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In Global Positioning Systems (GPS), unique pseudorandom codes allow different satellites to share available frequency spectra without interference. In receivers, the locally generated codes (replicas) are correlated with received signals to extract a particular satellite's signal and wipe-off its pseudorandom code. The signals received are generally misaligned with replicas. As a result, receivers search for signals using different codes, code phases, and additional residual sinusoidal demodulations at several possible frequencies. This search is called acquisition and it is computationally challenging for receivers operating under weak signal conditions. Software GPS receivers have been developed over the past several years and continue to be an area of extensive research. Faster, less complex, and more efficient algorithms are required for software GPS receivers. We present a fast algorithm for accelerating acquisition. Several frequency domain approaches proposed by authors earlier are combined to reduce computational complexity. These are (i) joint code, code delay and frequency search; (ii) limited code-phase search; and (iii) a shifting replica approach. Significant gains in arithmetic complexity are achieved. A novel method for restoring correlation degradation introduced by limited code phase search is also presented in this paper. Overall performance of the acquisition is illustrated on different platforms.
Date of Publication: October 2008