of GPS and SBAS signal characteristics 
Review questions for day 2, morning

Tuesday Afternoon

Overview of Receiver Processing
● Trends
● Constraints
● Opportunities
Receiver Front-End Design I
● RF to baseband architecture alternatives
Receiver Front-End Design II
● 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
Review questions for day 2, afternoon

Wednesday Morning

Objectives: Still using GPS as the baseline, become proficient with the core aspects of receiver processing.
Solutions to day 2 review questions
Initial Synchronization Processing and Acquisition
● 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 Theory
● 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

Wednesday Afternoon

Carrier Tracking
● FLL, Costas loop, PLL
● Discriminator designs
● Linearized performance
● Loss of lock
● Selecting parameter values
Code Tracking
● 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 Position
● 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

Thursday Morning

Objectives: Complete learning receiver processing techniques using GPS as a baseline, then learn about GLONASS and Galileo and understand the differences in processing their signals.
Solutions to day 3 review questions
Kalman Filtering
● State-space modeling
● Kalman filter equations
● Linearization and the extended Kalman filter
Navigation Filtering
● Benefits of Kalman filtering
● Linearized measurement model
● Clock model
● Assignment of state variables
● Stand-alone filter
● Integration of GPS and inertial measurements: loosely-coupled, tightly coupled
Review questions for day 4, morning

Thursday Afternoon

● 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 I 
● Galileo history, description, plans
● Galileo ICD
● Galileo signals: E1, E6, E5
● Summary of Galileo signal characteristics
Galileo II
● Processing E1 OS signal: extracting signal components, acquisition, tracking, performance
● Processing E5 signal: extracting E5a and E5b signals, wideband processing of E5, acquisition, tracking, performance
Review questions for day 4, afternoon

Friday Morning

Objectives: Learn about QZSS and COMPASS and the differences in processing their signals; then develop familiarity with a variety of other advanced topics in receiver processing.
Solutions to day 4 review questions
● QZSS history, description, plans
● QZSS signals; QZSS ICD
● Summary of QZSS signal characteristics
● Receiver processing of QZSS signals
● COMPASS history, description, plans
● COMPASS signals
● Summary of COMPASS signal characteristics
● Receiver processing of COMPASS signals
Interference Effects
● Types of interference
● Quantifying effects of interference on receiver processing
● Measuring interference in receiver
● Receiver processing against interference

Friday Afternoon

Highly Integrated Receiver Processing
● Vector processing
● Ultratight processing
Differential GNSS
● Architectures
● Use of code and carrier measurements
● Ambiguity resolution
● Multipath phenomena and effects
● Narrow correlator benefits
● Advanced multipath mitigation
Block Processing and Assisted GNSS
● Block processing approaches, performance, benefits
● Assisted GNSS techniques and benefits 
Software Receivers
● Implementation approaches 
● Performance
● Tradeoffs
GPS/GNSS Chip Selection and Integration
● Chipsets and their specifications
● Considerations and tradeoffs
● Integration approaches
Looking back over 5 days

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