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Working Papers • May/June 2006

MBOC: The New Optimized Spreading Modulation

On June 26, 2004, the United States of America and the European Community (EC) established the “Agreement on the Promotion, Provision and Use of Galileo and GPS Satellite-Based Navigation Systems and Related Applications” (A copy of this agreement can be found at the website of the U.S. Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) Executive Committee through the URL address provided in reference [1] in the “Additional Resources” section near the end of this article.)

Working Papers • April 2006

GNSS Meteorology on Moving Platforms

Although GNSS is primarily designed for positioning, navigation, and timing applications, it can also be used to determine a quantity that is of major interest for meteorologists and climate researchers, namely, integrated water vapor. This gas plays a critical role for the energy balance of our atmosphere and is actually responsible for approximately 62 percent of the natural greenhouse effect. Consequently, the distribution of water vapor, as well as its spatial and temporal behavior, is important for climate predictions and weather forecasts.

Working Papers • March 2006

Platforms for a Future GNSS Receiver

GNSS receiver technology has changed dramatically since the first reception of a GPS signal. It evolved from complex electrical circuits — partly analog — tracking only one satellite at a time to today’s sophisticated, small multichannel receivers. The core of a modern receiver is contained in one or more highly sophisticated chips that perform all the receiver’s tasks, starting with signal processing, followed by positioning, and often ending at application processing.

November 16, 2007

Garmin Withdraws Tele Atlas Bid, Extends Navteq Agreement

Thwarted in its latter-day attempt to buy digital mapmaker Tele Atlas out from under TomTom, GPS manufacturer Garmin International has signed an long-term deal with rival map provider Navteq.

Under the agreement announced today (November 16) Garmin will extend its current six-year agreement with Chicago, Illinois–based NAVTEQ to access to map data through 2015 with an option to continue through 2019.

November 13, 2007

FREE build-it-yourself model GPS IIR-M from Baseband Technologies

The holidays are coming – what can you find for the engineer who has everything? Why not build your own museum-quality paper GPS satellite model at home?

You can do it with a free-downloadable kit, courtesy of Baseband Technologies, Canadian designers of GNSS OEM receivers. All you need are the supplies in the average third-grader’s school desk and two or three hours of free time. The finished product will fit nicely on a corner of your desk.

November 13, 2007

GPS Market Studies Focus on High-Volume Devices

Three new market studies — from Berg Insight, ABI Research, and Markets and Research — focus on GPS chipsets and the high-volume consumer device markets that drive them, all predicting continued rapid growth.

Inside GNSS • Fall 2007

Fuzzy Time

Synchronization serves as a pacemaker for current and next-generation digital telecommunications networks, particularly cellular networks such as the CDMA2000 1xEV-DO system.

These networks with their large coverage areas, increased complexity, and high data rates call for precise and accurate time alignment of operations. For instance, according to IS-95/IS-2000 standard established by the Third Generation Partner Project 2 Technical Specification Group, CDMA network operators expect an accuracy of three microseconds per day from synchronization sources.

Inside GNSS • Fall 2007

Lightening the Data Processing Load

The last two decades have seen the evolution of increasingly sophisticated GNSS signal processing technology. These advances include such things as improved methods for acquiring and tracking a wide variety of new signal structures, advanced multipath mitigation techniques, the development of high-sensitivity receivers for reliable operation indoors and in urban canyons, high-speed processing to reduce time to first fix, and algorithms for improved ranging accuracy and attitude estimation.

Inside GNSS • Fall 2007

GPS/GPRS on the Road

GPS was introduced to much of the consumer market during the 1990s in the form of car navigation systems. This was the era of standalone navigation solutions.

Today, network-based navigation systems are common and, in the context of commercial vehicle tracking, usually required. One application in this field is fleet management for taxi companies. A human operator at the service center coordinates the pickup of the next customer by the closest vehicle.

Inside GNSS • Fall 2007

Reign of Point Clouds

Commercially available airborne LIDAR (LIght Detection And Ranging) systems have been deployed for more than a decade, and the technology has been widely accepted as a fast and efficient means of capturing topographic information.

The accuracy of a final 3D LIDAR “point cloud” is directly affected by the accuracy of the underlying positioning technology — typically a GPS/inertial navigation system — used to georeference the LIDAR measurements.

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