Innovation: Ionospheric Scintillations

April 1, 2012By
FIGURE 1 Global occurrence characteristics of scintillation. (Figure courtesy of P. Kintner)

How Irregularities in Electron Density Perturb Satellite Navigation Systems
In this month’s column, the international Satellite-Based Augmentation Systems Ionospheric Working Group presents an abridged version of their recently completed white paper on the effect of ionospheric scintillations on GNSS and the associated augmentation systems. read more

Innovation: GNSS Antennas and Humans

February 1, 2012By
FIGURE 6. Gain pattern of the patch antenna as measured by the measured C/N0 at all elevation angles as a function of antenna distance from body. Elevation angles [0º, 90º] have azimuths [180º, 360º], while elevation angles [90º, 180º] have azimuths [0º, 180º].

A Study of Their Interactions
A team of researchers from The University of Calgary report on tests conducted on two different types of GPS antennas operated in the vicinity of a human phantom — an artificial body with similar electromagnetic properties as that of a real human. read more

Innovation: Know Your Enemy

January 1, 2012By

Signal Characteristics of Civil GPS Jammers
GPS jamming is a continuing threat. A detailed understanding of how the available jammers work is necessary to judge their effectiveness and limitations. A team of researchers from Cornell University and the University of Texas at Austin reports on their analyses of the signal properties of 18 commercially available GPS jammers. read more

Innovation: Digging into GPS Integrity

November 1, 2011By

Charting the Evolution of Signal-in-Space Performance by Data Mining 400,000,000 Navigation Messages
There are four important requirements of any navigation system: accuracy, availability, continuity, and integrity. In this month’s column we take a look at one particular aspect of GPS integrity: that of the signal in space and find out how trustworthy is the satellite ephemeris and clock information in the broadcast navigation message. read more

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Innovation: Filling in the Gaps

October 1, 2011By

Improving Navigation Continuity Using Parallel Cascade Identification
To reliably navigate with fewer than four satellites, GPS pseudoranges needs to be augmented with measurements from other sensors, such as a reduced inertial sensor system or RISS. What is the best way to combine the RISS measurements with the GPS measurements? The classic approach is to integrate the measurements in a conventional tightly coupled Kalman filter. But in this month’s column, we look at how a mathematical procedure called parallel case identification can improve the Kalman filter’s job, when navigating with three, two, one, or even no GPS satellites. read more

Innovation: The Right Attitude

September 1, 2011By

Experimenting with GPS on Board High-Altitude Balloons
In this month’s column, we look at how a team of Dutch and Japanese researchers is using GPS to determine the attitude of a payload launched from a high-altitude balloon. read more

Innovation: Multipath Minimization Method

July 1, 2011By

Mitigation Through Adaptive Filtering for Machine Automation Applications
Multipath is real and omnipresent, a detriment when GPS is used for positioning, navigation, and timing. The authors look at a technique to reduce multipath by using a pair of antennas on a moving vehicle together with a sophisticated mathematical model. This reduces the level of multipath on carrier-phase observations and thereby improves the accuracy of the vehicle’s position. read more

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Innovation: MBOC Signal Options

June 1, 2011By

Performance of Multiplexed Binary Offset Carrier Modulations for Modernized GNSS Systems
A candidate for modernized GNSS civil signals in the L1/E1 band was BOC(1,1), a binary-offset-carrier signal with a "split spectrum" that has negligible impact on the existing GPS signals. However, a signal with better acquisition capabilities and improved multipath performance (while still compatible with the existing GPS signals) is a multiplexed BOC modulation, MBOC(6,1,1/11). The MBOC spectrum can be achieved by following one of several different signal-construction paths with some resulting differences in how a receiver tracks the signal and its associated performance. read more

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