C/N0 Estimation for Modernized GNSS Signals: Theoretical Bounds and Novel Iterative Estimator

Kannan Muthuraman and Daniele Borio

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: A reliable technique for carrier-to-noise density power ratio (C/N0) estimation is required to quantify the performance of weak Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) signal tracking. This paper provides a comprehensive theoretical analysis of the C/N0 estimation process with emphasis on the use of both navigation data and pilot channels available in modernized GNSS signals. A theoretical bound on the noise variance reduction achievable by using both the data and pilot channel in Additive White Gaussian Noise (AWGN) is derived under the assumption of perfect code/carrier frequency synchronization. The derivation and use of this bound for the analysis of C/N0 estimators are considered novel contributions of this work. A detailed analysis of bias levels and noise variance of maximum-likelihood (ML) C/N0 estimators under weak signal conditions is provided. A novel iterative joint data/pilot C/N0 estimator is proposed and analyzed. The proposed method is shown to outperform C/N0 estimators available in the literature.
Published in: NAVIGATION, Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Volume 57, Number 4
Pages: 309 - 323
Cite this article: Muthuraman, Kannan, Borio, Daniele, "C/N0 Estimation for Modernized GNSS Signals: Theoretical Bounds and Novel Iterative Estimator", NAVIGATION, Journal of The Institute of Navigation, Vol. 57, No. 4, Winter 2010-2011, pp. 309-323.
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