Signal Acquisition and Tracking for a Software Gps Receiver

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Date
2005-02-03
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Virginia Tech
Abstract

Global Positioning System (GPS) is a satellite-based navigation system that has been used widely both in civilian and military for positioning, navigation, timing and other position related applications. The hardware-based GPS receivers provide the least user flexibility. Thus, it is necessary to have Software-based GPS receivers for easy and quick implementation, simulation and analysis of algorithms. Software-based GPS receiver processes the GPS signal at the radio frequency or intermediate frequency depending on the hardware configuration of the receiver. In this development of the acquisition and tracking processes of the software receiver, the front-end device that converts the radio frequency signal from the antenna to an intermediate frequency is the Mitel 2021 GPS receiver board. An analog-to-digital (A/D) converter then digitizes the output signal from the RF front-end. The data is then processed using MATLAB programs to achieve acquisition and tracking of the GPS signals. The software GPS receiver can perform acquisition and tracking using different parameters and threshold values. This flexibility of operation allows weaker signals to be tracked and processed.

In this software receiver design, the focus is on the acquisition and tracking of L1 band C/A code GPS signals used by most civilian applications. The purpose of this thesis is to develop the acquisition and tracking algorithms to extract the navigation data bits from the raw GPS signals. The navigation data bits provide all the necessary information to compute the pseudorange between the receiver and the visible satellites and determine the receiver location. Both MATLAB simulated GPS data and realistic GPS signals from a GSS 6560 simulator are used to verify the performance of the acquisition and tracking programs. The acquisition program is capable of locating the beginning of the C/A code and the carrier frequency to within the desired accuracy. From the output of the acquisition program, the tracking program can decode the navigation data bits. The tracking algorithm implemented is based on the block adjustment of synchronizing signal (BASS) method.

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Keywords
GPS Software Receiver, GPS, GPS Simulator GSS 6560, Acquisition, Tracking, Bass Method
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