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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) 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. As attendees understand similarities and distinctions between different systems and signals, they will become equipped to take advantage of signals from multiple systems. Attendees will be given study questions each evening that will be reviewed in class each morning. (For a more in-depth treatment of the material, see Course 551.)


To develop proficiency with advanced receiver processing of modernized and new signals from GPS, Galileo, and other systems,, 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.)

Day 1 Morning

Objectives: Review basics of satellite-based positioning and timing, establish common terminology and notation, explore satellite orbits and constellations, understand satnav signal fundamentals.
Introduction and Overview of the Course
SatNav Orbits and Constellations
● Kepler's laws
● Constellation design considerations
● Useful geometry calculations
Satnav Signals
● Signal overview
● Spreading modulations

Day 1 Afternoon

Objectives: Establish rigorour mathematical models of satnav signals, become proficient with systems engineering tools
Satnav Signals
● Signal components
Effective C/N0
Link Budgets
● Space to Earths
● Terrestrial
● Building and vegetation effects
Errors in Satnavs
● Error sources and error budgets
● Dilution of precision
● Error measures and relationships among error measures

Day 2 Morning

Objectives: Review Day 1 material, begin to explore details of GPS and its signals, both original and modernized.
Day 1 Review Questions and Answers
GPS and SBAS Overview
GPS Signals
● C/A signal
●P(Y)  signal
● L2C signal
● M signal
● L5 signal

Day 2 Afternoon

Objectives: Complete exploring details of GPS signals and SBAS signals, begin receiver engineering with an overview, followed by details of receiver front end design.
GPS Signals
● L1C signals
● Summary of GPS signal characteristics
SBAS Signals
● L1 SBAS 
Overview of Receiver Processing
Receiver Front End Design
● Noise figure
● Receive Antennas and filters
● Active components
● Architectures

Day 3 Morning

Objectives: Review Day 2 material, address details of analog-to-digital conversion, introduce initial synchronization.
Day 2 Review Questions and Answers
Analog to Digital Conversion
● Fundamentals
● Linear ADC
● ADC for the digitizing correlator
● Replica aliasing
Initial Synchronization Overview
● Receiver states
● Time-frequency search and the cross ambiguity function
● Widening BOC correlation functions

Day 3 Afternoon

Objectives: Describe approaches for massively parallel initial synch and evaluating initial synch performance, describe procedures for tracking loop design and implementation, followed by carrier tracking
Initial Synchronization Details
● Architectures for massively parallel computation
● Code Doppler
● Initial synchronization performance assessment
● Other aspects of acquisition
Tracking Loops
● Design
● Implementation and trade-offs
● Carrier tracking
● Frequency-locked loop design and performance
●Costas loop design and performance
●Phase-locked loop design and performance
● Trade-offs

Day 4 Morning

Objectives: Review Day 3 material, address details of code tracking and data message demodulation.
Day 3 Review Question and Answers
Code Tracking
● RMS bandwidth and its influence on code tracking performance
● Signal processing and discriminators for code tracking
● Implementation and trade-offs
● Performance prediction
● False lock points
Data Message Demodulation

Day 4 Afternoon

Objectives: Describe algorithms and considerations for calculating position, velocity, and time; provide integrated view of dealing with interference; introduce Galileo system and signals
Position, Velocity, Time Calculation 
● Generating and refining observables
● Correcting ionospheric, tropospheric, and clock errors
● Position calculation
● Underdetermined solutions
Dealing with Interference 
● Interference effects
● Interference mitigation
Galileo system and Signals
● Overview
● E1 OS
● E1 PRS
● E6 CS
● E6 PRS
● E5, E5a, E5b
● E1 OS Receiver Processing
● E5 Receiver Processing
Course Wrap-up

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