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Course 228 Details

Course 228: Merging GPS and Communications: Providing E911 and Other Position Information Using GPS, Mobile Phone, Etc. (0.9 CEUs) On-Site Only
Instructors: Dr. Stephen Heppe, Telenergy, Inc.


This 1.5-day course focuses on the interconnectedness of today's navigation and communications applications. For many difficult areas, a combination of available (partial) GPS info and mobile communications data is necessary to operate successfully. However, these systems not only support but at times interfere with one another. To communicate or determine your position successfully, you need the proper wireless data link system -- and you've got lots of choices!


This course (1) will give you an understanding of communications and navigation system interrelationships, (2) will discuss design considerations for individual system elements for position determination and data links, and (3) will tell you how to effectively use them in the field. This course also provides a survey of terrestrial wireless data systems and identifies future enhancements that can enable new navigation applications.


A basic knowledge of GPS operation is assumned as is a basic familiarity with communications and engineering terms and analysis methods. Course 111, 112 and Course 135, or Course 356, provide a good foundation for this course.

Who Should Attend?

Engineers, scientists, system analysts, program specialists and others concerned with the integration of inertial sensors and systems. If you need to improve or communicate position and/or other data from the field, this course is for you.

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. 
  • Note: Any books for on-site group contracts are negotiated on a case by case basis.

Course Outline     PDF Course Outline     On-Site Information

Day 1, Morning

Merging Navigation and Communications
● Enhanced 911 applications: FCC rules, options
● Integrated in-vehicle navigation and tracking systems with data links
● Asset tracking and monitoring
● Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) for aviation
Parts of the Puzzle: Systems and Protocols for Voice and Data
● What does the user need?
● System alternatives for voice and circuit-switched data techniques
● System alternatives employing packet data
● Case Study: the IS-801 standard for CDMA cellular networks
Interference Considerations for Navigation and Communications
● RF interference environment and concerns
● The expected and the unexpected
● RFI and jamming
● Shadowing, blockage and multipath effects on navigation and communications
● Interference mitigation techniques and applicability

Day 1, Afternoon

Fundamentals of Data Link Design with GPS Examples
(A Quick Tour of Comm Theory/Engineering and Technology; Key Elements of Importance)
● Probability and queuing theory and their applications to data link (DL) and comm
● Modulating information and detecting it at the receiver
● Current modulation methods and performance differences
● Correcting errors in transmission; GPS and comm
● Compressing information for efficient transmission, reducing capacity needs
Data and Comm Link Budget Analysis
● Impact of waveform, coding, diversity and error sources
● Link budget examples: How well does the link actually perform? Improvement techniques
● Single and repeatered link; satcom; DGPS and other links
Paradigms, Integrity and Practical Examples
● Key insights to modern data links and paradigms
● Authentication
● Data integrity
● DL design examples: VHF; UHF; line-of-sight; urban

Day 2, Morning

Determining DL Needs: Requirements Analysis
● System requirements for reliable GPS/DL operations
● GPS and DL capacity and access considerations; trade-offs
Spectrum Issues: Selecting Best DL Frequency
● Frequency band allocations
● Current signal classes
● FCC and NTIA roles
● Obtaining approvals
● Avoiding delays and pitfalls
● Examples
Case Study I: Automatic Dependent Surveillance for Civil Aviation
● International standards for ADS data link broadcast
● ADS-B with VHF Data Link Mode 4
● Historical position reporting versus intent
● Navigating on the communications signal
● Other data link applications
Case Study II: Techniques for Solving Tough Problems in Poor Conditions
● Techniques for indoor GPS
● In-car applications
● Vector tracking and IDN receivers
● Ranging on the mobile comm signal for position
● Other techniques
● Use environments

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