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Introduction to GPS and

Determination of Receiver Position

Dr. A K Sarkar
Directorate of Systems
DRDL, Hyderabad-58

Workshop on
conducted by IISc, Bengaluru, at LRDE
 Historical Evolution of Navigation

INS and GPS

GPS satellite trajectory simulation

Receiver model

Noise sources

Clock bias and drift

GPS Measurements

Need of Kalman Filter for processing GPS Data


Process of controlling the movement of vehicle

from one place to another.

The word navigate is derived from latin "navigate",

which is the command "sail".

In Sanskrit "Navi" means ‘boat’ and "Gathi" means 'speed'

Navigation, Guidance and

Navigation: determination of the vehicle's location, velocity ,

Attitude (kinematic state vectors)

Guidance: determination of desired path of travel (trajectory)

from the vehicle's current location to a designated location (target)

Control: manipulation of the forces, by way of steering controls,

thrustors, etc., needed to track guidance commands .
• MythologicalNAVIGATION
(10000 BCE – 900 CE)
The period from 0 CE – 900 CE can be called
as the twilight period due to many important
discoveries were initiated.
• Medieval Period
(900 CE – 1900 CE)
• Modern Period
(1900 CE – till date)
The above are not water tight compartments
but roughly indicative of the divisions.
Mythological Phase (10000 BCE – 900 CE)
• 10000 - 5000 BCE Commencement of navigation over
land using landmarks.
• 5000 - 4000 BCE Construction of sailing vessels in
ancient cultures.
• 4000 - 2000 BCE Contact between Asian and
European civilizations.
• 2000 - 1000 BCE Commercial sailing activities of
Indians and Chinese.
• 1000 - 0 BCE Circumnavigation of Africa by
Pilotage. Curved Spherical Earth. Creation of
astronimical instruments
• 0 - 900 CE Celestial Navigation by star compass
Medieval Period
(900 CE – 1900 CE)

Navigation involved sun, moon, stars,

magnetic compass, sextant, together with
charts, later calculus helped explore the
planet more effectively for commerce and
conquest. Towards the end of this period
the seeds were laid for inertial and radio
Modern Period
(1900 CE – till date)
Advances with Newton’s laws of motion and
gravity, gyros, accelerometers, and radio
signals, led to inertial, radio and satellite
navigation systems. Integration of many
navigational systems by using in particular
Kalman filter.
Sea Routes around India and
Southeast Asia

• Pilotage: Use of fixed visual references on the ground or sea by

means of sight or radar to guide oneself to a destination,
sometimes with the help of a map or nautical chart. Recognizes
landmarks. It is older than human kind.
• Dead reckoning: Process of estimating one's current position
based upon a previously determined position. Error in present
position affects future prediction
• Celestial navigation: Uses time and measurement angles of
celestial objects to obtain position using almanacs, and
spherical trigonometry.
• Radio navigation: Uses radio wave phase or time difference
signals from stations to determine the position.
• Radar navigation: Uses radar to determine the distance
from or bearing of objects whose position is known.
• Inertial navigation: This senses the initial position, velocity,
and attitude and uses the measured attitude rates and
• “Extrapolation” system: position is derived
from a “series” of velocity, heading,
acceleration or rotation measurements relative
to an initial position.
• To determine current position you must know
the past position.
• Heading and speed or velocity of the system
• Inertial navigation systems.
• Present day INS and GPS are only dead
reckoning systems.
Modern Period (1900 CE – till date)
• 1900 – 1910 CE Change from magnetic compass to
gyrocompass. Contribution to wireless telegraphy.
• 1910 – 1920 CE Combination of gyros and
accelerometers to produce an INS. Catastrophic Titanic
shipwreck leads to wireless transmitters on ships.
• 1920 – 1930 CE Computation of gravitation has an
error due to earth’s rotation and Schuler tuning is a
must in an INS.
• 1930 – 1940 CE Character of gyro to remain stable
used in shipboard platforms. First gyro controlled
guidance system used by Goddard.
• 1940 – 1950 CE The long range radio navigation
(LORAN) system developed.
Modern Period (1900 CE – till date)
• 1950 – 1960 CE Early gimbaled gyro systems. Strap
Down Inertial Navigation System. SPUTNIK.
Commencement of satellite navigation. Change from
orbit determination to position
• 1960 – 1970 CE Conceptual development of satellite
• 1970 – 1980 CE Commencement of the development
of RLG and FOG. Mature Gimbaled INS technology.
Concept development and validation for GPS
Modern Period (1900 CE – till date)
• 1980 – 1990 CE Decade of the RLG. Civilian
GPS receiver for survey and Geodesy. Civil
aviation use of GPS. GLONASS.
• 1990 – 2000 CE Combining the reliability of
SDINS and the price and performance of MEMS
sensors leads to MEMS breakthrough. Combat
and peace keeping use of GPS. Civilian use
increases for GPS and GLONASS. Selective
Availability turned off.
• 2000 – 2010 CE Competitive or cooperative
GNSS. GPS aided MEMS inertial system
Schuler Tuning
 Modification to the electronic control system used in INS
that accounts for earth’s curvature

An INS used in submarines, ships, aircraft, and other vehicles

keeps track of position, determines directions with respect to
three axes (north, east, down).

To detect the vehicle's orientation, the system contains an

inertial platform mounted on Gimbal with gyro that keep it
pointing in a fixed orientation in space.

However, the directions 'north', 'east' and 'down' change as the

vehicle moves on the curved surface of the Earth

. Schuler tuning does modifications in INS to keep the inertial

platform always pointing 'north', 'east' and 'down', so it gives
correct directions on Earth.
Simplified Block Diagram of INS
NAVSTAR Global Positioning System (GPS)
 sophisticated satellite navigation system
provides precise position, velocity and frequency estimates to
highly diverse world wide user community.

GPS comprises of three major subsystem

Space segment: 21 satellite constellation.
Provides user signals modulated by P (precisssion) code
and C/A (coarse acquisition) code from which its
position and velocity derived
 Control segment:
Monitors satellite position
Uploads this information to the satellites for user reference
User segment (receiver)
Calculates its position with respect to the known
positions of the satellites in constellation.

A GPS signal has three different bits of information, a
pseudorandom code, ephemeris data and almanac

• The pseudorandom code identifies the satellite.

• Ephemeris data, constantly transmitted by each

satellite, gives the satellite health, orbital parameters
at the current date and time.

• The almanac data tells the receiver where each GPS

satellite should be at any time all through the day.
Every satellite transmits almanac data about the
orbital information for itself and all other satellites.

 The (coarse acquisition) C/A code of 1.023 MHz is modulated on

the L1 carrier
 The P code (precision) of 10.23 MHz is modulated on both L1 and
L2 carriers both coherently derived from highly stable onboard
atomic clocks.
 The C/A code is available to all users but the P code is available to
only authorized.
 The GPS provides Precise Positioning Service (PPS), intended for
authorized users, employs the P(Y) code, which is transmitted on
both the L1 and L2 frequencies
 Provides Standard Positioning Service (SPS), intended for civil
users, employs the C/A code, which is transmitted on only the L1
Control Segment
• Control segment: consists of the master control
station (MCS) and five monitor stations.

• MCS: located at Schriever (formerly Falcon)

Air Force base in Colorado Springs, CO.
– Monitors orbits, maintains Sattelite health
– Maintain GPS time
– Update navigation message

• Monitor stations located at Hawaii*, Cape

Canaveral, Ascension Island, Diego Garcia, and
GPS Space Segment

• 24+ satellites
• 6 orbital planes
• 55 degree inclination
• ~ 12 hour orbits
• 4 SVs (Satellites) per plane
• 26561 Km from earth’s center
• 10 year design life
• 2 tonne weight, 12m solar panel
• 4 Atomic clocks
Primary objective of GPS user (receiver) set is

 to acquire GPS satellite data

obtain pseudorange and delta pseudorange


process these measurements in real time to

provide the best estimate of user position,
velocity and system time .
Simulation of Satellite Orbit

At any instant the satellite positions

computed in ECEF frame

ECI ( Earth Centered Inertial ) :

• Non rotating but translating with the Earth (ZI , ZE )

Origin : Earth center of mass

X axis : In Equatorial plane pointing towards true equinox

Y axis : 900 East

Z axis : Directed north along the earth’s polar axis
ECEF ( Earth Centered Earth Fixed ) : Meridian 900
• Rigidly fixed to the Earth ( Rotating and Translating with the Earth ) Meridian

Origin : Earth center of mass

X axis : In the equatorial plane directed towards the Greenwich Meridian

Y axis : Directed through 90 deg East longitude

Z axis : Directed north along the earth’s polar axis

3/27/2019 27
The Keplerian Orbit of a Satellite in ECEF frame
Semi major Axis (a),
Eccentricity (e)
• The semi major axis is used to determine the
size of the orbit. The semi major axis is half
the distance along the long axis of the ellipse
around which the spacecraft travels. For
circular orbits, the semi major axis is simply
the radius of the circle made by the orbiting
• The eccentricity is used to determine the
shape of the orbit. The eccentricity is the
ratio of the distance between the two foci
and the semi major axis. The eccentricity is
0 for a circle and 0 < e < 1 for an ellipse.
Inclination (i),
Longitude of the Ascending Node ( Ω )
• The inclination is used to determine the tilt of the orbit. The
inclination is the angle between the fundamental plane of the
coordinate system (the equatorial plane in an earth centered
system) and the orbital plane. An equatorial orbit has an
inclination of 0° or 180°, a polar orbit has an inclination of
• The longitude of the ascending node is used to determine
the angular orientation of the orbit relative to some
principal direction. The longitude of the ascending node is
the angle from the vernal equinox (a line drawn from earth
through the sun on the first day of Spring) to the ascending
node (the intersection of the orbital plane and the
fundamental plane as the spacecraft travels from the
Southern Hemisphere to the Northern Hemisphere).
Argument of Perigee (ω ),
True Anomaly ( f )
• The argument of perigee is used to determine the
orbital ellipse’s orientation within the orbital
plane. The argument of perigee is the angle,
along the orbital path, between the ascending
node and perigee (the point of the orbit closest to
• The true anomaly is used to determine the
spacecraft's location within the orbit. The true
anomaly is the angle, along the orbital path,
between perigee and the spacecraft's position
vector (from earth's center to the satellite)
measured in the direction of the spacecraft's
Orbital orientation in a space-
fixed coordinate system

This algorithm calculates the position of any GPS satellite
at any time and is fundamental to every position calculation.
Ephemeris Parameters
 Chosen for description of orbit of satellite
 Available from ephemeris information
transimitted to GPS receiver.
Strang G & Borre K:”Linear Algebra, Geodesey and GPS",
Wellesley-Cambridge Press, 1997.

The satellite data is generated using ephemeris parameters of

Four satellites available from http://www.i4.auc.dk/borre/matlab
and using above equation

Soft Copy Supplied

G Xu: “GPS Theory, Algorithms and Applications, Second
Edition”, Springer Verlag (2007)
R M Rogers: “Applied Mathematics in Integrated Navigation
System”, AIAA Publisher , Second Edition (2003)
• GPS: 21+3 spare SATELLITES, 6 Planes,
55 deg inclination, a = 26,560 km,
e = 0-0.02, T = 1 day/2 orbits. (USA)
Planes, (Russian)
64.8 deg inclination, a = 25,510 km,
e = 0-0.01, T = 8 days/17 orbits.
• Galileo: 30 Satellites, 3 Planes, (European
space agency)
56 deg inclination, a = 29,600 km,
e = 0.002, T = 10 days/17 orbits.
How Does GPS Work? 4
Schematic Diagram of SFV Navigation Using GPS Satellite Data
Ranging errors are grouped into
the six following main classes
• 1)Ephemeris data --Errors in the transmitted location
of the satellite including SA
• 2) Satellite clock --Errors in the transmitted clock,
including SA
• 3) Ionosphere --Errors in the corrections of pseudorange
caused by ionospheric effects
• 4) Troposphere--Errors in the corrections of
pseudorange caused by tropospheric effects
• 5) Multipath--Errors caused by reflected signals
entering the receiver antenna
• 6) Receiver--Errors in the receiver's measurement of
range caused by receiver clock error, thermal noise,
software accuracy.
The behavior of GPS satellite clock
• Each GPS satellite clock is monitored against GPS Time,
by an ensemble of atomic clocks at the Master Control
• The satellite clock bias and drift relative to GPS Time are
explicitly determined.
• The above determined clock behaviour is made available to
all GPS users via clock error coefficients in a polynomial
form broadcast in the navigation message.
• However, what is available to users is really a prediction of
the clock behaviour for some future time interval. Due to
random deviations even cesium and rubidium oscillators
are not entirely predictable. The satellite clock error are
accurate to about 20 nanoseconds is not precise for
accurate range measurement.
Selective Availability

• This is to prevent adversaries from using the highly

accurate GPS signals. An artificial clock and ephemeris
errors were introduced into the GPS signals to
intentionally degrade performance both by satellite
clock and degrading satellite orbital information.
• The SA is the single largest source of C/A (coarse
acquision) code error. It introduces largest bias errors
in the Standard Positioning System accounting for most
of the 100 meter (95 percent) error in the SPS. The SA
was turned off on May 2, 2000 and is currently inactive.
Thus one can expect typical accuracies in the range 6-
12 meters. In this way, the accuracy of the single point
positioning is reduced from 100 meters to 15-25 meters.
Removal of the SA enhances the single point
positioning and also expands the application areas.
Satellite Clock Errors
• GPS uses atomic clocks (cesium and rubidium oscillators), which have
stabilities of about I part in 10E13 over a day. These satellite clock
errors affect both the C/A- and P-code users in the same way and
independent of satellite direction from stations and users who measure
same clock error.
• The satellite clock error is the difference between satellite clock time
and true GPS time which varies quadratically with time due the
satellite clock time offset, the frequency offset, and the frequency drift.
The satellite atomic clocks though precise cannot be synchronized with
the GPS time. An average error of 1-2 m for 12-hour updates is the
normal expectation.
• Some drift is allowed, monitored by ground control segment and
occasionally reset to be within one millisecond of GPS time. These
corrections are included by the satellite in the navigation message
transmitted to the user allowing the user to compute the pseudorange
in true GPS time which is common for all satellites.
Ionospheric Errors (Contd).
• Ionosphere extends over about 50 to 1000 km above earth.
• The code suffers delay and carrier phase an advance.
• This delay is proportional to total electron content along
signal path and inversely of the carrier frequency squared.
• The delay can be compensated by modeling, measurement,
or operation in a differential mode.
Tropospheric Errors
• Effect of Neutral atmosphere 0 to 16 km.
• Causes delay in code and carrier
• Variations in temperature, pressure, and
humidity all contribute to variations in the
speed of signals.
Multipath Errors
• Multipath is interference due to local
reflections of the GPS signal by objects and
surfaces in the environment around the
• The use of choke rings, and materials that
absorb GPS signals can mitigate much of
such interference which must be carefully
designed to allow for differing reflections
from the continuously changing satellite
elevations and azimuths.
Receiver Errors
• Errors in the receiver's measurement of
range caused by receiver clock, thermal
noise, software accuracy.
• For present day receiver should
contribute less than 0.5 ms error in bias
and less than 0.2 m in noise.
• All the components of the errors described
above vary and with different time scales.
• There could be gaps and discontinuities in
the data received from the satellites.
• At a given time the data from various
satellites can be processed by using the
Least Squares Method. But it cannot handle
time varying systems as also errors with
• This is just an ideal setting for using
Kalman filter that can handle the situation
with felicity and naturalness in GPS studies!
1 Sigma error of pseudo range = 10 m without SA

1 Sigma error of delta pseudo range = 20 m withput SA

Clock bias = 0.4 x 10(-4) sec

Clock drift = 0.4 x 10(-8) sec/sec


•Evolution of navigation

•GPS Constelation

•Satellite orbit trajectory

.Receiver position

•Different error sources

•Raw measurements of range and delta pseudo range

•Need of Kalman Filter estimate bias and noise


Other Contributors
Dr. M R Ananathasayanam
Dr. S Vathsal