ION GNSS software-defined radio metadata standard

Sanjeev Gunawardena, Thomas Pany, and James Curran

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: The past several years have seen a proliferation of software-defined radio (SDR) data collection systems and processing platforms designed for or applicable to satellite navigation (satnav) applications. These systems necessarily produce datasets in a wide range of different formats. To correctly interpret this SDR data, essential information such as the packed sample format and sampling rate is needed. Communicating this metadata between creators and users has historically been an ad-hoc, cumbersome, and error-prone process. To address this issue, the satnav SDR community developed a metadata standard and normative software library to automate this process, thus simplifying the exchange of datasets and promoting the interoperability of satnav SDR systems. The standard was ratified and formally accepted as an Institute of Navigation Standard in January 2020. This article describes the ION GNSS SDR metadata standard and associated open-source software project. All content associated with the standard is available on
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Published in: NAVIGATION, Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Volume 68, Number 1
Pages: 11 - 20
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