Virginia Tech® home

ECE 4164 - Introduction to Global Positioning System (GPS) Theory and Design (4C)

Course Description

Fundamental theory and applications of radio navigation with the Global Positioning System GPS. Satellite orbit theory, GPS signal structure and theory, point positioning with pseudoranges and carrier phases, selective availability, dilution of precision, differential GPS, atmospheric effect on GPS signals.

Why take this course?

The Global Positioning System GPS is one of the most powerful modern technologies. Civilian applications of GPS are rapidly growing and these applications will revolutionize our society in the near future. Many opportunities exist in industry and government agencies for engineers with background and formal training in GPS theory and design. This course will provide students with a firm background in the fundamentals of GPS theory and design. The course has a required weekly laboratory component which will provide students with hands on experience through laboratory experience and a design project.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the fundamental theory and concepts of the Global Positioning System
  • Calculate GPS satellite orbit positions and velocities.
  • Calculate user position using GPS pseudorange data.
  • Calculate and analyze error sources for GPS user position calculations.
  • Correct GPS user position errors by using local area Differential GPS.
  • Organize and write technical reports
  • Organize and make technical presentations