Methods for Improving Performance in Consumer Grade GNSS Receivers

Erik Söderholm

Research output: Book/ReportDoctoral thesisCollection of Articles


For the last three decades, satellite navigation has evolved from being a technology for professional and military users to a technology available for everyone. Especially during the last 15 years, since the receivers started getting smaller and cheaper, there has been an increasing number of companies delivering Global Positioning System (GPS) enabled devices for hundreds of different kind of applications. Typical for any modern technology, there has also been an enormous amount of money spent on research and accompanied receiver development resulting in an immense increase
in receiver performance.

In addition to the development efforts on GPS receivers the introduction of new global navigation satellite systems such as the Russian Globalnaja Navigatsionnaja Sputnikovaja Sistema (GLONASS), the Chinese BeiDou, and the European Galileo systems offers even more opportunities for improved performance. Both GPS and these new systems have also introduced new types of signal structures that can provide better quality observations and even further improve the performance of all receivers.

Finally, methods like Precise Point Positioning (PPP) and Real Time Kinematic (RTK) that earlier were reserved for professional users have entered into the consumer market enabling never before seen performance for every user of satellite navigation receivers.

This thesis will assess the impact of this development on both performance as well as on receiver architecture.

The design of the software defined receiver developed at FGI, the FGI-GSRx, is presented in detail in this thesis. This receiver has then been used to assess the impact of using multiple constellations as well as new novel signal processing methods for modern signals. To evaluate the impact of PPP and RTK methods the FinnRef Continuously Operating Reference Station (CORS) network has been used together with several different types of receivers including consumer grade off the shelf receivers.

The results show that when using more constellations and signals the accuracy of the positioning solution improves from3 meters to 1.4 meters in open sky conditions and by more than a factor 10 in severe urban canyons. For severe urban canyons the available also increases by a factor 2 when using three constellations. When using new modern modulation techniques like high order BOC results show an accuracy improvement for a Galileo solution of almost 25 % and the presented new signal processing method increase the availability of such an accuracy from 50 % to almost 100 %. Finally, results from precise point positioning methods show that an accuracy of 15 cm is achievable, which is a significant improvement compared to an accuracy of 1.4 m for a standalone multi constellation solution.

To achieve these improvements, it is essential that the receiver itself is adapted to make use of these new signals and constellations. This means that the design of modern consumer market receivers is challenging and in many cases a software define receiver would be a better and cheaper choice than developing new Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC)’s.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTampere
ISBN (Electronic)978-952-03-3060-6
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (articles)

Publication series

NameTampere University Dissertations - Tampereen yliopiston väitöskirjat
ISSN (Print)2489-9860
ISSN (Electronic)2490-0028


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