Design & Test

Innovation: Hybrid Positioning

March 1, 2010By
Figure 11. The electronic car used in the test.

A Prototype System for Navigation in GPS-Challenged Environments
A team of Australian and U.S. researchers have integrated a ground-based system with GPS and INS to create a hybrid system that provides precise and accurate position information continuously in a variety of environments where GPS alone comes up short. read more

This article is tagged with and posted in Algorithms & Methods, Innovation

On the Edge: Sharing GNSS Wealth

March 1, 2010By

Last year I helped coordinate a three-week workshop for 50 scientists from 15 African countries, introducing the basics of GPS for applications with socioeconomic benefits and scientific exploration. Held in Trieste, Italy, the workshop was quite successful, producing new initiatives on the African continent. We repeat the workshop next month, 
April 6–24, again in Trieste. read more

Innovation: Mobile-Phone GPS Antennas

February 1, 2010By
Figure 4. Sarantel miniature volute antenna

Can They Be Better?
We examine the antenna designs that provide GPS functionality to mobile phones and why most phones still do not provide GPS operation indoors. We also see what it will take to make them better. read more

This article is tagged with and posted in Design & Test, Innovation

Multi-Sensor, Multi-Network Positioning

February 1, 2010By
FIGURE 1. Sample WLAN or Bluetooth fingerprint map, in meters.

Currently, no single technology, system, or sensor can provide a positioning solution any time, anywhere. The key is to utilize multiple technologies. We are now exploring a multi-sensor multi-network (MSMN) approach for a seamless indoor-outdoor solution. Its hardware platform is described in the previous article. The digital signal processor (DSP) is embedded in the GPS module. All sensors are integrated to the DSP that hosts core software for real-time sensor data acquisition and real-time processing to estimate user location. A smartphone handset provides wireless network measurements. read more

This article is tagged with and posted in Algorithms & Methods, Personal Navigation

Innovation: Collective Detection

January 1, 2010By
I-T

Enhancing GNSS Receiver Sensitivity by Combining Signals from Multiple Satellites
A new approach to enhancing signal sensitivity combines the received signal power from multiple satellites in a direct-to-navigation solution. read more

This article is tagged with and posted in Algorithms & Methods, Innovation

Testing Software Receivers

December 1, 2009By

To meet the challenges inherent in producing a low-cost, highly CPU-efficient software receiver, the multiple offset post-processing method leverages the unique features of software GNSS receivers to greatly improve the coverage and statistical validity of receiver testing compared to traditional, hardware-based testing setups, in some cases by an order of magnitude or more. read more

This article is tagged with and posted in Mobile, Receiver Design

The Smartphone Revolution

December 1, 2009By
SmartPhones

Seven technologies put GPS in mobile phones around the world. Here is the how and why of location’s entry into modern consumer mobile communications. read more

This article is tagged with , and posted in Mobile, Receiver Design

On the Edge: Multipath Measures Snow Depth

November 1, 2009By
FIGURE 2. Snow depth derived from GPS (red squares), the three ultrasonic snow depth sensors (blue lines), and field measurements (black diamonds). Bars on field observations are one standard deviation. GPS snow-depth estimates during the first storm (doy 85.5–86.5) are not shown (gray region) because the SNR data indicate that snow was on top of the antenna.

The September “Innovation” column in this magazine, “It’s Not All Bad: Understanding and Using GNSS Multipath,” by Andria Bilich and Kristine Larson (see www.gpsworld.com/multipath), mentions the use of multipath in studying soil moisture, ocean altimetry and winds, and snow sensing. An experiment the authors conducted, designed to study soil moisture, yielded a surprise bonus: a new methodology for measuring snow depth via GPS multipath. It has important implications for weather and flood forecasting, and could also bring new insight to bear on GPS antenna design. read more