Multipath mitigation in Marine GNSS Receivers

By Spirent On October 1, 2010
Multipath, GNSS receivers

On the face of it, the marine environment might appear relatively benign for GNSS receivers. After all, there is virtually no chance of signal obscuration from buildings or trees (although the odd cliff might come into play), so logically, the design of a marine GNSS receiver should be a piece of cake.

However, such devices are particularly prey to multipath interference – both from the surface of the sea and from the superstructure of the vessel itself. And left untreated multipath effects, whereby a reflected “echo” of any RF signal arrives at the receiving antenna a fraction of a second after the signal itself, are one of the major causes of inaccuracy in GNSS receivers. To further complicate matters, while a calm sea is an extremely efficient reflector of signals from low-level satellites, a rough or choppy surface produces a diffuse (and even more complex) effect.

While there are a number of highly efficient mathematical techniques employed for multipath mitigation in GNSS receivers, it is only by applying multipath effects to a receiver that these measures can be employed effectively. And the only way of applying these effects reliably and reproducibly is using a GNSS simulator.

Spirent's GNSS simulators can be programmed to apply all manner of multipath effects under software control, enabling marine GNSS receiver designers to apply multipath mitigation with confidence that they have addressed the specific problems of the marine environment.

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