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GPS Fundamentals and Enhancements

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Technical Training Short On Site Course Quote

This is a 2-day course that presents an overview of how the GPS systems works, its historical evolution, its many applications, and its policy and operational considerations. It provides the fundamentals of GPS principles and technologies including clocks and timing, orbits and constellations, and satellites and control segment functions. See details for more information about this course. Textbook: Introduction to GPS: The Global Positioning System, 2nd ed., Ahmed El-Rabbany, Artech House, 2006., OR Global Positioning System: Signals, Measurement and Performance, P. Misra and P. Enge, 2nd ed., 2011. (Note: This arrangement does not apply to on-site contracts. Any books for on-site group contracts are negotiated on a case by case basis.)


Some familiarity with engineering terms is helpful but not essential.



Christopher Hegarty, D.Sc., is a director with The MITRE Corporation, where he has worked mainly on aviation applications of GNSS since 1992. He is currently the chair of the Program Management Committee of RTCA, Inc., and co-chairs RTCA Special Committee 159 (GNSS). He served as editor of NAVIGATION: The Journal of the Institute of Navigation from 1997 – 2006 and as president of the Institute of Navigation in 2008. He was a recipient of the ION Early Achievement Award in 1998, the U.S. Department of State Superior Honor Award in 2005, the ION Kepler Award in 2005, and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute Hobart Newell Award in 2006. He is a fellow of the ION, a 2010 fellow of the IEEE, co-editor/co-author of the textbook Understanding GPS: Principles and Applications, 2nd edition and is NavtechGPS’ modernization technical advisor.

Michael S. Braasch, Ph.D.,is a Thomas Professor of Electrical Engineering and has served as the director of the Avionics Engineering Center at Ohio University. His research includes GPS receiver design, GPS/INS integration, multipath mitigation, advanced cockpit displays and UAV operational safety analysis. Dr. Braasch has served as a technical advisor both to the FAA and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in the area of precision approach and landing systems, and he has received international recognition for his work on characterizing the effects of multipath on GPS/GNSS accuracy. As co-founder of the company GPSoft, Dr. Braasch has been instrumental in the development the Satellite Navigation (SatNav) Toolbox, the Inertial Navigation System (INS) Toolbox, and the Navigation System Integration & Kalman Filter Toolbox for MATLAB. Dr. Braasch is a fellow of the Institute of Navigation, a senior member of the IEEE, is an instrument-rated commercial pilot and is a licensed professional engineer in the State of Ohio.

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Who Should Attend?

  • Engineers and technical professionals seeking conceptual and detailed explanations of GPS technology, operation, capabilities, applications, and development trends
  • Professionals in navigation, positioning, and related fields who are concerned with the capabilities, operation and principles of GPS, DGPS, and related GNSS systems.
  • System analysts and specialists concerned with position data and its use.
  • Managers concerned with GPS, GNSS activities, or the positioning field.


  • To give a comprehensive introduction to GPS and DGPS technology, system concepts, design, operation, implementation and applications.
  • To provide detailed information on the GPS signal, its processing by the receiver, and the techniques by which GPS obtains position, velocity and time

Course Outline:

Monday Morning

Fundamentals of GPS opertion. Overview of how the system works. U.S. policy and current status.

GPS System Description
  • Overview and treminology
  • Principles of operation
  • Augmentations
  • Trilateration
  • Performance overview
  • Modernization
    GPS Policy and Context
  • Condensed navigation system history
  • GPS policy an dgovernance 
  • Mondernization program
  • Ground segment
  • Other satellite navigation systems
    GPS Applications
  • Land
  • Marine
  • Aviation
  • Science
  • Personal navigation
  • Accuracy measures
  • Error sources
  • Monday Afternoon

    Legacy GPS Signal
  • Signal structure and characteristics
  • Modulations: BPSK, DSSS, BOC
  • Signal generation
  • Navigation data
    Measurements and Positioning 
  • Pseudorange and carrier phase measurements
  • Least squares solution
  • Dilution of precision
  • Types of Positioning solutions
    GPS Receiver Basics
  • Types of receivers
  • Funcitional overview
  • Antennas
  • Tuesday Morning

    GPS Principles and Technologies
    Clocks and Timing
  • Importance for GPS
  • Timescales
  • Clock types
  • Stability measures
  • Relativistic effects
    Geodesy and Satellite Orbits
  • Coordinate frames and geodesy
  • Satellite orbits
  • GPS constellation
  • Constellation maintenance
    Satellites and Control Segment
  • GPS satellite blocks
  • Control segment components and operation
  • Monitor stations, MCS, and grond antennas
  • Upload carriers
  • Ground control modernization
  • Tuesday Afternoon

    Error sources and Models
  • Sources of error and correction models
  • GPS signals in space performance
  • Ionospheric and Tropospheric effects
  • Multipath
  • Error budget
    Augmentations and Other Constellations
  • Augmentations: local area, satellite based, and regional
  • Russia's GLONASS
  • Europe's Galileo
  • China's Compass (BeiDou)
    Precise Positioning
  • Precise positioning concepts
  • Reference station networks
  • RINEX data format

      Tuition for this two-day course is $1399 per person at one of our scheduled public courses. Onsite pricing is available. Please call us at 410-956-8805 or send an email to