Modelling and simulation of GPS multipath propagation

Hannah, Bruce M. (2001) Modelling and simulation of GPS multipath propagation. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Multipath remains a dominant error source in Global Positioning System (GPS) applications that require high accuracy. With the use of differential techniques it is possible to remove many of the common-mode error sources, but the error effects of multipath have proven much more difficult to mitigate. The research aim of this work is to enhance the understanding of multipath propagation and its effects in GPS terrestrial applications, through the modelling of signal propagation behaviour and the resultant error effects.

Multipath propagation occurs when environmental features cause combinations of reflected and/or diffracted replica signals to arrive at the receiving antenna. These signals, in combination with the original line-of-sight (LOS) signal, can cause distortion of the receiver correlation function and ultimately the discrimination function and hence errors in range estimation.

To date, a completely satisfactory mitigation strategy has yet to be developed. In the search for such a mitigation strategy, it is imperative that a comprehensive understanding of the multipath propagation environment and the resultant error effects exists. The work presented here, provides a comprehensive understanding through the use of new modelling and simulation techniques specific to GPS multipath.

This dissertation unites the existing theory of radio frequency propagation for the GPS L1 signal into a coherent treatment of GPS propagation in the terrestrial environment.

To further enhance the understanding of the multipath propagation environment and the resultant error effects, this dissertation also describes the design and development of a new parabolic equation (PE) based propagation model for analysis of GPS multipath propagation behaviour.

The propagation model improves on previous PE-based models by incorporating terrain features, including boundary impedance properties, backscatter and time-domain decomposition of the field into a multipath impulse response. The results provide visualisation as well as the defining parameters necessary to fully describe the multipath propagation behaviour.

These resultant parameters provide the input for a correlation and discrimination model for visualisation and the generation of resultant receiver error measurements. Results for a variety of propagation environments are presented and the technique is shown to provide a deterministic methodology against real GPS data.

The unique and novel combined modelling of multipath propagation and reception, presented in this dissertation, provides an effective set of tools that have enhanced the understanding of the behaviour and effect of multipath in GPS applications, and ultimately should aid in providing a solution to the GPS multipath mitigation problem.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 15782
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Kubik, Kurt & Bennamoun, Mohammed
Keywords: Global Positioning System, GPS, Multipath, Radio Frequency, RF, Propagation, Parabolic Equation, PE, Modelling, Simulation, Correlation, DLL, Discrimination, Range Error, Mitigation, Reflection, Diffraction, Fresnel Zone
Department: Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Bruce M. Hannah
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 03:49
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 19:38

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