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Positioning accuracy in satellite navigation systems depends on time-delay estimation (TDE) between satellite transmitted codes and local receiver replicas. This paper explores the fundamental limits of TDE accuracy of spread spectrum signals making use of estimation theory. In particular, this contribution derives some criteria to improve positioning accuracy in the additive white Gaussian noise (multipath-free) scenario, focusing on the (satellite) transmitter side of a direct sequence spread spectrum (DS-SS) system. Three different solutions based on the minimization of the variance of the TDE are presented. The first method derives a design criterion for the shaping pulse format. The second approach outlines a method to design binary pseudorandom spreading sequences. The third solution considers a joint shaping pulse-spreading code optimization to derive band-limited, non-binary spreading waveforms. Performance of the proposed solutions is compared with that of existing DS-SS signals for current satellite positioning systems. Possible countermeasures to the effects of multipath propagation are also discussed.