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In this paper, we efficiently solve the maximum likelihood (ML) time-delay estimation problem for GNSS signals in a multipath environment. Exploiting the GNSS signal model structure and the spreading code periodicity, we develop an efficient implementation of the Newton iterative likelihood maximization method by finding simple analytical expressions for the first and second derivatives of the likelihood function. The proposed fast iterative ML algorithm (FIMLA) for timedelay estimation, which uses the correlation function of the received signal with its local replica, is shown to be an attractive technique for mitigation of closely-spaced multipath arrivals. For the future modernized GPS and the European Galileo signals based on binary offset carrier (BOC) waveforms, the correlation function has multiple positive and negative peaks leading to potential tracking ambiguities. Instead of the standard crosscorrelation, we propose an implementation characterized by a different choice of the local replica so as to cancel the sub-carrier phase, thus eliminating ambiguities. The asymptotic performance of FIMLA is analyzed by deriving the corresponding Cramer-Rao bound (CRB). Representative simulation examples are included to illustrate the FIMLA is performance for delay estimations in the presence of multipath for both C/A code and BOC signals.
Date of Publication: November 2008