Advanced Receiver Terminal Extension to Technoly and Market Evolution
Background & Objectives
With the development of the Galileo satellite navigation system and the upgrading of existing GPS with new frequencies and capabilities, an improved performance for professional applications is possible. However, this requires the availability of suitable commercial GNSS receivers, which are an advance on the current professional receivers that typically support two frequencies on GPS and GLONASS.
In the future, up to three frequencies per GNSS and up to four GNSS must be supported by professional receivers. Additionally new modulation schemes (AltBOC, MBOC) and high RF-bandwidth signals combined with a certain level of the signal configurability (e.g. GPS L2C) will be introduced, which will require flexibility for the forthcoming professional receivers.
Combining multi-frequency and multi-GNSS capability with the necessary support for all new modulations, high bandwidths and configuration options under the classical constraints of small size, power and cost requires new innovations for the forthcoming professional receiver.
Also the emerging new technologies like software receivers, which could play an important role in relation to flexibility and advanced signal and navigation processing, has to be considered in the future portfolio of state-of-the-art technologies suitable for professional GNSS receivers.
The ART-X project will follow several important lines of activity.
The assessment of existing state-of-the-art technology and related IPs, together with an assessment of the professional market size and segmentation, will be the starting point for the project.
Research on advanced technologies like signal processing technologies for multipath, interference and scintillation or navigation processing for RTK is another core task. The advanced technology task will use an existing multi-frequency software receiver platform for fast prototyping and evaluation. The trade-off between different receiver approaches will also be evaluated here.
The development of the ART-X prototype platform is the third line of activities for the ART-X project, where all the advanced technologies considered as promising will be integrated on a powerful demonstration and testing platform.
A suitable laboratory test environment for the receiver development will be set up and an existing commercial signal generator will be updated to meet the needs of the technologies to be assessed, especially in terms of dual-RF output and multipath simulations.
The last line of activities is the assessment of the achievable performance under realistic conditions of using the GATE Galileo test environment, and also the new Galileo IOV and GPS-IIF satellites, which should be available during the ART-X project.
The objective of the project is to develop an innovative FPGA-based prototype receiver for GPS-IIF, Galileo and GLONASS, which will support all the new modulations and bandwidths with the necessary flexibility to adapt to future changes in SIS ICD in the different systems.
The classical receiver issues of multipath, interference and scintillation will be further studied, considering the new signals with improved detection and mitigation techniques.
Additionally ‘GNSS-heading’ driven applications, like agriculture and machine control, will be considered with dual antenna RF-front-end developments and related signal processing.
Furthermore, a study assessing the trade-off between classical ASIC, FPGA and SW-receiver architecture for a professional receiver in a commercial application frame will be an important trade-off within the framework of the project.
Finally, emphasis will be put on realistically testing the developed technologies and the ART-X prototype receiver, enabling clear assessment of the suitability of the new technologies for future professional receivers in a commercial and competitive environment.
Work performed & results
There are a number of expected results from the ART-X project:
- a sound business plan for a professional receiver is a major outcome;
- user requirements for a future professional receiver;
- new knowledge in terms of concepts and algorithms for improved signal processing;
- knowledge concerning new approaches for RTK navigation processing concepts and algorithms;
- the development of a prototype FPGA receiver as a technology ‘implementation’ and ‘testing’ platform would be an intermediate step towards a future commercial professional receiver and would be a very important result in terms of hardware and software;
- clear indications of achieved capabilities and performance improvements as a guideline for future commercialization activities are expected.