GPS modernisation and the L1C signal

By Spirent On May 25, 2012
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Another of the major improvements that is scheduled in the modernisation of the Global Positioning System (GPS) is the L1C signal. This is a freely available civilian-use signal that will be broadcast on the same 1575.42MHz frequency as the L1 signal broadcast be the existing GPS constellation.

As it is broadcast on the same frequency as the existing L1 signal, older receivers will still be able to receive the C/A signal from the new L1C signal. The L1C will be available with first Block III GPS launch, which is currently scheduled for 2013.

The big plus with the new signal is that it will provide a 1.5dB increase in minimum C/A code power over the existing signal. Not only will this improve the performance of existing receivers in marginal reception areas, it will also mitigate any noise floor increase – a major consideration in the increasingly congested wireless spectrum. Performance will also be improved by the provision of a pilot carrier to improve tracking.

Finally, the L1C signal is also designed for multi-GNSS receivers, offering improved civil interoperability with the Galileo L1 signal.

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