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GPS L2C Signal Acquisition Algorithms for Resource-Limited Applications in Challenging Environments

GPS L2C Signal Acquisition Algorithms for Resource-Limited Applications in Challenging Environments

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Published by ijcsis
Many emerging indoor and wireless applications require the positioning capabilities of GPS. GPS signals, however, suffer from attenuations when they penetrate natural or manmade obstacles. Conventional GPS receivers are designed to detect signals when they have a clear view of the sky, but they fail to detect weak signals. This paper introduces novel algorithms to detect the new GPS L2C civilian signal in challenging environments. The signal structure is utilized in the design to achieve high sensitivity with reduced processing and memory requirements to accommodate the capabilities of resource-limited applications, like wireless devices. The L2C signal consists of a medium length data-modulated code (CM) and a long length dataless code (CL). The CM code is acquired using long coherent and incoherent integrations to increase the acquisition sensitivity. The correlation is calculated in the frequency domain using an FFT-based approach. A bit synchronization method is implemented to avoid acquisition degradation due to correlating over the unknown bit boundaries. The carrier parameters are refined using a Viterbi-based algorithm. The CL code is acquired by searching only a small number of delays, using a circular correlation based approach. The algorithms’ computational complexities are analyzed. The performances are demonstrated using simulated L2C GPS signals with carrier to noise ratio down to 10 dB-Hz, and TCXO clocks.
Many emerging indoor and wireless applications require the positioning capabilities of GPS. GPS signals, however, suffer from attenuations when they penetrate natural or manmade obstacles. Conventional GPS receivers are designed to detect signals when they have a clear view of the sky, but they fail to detect weak signals. This paper introduces novel algorithms to detect the new GPS L2C civilian signal in challenging environments. The signal structure is utilized in the design to achieve high sensitivity with reduced processing and memory requirements to accommodate the capabilities of resource-limited applications, like wireless devices. The L2C signal consists of a medium length data-modulated code (CM) and a long length dataless code (CL). The CM code is acquired using long coherent and incoherent integrations to increase the acquisition sensitivity. The correlation is calculated in the frequency domain using an FFT-based approach. A bit synchronization method is implemented to avoid acquisition degradation due to correlating over the unknown bit boundaries. The carrier parameters are refined using a Viterbi-based algorithm. The CL code is acquired by searching only a small number of delays, using a circular correlation based approach. The algorithms’ computational complexities are analyzed. The performances are demonstrated using simulated L2C GPS signals with carrier to noise ratio down to 10 dB-Hz, and TCXO clocks.

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(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,Vol. 9, No. 9, September 2011
GPS L2C Signal Acquisition Algorithms forResource-Limited Applications in ChallengingEnvironments
Nesreen I Ziedan
Computer and Systems Engineering DepartmentFaculty of Engineering, Zagazig UniversityZagazig, Egypt
ziedan@ieee.org
 Abstract
—Many emerging indoor and wireless applicationsrequire the positioning capabilities of GPS. GPS signals, however,suffer from attenuations when they penetrate natural or man-made obstacles. Conventional GPS receivers are designed todetect signals when they have a clear view of the sky, but theyfail to detect weak signals. This paper introduces novel algo-rithms to detect the new GPS L2C civilian signal in challengingenvironments. The signal structure is utilized in the design toachieve high sensitivity with reduced processing and memoryrequirements to accommodate the capabilities of resource-limitedapplications, like wireless devices.The L2C signal consists of a medium length data-modulatedcode (CM) and a long length dataless code (CL). The CM codeis acquired using long coherent and incoherent integrations toincrease the acquisition sensitivity. The correlation is calculatedin the frequency domain using an FFT-based approach. A bitsynchronization method is implemented to avoid acquisitiondegradation due to correlating over the unknown bit bound-aries. The carrier parameters are refined using a Viterbi-basedalgorithm. The CL code is acquired by searching only a smallnumber of delays, using a circular correlation based approach.The algorithmscomputational complexities are analyzed. Theperformances are demonstrated using simulated L2C GPS signalswith carrier to noise ratio down to 10 dB-Hz, and TCXO clocks.
 Index Terms
—GPS, L2C, Acquisition, Weak Signal, Indoor,Viterbi
I. I
NTRODUCTION
The Block IIR-M GPS satellite series started the transmis-sion of a new and more robust civil signal on the L2 carrierfrequency- the signal is known as L2C. The first satellite in theseries was launched in September 2005, and by August 2009,the eighth and final IIR-M satellite was launched. The L2Csignal [1] [2] has different structure and enhanced propertiesover the GPS L1 C/A signal. The L2C codes and the C/Acode have a chipping rate of 1.023 MHz. The C/A signal ismodulated by a 1023-chip code, and a 50 Hz data message.The code repeats every 1 ms, and each data bit has exactly20 codes. While the L2C signal consists of two codes, CMand CL, that are multiplexed chip-by-chip, i.e. a chip of theCM code is transmitted followed by a chip of the CL code.The chipping rate of each code is 511.5 KHz. The CM codehas a length of 10230 chips; it repeats every 20 ms, and it ismodulated by a 50 Hz data message. The data and the CM codeare synchronized such that each data bit has exactly one code.The CL code is 75 times longer than the CM code (767,250chips), and it is data-less. Performance evaluations for the L2Csignal were presented in [3] [4].GPS signals suffer from attenuation if their paths are ob-structed by natural or man-made objects- such as trees orbuildings. Conventional GPS receivers can detect signals if their carrier to noise ratio,
C/N 
0
, is over 35 dB-Hz, but theyfail to detect weaker signals. Special algorithms are neededto acquire and track weak signals. Many devices that areprone to receiving weak signals, like cell phones, have limitedresources. So, the processing and memory requirements mustbe considered when designing such algorithms.The acquisition goal is to find the visible satellites, thecode delay,
τ 
, and the Doppler shift,
d
. A search for asatellite is done by locally generating its code and using itin a 2-dimensional search on
τ 
and
d
. The received signal iscorrelated with different versions of a code-modulated localsignal, each version is compensated by one possible
τ 
-
d
combination.The codes’ properties cause the correlated signalsto generate a clear peak only if their codes are the sameand their code delays and Doppler shifts are close enough.A positive acquisition is concluded if a correlation exceeds apredefined threshold.The conventional hardware approach [5] [6] searches fora satellite at each possible code delay and Doppler shiftsequentially. Circular correlation [7] [8] uses Fast FourierTransform (FFT) methods. It calculates the correlation at allthe delays at once, for each Doppler shift. Double Block Zero Padding (DBZP) [7] [9] [10] calculates the correlationsin the frequency domain, and uses only one version of thereplica code. It requires less processing, but it suffers from
42http://sites.google.com/site/ijcsis/ISSN 1947-5500
 
(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,Vol. 9, No. 9, September 2011
limitations when working with weak signals. This is becauseit does not consider the Doppler effect on the code length. TheDoppler shift changes the speed of the code, so the code lengtheither shrinks or expands based on the Doppler shift’s polarity.This effect can be ignored with small integration lengths,but it will cause acquisition failure with long integrationlengths. The problem is that correlating a fixed length localcode with a changing length received code will cause thedelay to continuously change with respect to the local code.As the integration length increases, the signal power willcontinue to accumulate at different delays. This will preventthe correct delay from accumulating enough power to exceedthe acquisition threshold. This limitation is circumvented ina modified version of DBZP, called MDBZP, which wasintroduced in [11]. The MDBZP divides the whole Dopplerrange into a small number of ranges. The correlations in eachrange are calculated using a version of the replica code thatis compensated, in length, by the Doppler shift located in themiddle of that range.A joint acquisition algorithm of the CM and CL codes wasintroduced in [12]. An assisted acquisition of the CL code waspresented in [13]. An FFT-based approach was introduced in[14] to acquire the CM and CL codes. A method called XFASTwas introduced in [15] to acquire the long P(Y) code of theL1 signal. This method was extended in [16] to acquire thelong CL code; the extended method was called hyper-codes.For resource-limited devices, the problem with acquiring weak signals using the CL code is the high processing and memoryrequired to correlate and search the 767,250-chip code.This paper introduces acquisition and fine acquisition al-gorithms for the new L2C signal to work under weak signalconditions. The algorithms utilize the L2C signal structure toachieve high sensitivity and reduced processing and memoryrequirements. Three algorithms are introduced to work sequen-tially to first acquire the medium-length CM signal, then refinethe estimates of the carrier parameters, and then acquire thelong-length CL code. A computational complexity analysis forthe algorithms is provided.The acquisition of the CM code is done using a newversion of the MDBZP designed to fit the CM code structureand deal with the fact that each CM code is modulatedby one data bit, which has an unknown value. The newalgorithm- called CM Acquisition and Bit Synchronization(CM-ABS)- implements a bit synchronization method withinthe acquisition to avoid correlating over bit boundaries. Thecorrelations are calculated in the frequency domain, and theDoppler effect on the code is considered. Long coherent andincoherent integrations are used, without requiring assistinginformation from outside sources- like wireless networks. Thelikely data bit combination is estimated over each coherentintegration interval, and used to remove the data signs.The fine acquisition algorithm is based on the ViterbiAlgorithm (VA) [17] [18] [19], which is an optimal dynamicprograming technique. The new algorithm is called Fine Ac-quisition VA-based for L2, or FAVA-L2. The CM code durationis 20 ms, so the phase difference between the start and the endof one code could be relatively large. Using 20-ms correlatedsignals directly will not provide high accuracy estimation forthe carrier parameters. This problem is handled in this paperby dividing the code into small length segments, calculatingthe correlation for each segment separately, and then usingthe correlated segments to find fine estimates for the carrierparameters.The acquisition of the long length CL code is done usinga minimized search approach, MS-CL. It uses the estimatesof the CM-ABS and FAVA-L2 to acquire the CL code bysearching only 75 possible delays. A method is introducedto calculate the coherent integration in smaller steps to avoidprocessing large number of samples at once.II. S
IGNAL
M
ODEL
The received L2C signal is down converted to an interme-diate frequency (IF),
IF 
, and sampled at a rate of 
s
. Thesignal model for one satellite is
r
L
2
(
t
δ
) =
A
{
d
(
t
δ,τ 
)
0
(
t
δ,τ 
) +
0
L
(
t
δ,τ 
)
}
cos
θ
n
δ
+
θ
0
+ 2
π
(
IF 
+
d
0
)
t
δ
+
παt
2
δ
+
n
(
t
δ
)
,
(1)where
t
δ
is the sampling time.
t
δ,τ 
= (
t
δ
τ 
)
{
1 + (
d
0
+
αt
δ
/
2)
/f 
L
2
}
is the sampling time taking intoaccount the Doppler effect on the code length.
τ 
is the codedelay.
d
0
is the initial Doppler shift.
α
is the Doppler rate.
L
2
is the L2 carrier frequency.
A
is the signal amplitude,which is normalized to drive the noise variance to 1 as in[5], i.e.
A
=
 
4
C/N 
0
s
,
s
= 1
/f 
s
.
d
is the navigationdata.
θ
0
is the initial phase.
θ
n
δ
is the phase noise at
t
δ
; it iscomposed of the total phase and frequency clock disturbances.
n
is a white Gaussian noise (WGN) with zero mean andunit variance. The two codes are modeled such that
0
isa chip-by-chip combination of the CM code and zeros, and
0
L
is a chip-by-chip combination of zeros and the CL code.III. CM A
CQUISITION AND
B
IT
S
YNCHRONIZATION
(CM-ABS)The CM-ABS calculates the correlation in the frequencydomain. The separation between the code delays is taken as thesampling time. The number of possible code delays is definedas
τ 
. The algorithm produces Doppler bins with frequencyseparation of 
res
= 1
/T 
, where
is the coherent integrationlength. The number of Doppler bins,
d
, depends on theDoppler shift range,
±
dcov
, where
d
= 2
dcov
. Thevalues of the Doppler bins, defined as
d
v
, can be calculatedas
d
v
=
v
d
2
1
res
, v
= 1
,...,N 
d
.
(2)The samples in each
ms, of the received signal and thereplica code, are divided into
d
blocks. The size of eachblock is
block
=
s
/N 
d
samples.Coherent and incoherent integrations are used. The coherentintegration length,
, can be multiple,
t
, of one data bit
43http://sites.google.com/site/ijcsis/ISSN 1947-5500
 
(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,Vol. 9, No. 9, September 2011
length,
dms
. The incoherent integration accumulates
L
resultsof 
-ms coherent integrations to get the total integration,
L
ms. The coherent integration is obtained by first gen-erating a
/N 
d
-ms partial coherent integration, and thengenerating the
-ms coherent integration. The partial coherentintegrations, at the
τ 
possible code delays, are generated in
step
steps. In each step, the partial coherent integrations aregenerated at a number of adjacent code delays equal to oneblock size,
block
. So,
step
=
τ 
/S 
block
. The arrangementof the blocks of the replica code and the received signalrelative to each other determines which
block
partial coherentintegrations are generated in each step. Each
block
partialcoherent integrations are generated by applying circular corre-lation (FFT/IFFT) between each two corresponding blocks of the replica code and the received signal.Each CM code period has exactly one data bit, which has anunknown value. To avoid correlating over bit boundaries, a bitsynchronization method is implemented within the acquisition.The idea of the algorithm is to search for the start of the codein the received signal by fixing the samples of the replica codeand moving forward the samples of the received signal, untilthe start of the received code coincides with the start of thereplica code. This is done instead of searching directly for thecode delay in the received signal by allowing the correlationto be calculated using samples from two adjacent receivedcodes, which could have data bits with different polaritiesthat will result in correlation loss. The aforementioned ideais implemented by arranging the replica code’s blocks to startat the beginning of the code and fixing that arrangement at allthe
step
steps, and shifting the received signal’s blocks ineach step. The received signal’s blocks are arranged such thatthe first block contains the code delays at which the partialcoherent integrations are generated. After each step, the firstblock is discarded, the remaining blocks are shifted forward,and an additional block is added at the end of the blocks.
d
+
steps
1
blocks are needed to find the
τ 
partialcoherent integrations.The process of generating
τ 
partial coherent integrationsis repeated
L
times, once for each
-ms integrations. In eachrepetition, the last
(
step
1)
blocks used in the generationof the previous coherent integrations are the same as thefirst
(
step
1)
blocks used in the generation of the currentcoherent integrations. This is because the generation of twoconsecutive coherent integrations, for the same possible delay,should use two consecutive
-ms lengths of the signal. Sincecircular correlation involves calculating FFT for each block of the received signal, then FFT for each of the
(
step
1)
overlapping blocks is calculated only once. The algorithm isillustrated in Fig. 1.The algorithm’s implementation details are as follows. Thereceived signal in (1) is converted to baseband to produce
r
c
(
t
δ
) =
r
(
t
δ
) exp
{−
 j
2
π
IF 
t
δ
}
.
(3)The whole Doppler range is divided into a small number,
range
, of ranges. Define
mid
i
as the middle frequency of 
Fig. 1. Illustration of the CM-ABS algorithm.
the
i
th
range, and
di
as the number of Doppler bins in the
i
th
range. The indexes of the first Doppler bin and the lastDoppler bin, respectively, in each range are
λ
s
i
=
i
1
j
=1
dj
+ 1
,
(4)
λ
e
i
=
i
j
=1
di
.
(5)The following items are repeated
L
times, once for eachcoherent integration:
1.
range
versions of the replica code are generated. Eachversion is compensated, in length, by one of the
mid
i
fre-quencies. The un-compensated length of each version is
ms. The model for each version is
LM 
0
D i
(
t
δ
,
mid
i
) =
LM 
0
t
δ
1 +
mid
i
L
2

.
(6)Where,
LM 
0
Di
is the
i
th
replica code version.
LM 
0
isan un-compensated code, which consists of the CM codemultiplexed chip-by-chip with zeros. The samples of eachversion is divided into
d
blocks, each block has a sizeof 
block
samples. From the blocks of the
i
th
version, only
di
blocks are preserved, and the others are discarded. Thepreserved blocks, of the
i
th
version, are those located at offsetsfrom
λ
s
i
to
λ
e
i
. All the preserved blocks are arranged together,where their order is maintained, i.e. blocks coming from the
i
th
replica code are located at offsets from
λ
s
i
to
λ
e
i
. Eachblock is padded with
block
zeros at its end. The complexconjugate of the FFT of each block is calculated. Assume
44http://sites.google.com/site/ijcsis/ISSN 1947-5500

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