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Introduction to GPS

GPS - a product of Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) (also known as Star Wars of Ronald Regan) GPS is funded and controlled by the U. S. Department of Defense (DOD) but can be used by civilians for: - positioning
- georeferencing - navigation - time - frequency control

The GPS is an earth-orbiting-satellite based system fully operational since 1993 Signals available anywhere on the earth, dayand-night Used to determine:

position, altitude above the ellipsoid and precise time


GPS satellites circle the earth twice a day, 20,200 km above the earth a speed of about 11300 km/hr (or about satellites moving at 4 km/s)

Segments of the GPS 1. Space Segment: Six orbital planes (with nominally four SVs in each)
equally spaced (60 deg. apart) inclined at about 55 deg. with respect to the equatorial plane 12,600 miles altitude

Their configuration provides user between 5-8 satellites visible from any point on the earth
The location of each satellite in space is known The orbits are carefully planned and constantly updated so that actual location is never off by much from the intended location

Each satellite constantly sends radio signals from space, announcing its number, and the time that signal was sent The distance from each satellite to the receiver is calculated by comparing the time the signal says it was sent with the time the receiver picks up the signal
The time difference is multiplied by the speed of light to get the distance from satellite to receiver This is done for each satellite the receiver can see

The known distances and locations of each visible satellite are used to locate the position of the receiver We can place ourselves anywhere on a sphere around one satellite once we know the distance to the satellite Known distances from two satellites will place us on a circle that is the intersection of two spheres Known distances from three satellites will place us in two points, which is the intersection of three spheres

We may be able to eliminate one point as being impractical, such as out in space or deep undergound. With one gone, the other must be correct

Multi-Satellite Ranging

1 range puts user on the spherical face of the cone.

Intersecting with a 2nd range restricts user to the circular arcs.

A 3rd range constrains user to 1 of the 2 points.


Which point is determined by sanity 1 point obviously wrong.

Pictures courtesy http://giswww.pok.ibm.com/gps

Three satellites are sufficient, at least theoretically, to provide receiver location

More satellites simply add confirmation to the receiver location


In practice, the more satellites the better Four satellites are the minimum to secure only one, absolutely technically, trigonometrically unambiguous location (3D position)

2. Control Segment:
5 ground stations located around the world monitor the GPS satellites check operational health master station transmits corrections to satellites

3. User Segment:
The user segment consists of the GPS receivers and the user community

Garmin Etrex Vista $200-300

Trimble GPS systems $5000-7000

The GPS receivers convert satellite signals into positions, velocity and time estimates

Four satellites are required to compute the four dimensions of X, Y, Z (position) and T (time)
GPS receivers are used for navigation, surveying, time dissemination and other research Navigation receivers are made for aircraft, ships, and ground vehicles and for hand carrying by individuals

The distance from each satellite to the receiver is calculated by comparing the time the signal says it was sent with the time the receiver picks up the signal
The time difference is multiplied by the speed of light to get the distance from satellite to receiver This is done for each satellite the receiver can receive signals The known distances and locations of each visible satellite are used to locate the position of the receiver

The GPS Navigation Message consists of timetagged data bits marking the time of its transmission by the satellite and includes: Clock data parameters describe the SV atomic clock and its relationship to GPS time Ephemeris data parameters describe SV orbits for short sections of the satellite orbits

An ionospheric model that is used in the receiver to approximates the phase delay through the ionosphere at any location and time The amount to which GPS Time is offset from Universal Coordinated Time. This correction can be used by the receiver to set UTC to within 100 nanoseconds

GPS Satellite Signals and Data


The satellites transmit two microwave carrier signals The L1 frequency (1575.42 MHz) carries the navigation message, the SPS code signals known as the C/A (coarse acquisition) Code, the P (precise) Code used for the PPS The L2 frequency (1227.60 MHz) carries the P Code used for the PPS. The phase difference between the P-Code on L1 and L2 is used to measure the ionospheric delay by PPS equipped receivers tracking both frequencies

A C/A Code modulates the L1 carrier phase

The C/A Code is a repeating 1 MHz Pseudo Randon Noise (PRN) Code
The noise-like code consisting of a repeating sequence of 1033 bits modulates the L1 carrier signal

There is a different C/A Code PRN for each satellite GPS satellites are often identified by their PRN number, the unique identifier for each pseudorandom-noise code

How position is determined?


Position dimensions are computed by the receiver in Earth-Centered, Earth-Fixed X, Y, Z (ECEF XYZ) coordinates Position in XYZ is converted within the receiver to geodetic latitude, longitude and height above the ellipsoid Latitude and longitude are usually provided in the geodetic datum on which GPS is based (WGS-84)

Receivers can often be set to convert to other user-required datums


Position offsets of hundreds of meters can result from using the wrong datum

Receiver position is computed from the SV positions, the measured pseudo-ranges, and a receiver position estimate
Four satellites allow computation of three position dimensions and time Three satellites could be used determine three position dimensions with a perfect receiver clock

In practice this is rarely possible and three SVs are used to compute a two-dimensional, horizontal fix (in latitude and longitude) given an assumed height

This is often possible at sea or in altimeter equipped aircraft Five or more satellites can provide position, time and redundancy
Twelve channel receivers allow continuous tracking of all available satellites, including tracking of satellites with weak or occasionally obstructed signals

GPS accuracy
Selective Availability (or SA) - introduced intentional errors of up to a hundred meters into the publicly available navigation signals disabled since 1 May 2000 WAAS (Wide area Augmentation System), since 2000 - accuracy to 2m horiozontal (not in India) DGPS (Differential GPS): within cm accuracy

GPS Errors
GPS errors are a combination of noise, bias, and blunders Noise Errors: are the combined effect of PRN (pseudo-random noise ) ( 1 m) and noise within the receiver noise ( 1 m) Bias Errors: SV clock errors uncorrected by Control Segment can result in one meter errors in position. Tropospheric delays: 1 m position error

Multipath: 0.5 m of position error


Multipath is caused by reflected signals from surfaces near the receiver that can either interfere with or be mistaken for the signal that follows the straight line path from the satellite Blunders: can result in errors of hundred of kms

User mistakes, including incorrect geodetic datum selection, can cause errors from 1-100 m
Receiver errors from software or hardware failures can cause blunder errors of any size.

Different Geometric Dilution of Precision (GDOP)

N
Horizon

5 20 26 30 21 1 25

45 above horizon
3 14 25 20

Satellite is available and used Satellite is available but not used Satellite is unavailable

SATELLITE SKYPLOT

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