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GPS Triangulation Procedure

GPS Triangulation Procedure

Triangulation Requirements

To triangulate, a GPS receiver measures distance using the travel time of radio signals.

To measure travel time, GPS receiver needs very accurate timing.

Along with distance, receiver need accurate data on where satellites are in space.

System will also need to correct for any delays the signal experiences as it travels through atmosphere.

Ground Monitor Stations

Falcon AFB

Colorado Springs, CO Master Control Monitor Station

Ground Monitor Stations Falcon AFB Colorado Springs, CO Master Control Monitor Station Hawaii Monitor Station Ascension
Hawaii Monitor Station Ascension Island Monitor Station Diego Garcia Monitor Station
Hawaii
Monitor Station
Ascension Island
Monitor Station
Diego Garcia
Monitor Station
Ground Monitor Stations Falcon AFB Colorado Springs, CO Master Control Monitor Station Hawaii Monitor Station Ascension

Kwajalein

Monitor Station

Basic Functions of Monitor Stations

These stations are the eyes and ears of GPS, monitoring satellites as they pass overhead by

measuring distances to them every 1.5 seconds

This data is then smoothed using ionospheric

and meteorological information and sent to

Master Control Station at Colorado Springs.

The ionospheric and meteorological data is needed to get more accurate delay

measurements, which in turn improve location estimation.

Functions of Monitor Stations (Cont’d)

Master control station estimates parameters describing satellites' orbit and clock

performance,. It also assesses health status of

the satellites and determines if any re-positioning

may be required.

This information is then returned to three uplink

stations (collocated at the Ascension Island,

Diego Garcia and Kwajalein monitor stations) which transmit the information to satellites.

Space Segment

Space segment is the satellite constellation.

24 satellites with a minimum of 21 operating 98% of the time

6 Orbital planes

Circular orbits

20-200 km above the Earth's surface

11 hours 58 minute orbital period

Visible for approximately 5 hours above the horizon

GPS Satellite Orbits

We can obtain updates of GPS satellites at http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/GPS/GPS.html

GPS Satellite Orbits • We can obtain updates of GPS satellites at <a href=http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/GPS/GPS.html " id="pdf-obj-6-8" src="pdf-obj-6-8.jpg">

GPS Satellite Orbits (Cont’d)

Orbits of GPS satellites need to be updated

every once in a while because orbit does not

stay circular without adjustments.

Adjustments needed because:

Other objects exert gravitational force on each satellite (e.g. sun, moon) Effect of gravity is non-uniform during orbit. Radiation pressure (due to solar radiation). Atmospheric drag Other effects

Interesting Aside on GPS Orbits

When GPS satellites are decommissioned,

they are placed on a disposal orbit (outside

the operating GPS orbit).

Some studies show that satellites in disposal orbits can eventually, perhaps over 20-40

years, encroach into operating constellation.

Aside (Cont’d)

This is because disposal orbits, while circular initially, become increasingly elliptical, mostly

as result of sun-moon gravitational perturbations.

Besides intersecting GPS constellation, these satellites eventually could pose a threat to

operational satellites in low Earth and

geosynchronous orbits

Aside (Cont’d)

Aside (Cont’d)

Aside (Cont’d)

Similar threats posed by other satellite systems.

The Russian Glonass constellation, a navigation

system similar to GPS, will also experience orbit

eccentricity growth and may pose a collision risk

to itself and GPS.

Glonass, which has about 100 failed satellites within its constellation, is located about 1,000

kilometers (621 miles) lower than GPS and could

pose a collision problem in 40 years, the studies show.

Aside (Cont’d)

Galileo satellites also may pose a threat to GPS.

Galileo is Europe’s own global navigation satellite system.

First experimental satellite will be launched in second half of 2005.

Galileo will be under civilian control.

Typical GPS Applications

Location - determining a basic position

Navigation - getting from one location to another

Tracking - monitoring the movement of people

and things.

Mapping - creating maps of the world

Timing - bringing precise timing to the world

Third Component of GPS: User

Segment

User segment comprises receivers that have been designed to decode signals transmitted from

satellites for purposes of determining position, velocity or time.

Receiver must perform the following tasks:

select one or more satellites in view acquire GPS signals measure and track signal recover navigational data

GPS: Global Positioning System is a worldwide radio-navigation system formed from a

constellation of 24 satellites and their ground stations.

Uses the principle of triangulation and time- of-arrival of signals to

determine the location

of a GPS receiver.

• GPS: Global Positioning System is a worldwide radio-navigation system formed from a constellation of 24

Components of GPS System

Control Segment: five ground stations located on earth.

Space Segment: satellite constellation (24 active satellites in space).

User Segment: GPS receiver units that receive satellite signals and determine receiver location from them.

Important Terminology

  • Satellite transmits Ephemeris and Almanac Data to GPS receivers.

  • Ephemeris data contains important information about status of satellite (healthy or unhealthy), current date and time. This part of signal is essential for determining a position.

  • Almanac data tells GPS receiver where each GPS satellite should be at any time throughout day.

Each satellite transmits almanac data showing

orbital information for that satellite and for every

other satellite in the system.

Measuring Time Of Arrival (TOA) in

GPS

TOA Concept

GPS uses concept of time of arrival (TOA) of signals to determine user position.

This involves measuring time it takes for a signal transmitted by an emitter (satellite) at a known location to reach a user receiver.

Time interval is basically signal propagation time.

TOA Concept (Cont’d)

Time interval (signal propagation time) is

multiplied by speed of signal (speed of light) to

obtain satellite to receiver distance.

By measuring propagation time of signals broadcast from multiple satellites at known locations, receiver can determine its position.

Assuming we have precise clocks, how do we measure signal travel time?

Measuring Distance using a PRC Signal

At a particular time (let's say midnight), the satellite begins transmitting a long, digital pattern called a pseudo-random code (PRC).

The receiver begins running the same digital pattern also exactly at midnight.

When the satellite's signal reaches the receiver, its transmission of the pattern will lag a bit behind the receiver's playing of the pattern.

Measuring Distance

The length of the delay is equal to the signal's travel time.

The receiver multiplies this time by the speed of light to determine how far the signal traveled.

Assuming the signal traveled in a straight line, this is the distance from receiver to

satellite.

Measuring Distance • The length of the delay is equal to the signal's travel time. •

Synchronizing Clocks

In order to make this measurement, the receiver and satellite both need clocks that

can be synchronized down to the nanosecond.

Accurate time measurements are required. If we are off by a thousandth of a second, at the

speed of light, that translates into almost 200

miles of error.

Synchronizing Clocks (Cont’d)

  • To make a satellite positioning system using only synchronized clocks, you would need to have

atomic clocks not only on all the satellites, but also in the receiver itself.

  • But atomic clocks cost somewhere between

$50,000 and $100,000, which makes them a just a

bit too expensive for everyday consumer use.

  • The Global Positioning System has a clever, solution to this problem. Every satellite contains

an expensive atomic clock, but the receiver itself

uses an ordinary quartz clock, which it constantly resets.

Synchronizing Clocks (Cont’d)

The Global Positioning System has a clever, effective solution to this problem.

Every satellite contains an expensive atomic

clock, but the receiver itself uses an ordinary

quartz clock, which it constantly resets.

In a nutshell, the receiver looks at incoming signals from four or more satellites and gauges

its own inaccuracy.

Synchronizing Clocks (Cont’d)

When you measure the distance to four located satellites, you can draw four spheres

that all intersect at one point.

Three spheres will intersect even if your numbers are way off, but four spheres will not intersect at one point if you've measured incorrectly.

Since the receiver makes all its distance measurements using its own built-in clock, the distances will all be proportionally incorrect.

Synchronizing Clocks (Cont’d)

The receiver can easily calculate the necessary

adjustment that will cause the four spheres to

intersect at one point.

Based on this, it resets its clock to be in sync with the satellite's atomic clock.

The receiver does this constantly whenever it's on, which means it is nearly as accurate as

the expensive atomic clocks in the satellites.

Synchronizing Clocks (Cont’d)

The receiver can easily calculate the necessary

adjustment that will cause the four spheres to

intersect at one point.

Based on this, it resets its clock to be in sync with the satellite's atomic clock.

The receiver does this constantly whenever it's on, which means it is nearly as accurate as

the expensive atomic clocks in the satellites.

Knowing Satellite Locations

In order to properly synchronize clocks and

figure out which PRC signal to listen to, the

receiver has to know where the satellites actually are.

This isn't particularly difficult because the

satellites travel in very high and predictable

orbits.

Using Almanac Information

The GPS receiver simply stores an almanac that tells it where every satellite should be at

any given time.

Things like the pull of the moon and the sun do change the satellites' orbits very slightly.

However, the Department of Defense constantly monitors their exact positions and transmits any adjustments to all GPS receivers

as part of the satellites' signals.

2 Types of Errors

Errors can be categorized as intentional and unintentional.

Intentional errors: government can and does

degrade accuracy of GPS measurements. This

is done to prevent hostile forces from using GPS to full accuracy.

Policy of inserting inaccuracies in GPS signals is called Selective Ability (SA). SA was single biggest source of inaccuracy in GPS. SA was

deactivated in 2000.

Sources of Unintentional Timing Errors

Sources of Unintentional Timing Errors

Typical Errors

 

Source of Error Typical Error in Meters (per satellite)

Satellite Clocks

1.5

Orbit Errors

 

2.5

Ionosphere

5.0

Troposphere

0.5

Receiver Noise

0.3

Multipath

 

0.6

SA

30

Differential GPS

Technique called differential correction can yield accuracies within 1-5 meters, or even

better, with advanced equipment.

Differential correction requires a second GPS receiver, a base station, collecting data at a stationary position on a precisely known point.

Because physical location of base station is known, a correction factor can be computed by comparing known location with GPS

location determined by using satellites.

Improved Offered by Differential

GPS

Source

Uncorrected

With Differential

Ionosphere

0-30 meters

Mostly Removed

Troposphere Signal Noise

0-30 meters 0-10 meters

All Removed All Removed

Orbit Data

1-5 meters

All Removed

Clock Drift Multipath Receiver Noise ~1 meter

0-1.5 meters 0-1 meters

Not

All Removed Not Removed Removed

SA

0-70 meters

All Removed

Using GPS Data

A GPS receiver essentially determines the receiver's

position on Earth.

Once the receiver makes this calculation, it can tell you the latitude, longitude and altitude of its current position. To make the

navigation more user-

friendly, most receivers plug this raw data into

map files stored in

Using GPS Data • A GPS receiver essentially determines the receiver's position on Earth. • Once

memory.

Using GPS Data (Cont’d)

You can

use maps stored in the receiver's memory,

connect the receiver to a computer that can hold more detailed maps in its memory, or

simply buy a detailed map of your area and find your way using the receiver's latitude and longitude

readouts.

Some receivers let you download detailed maps into memory or supply detailed maps with plug- in map cartridges.

Using GPS Data (Cont’d)

A standard GPS receiver will not only place you on a map at any particular location, but will also trace your path across a map as you move.

If you leave your receiver on, it can stay in constant communication with GPS satellites to

see how your location is changing.

This is what happens in cars equipped with GPS.

Using GPS Data

With this information and its built-in clock, the

receiver can give you several pieces of valuable

information:

How far you've traveled (odometer) How long you've been traveling Your current speed (speedometer) Your average speed

A "bread crumb" trail showing you exactly where you have traveled on the map

The estimated time of arrival at your destination if you maintain your current speed

Using GPS Data (Cont’d)

You can

use maps stored in the receiver's memory,

connect the receiver to a computer that can hold more detailed maps in its memory, or

simply buy a detailed map of your area and find your way using the receiver's latitude and longitude

readouts.

Some receivers let you download detailed maps into memory or supply detailed maps with plug- in map cartridges.

Using GPS Data (Cont’d)

A standard GPS receiver will not only place you on a map at any particular location, but will also trace your path across a map as you move.

If you leave your receiver on, it can stay in constant communication with GPS satellites to

see how your location is changing.

This is what happens in cars equipped with GPS.

Using GPS Data

With this information and its built-in clock, the

receiver can give you several pieces of valuable

information:

How far you've traveled (odometer) How long you've been traveling Your current speed (speedometer) Your average speed

A "bread crumb" trail showing you exactly where you have traveled on the map

The estimated time of arrival at your destination if you maintain your current speed