Optimized carrier tracking loop design for real-time high-dynamics GNSS receivers
Carrier phase estimation in real-time Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receivers is usually performed by tracking loops due to their very low computational complexity. We show that a careful design of these loops allows them to operate properly in high-dynamics environments, that is, accelerations up to 40g or more. Their phase and frequency discriminators and loop filter are derived considering the digital nature of the loop inputs. Based on these ideas, we propose a new loop structure named Unambiguous Frequency-Aided Phase-Locked Loop (UFA-PLL). In terms of tracking capacity and noise resistance UFA-PLL has the same advantages of frequently used coupled-loop schemes, but it is simpler to design and to implement. Moreover, it can keep phase lock in situations where other loops cannot. The loop design is completed selecting the correlation time and loop bandwidth that minimize the pull-out probability, without relying on typical rules of thumb. Optimal and efficient ways to smooth the phase estimates are also presented. Hence, high-quality phase measurements-usually exploited in offline and quasistatic applications-become practical for real-time and high-dynamics receivers. Experiments with fixed-point implementations of the proposed loops and actual radio signals are also shown.