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Course 217 Details

Course 217: Introduction to Differential GPS (0.6 CEUs) On-Site Only
Instructors: Dr. Christopher Hegarty, MITRE


This 1-day course focuses on differential GPS (DGPS). It provides an overview of DGPS, differential error sources, observable modeling, DGPS design considerations and DGPS case studies. See details for more information about this course. (Note: This course is the same as day 3 of Course 356.)


To provide a comprehensive introduction to GPS and DGPS technology, system concepts, design, operation, implementation and applications.


Course 122 or equivalent knowledge.

Who Should Attend?

Excellent for engineering and technical staff who need to learn the specifics of Differential GPS.

Materials You Will Keep

  • A color electronic copy of all course notes will be provided on a USB Drive or CD-ROM. Bringing a laptop to this class is highly recommended; power access will be provided.
  • A black and white hard copy of the course notes will also be provided.

Wednesday Morning

Differential GPS Overview
● Local-area, regional-area, wide-area architectures
● Code vs. carrier-phase based systems
● Pseudolites
● Performance overview
Differential Error Sources
● Satellite ephemeris errors
● Satellite clock errors
● Selective availability
● Ionospheric, tropospheric delay
● Multipath
● Receiver internal noise, biases
Observable Modeling
● Code pseudorange and carrier phase outputs
● Code-minus-carrier observables
● Carrier-smoothed code operation
● Double difference operation
● System error budgets

Wednesday Afternoon

DGPS Design Considerations
● Range vs. navigation domain corrections
● Data links
● Pseudolites
● Reducing major error components
● Ambiguity resolution
DGPS Case Studies I
● RTCM SC104 message format 
● USCG maritime DGPS and National DGPS (NDGPS)
● Commercial satellite-based systems
DGPS Case Studies II
● Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS)
● Local Area Augmentation System (LAAS)
● RINEX format
● CORS&IGS network for precise positioning (survey)
● Precise time transfer

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