GNSS Acquisition Thresholds for Civil Aviation GNSS Receivers

Guillaume Novella, Axel J. Garcia -Pena, Christophe Macabiau, Anaïs Martineau, Pierre Ladoux, Philippe Estival, Olivier Troubet-Lacoste

Abstract: Civil aviation GNSS receiver must fulfill minimum requirements defined in standardization documents in order to be certified. International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA) GNSS receiver requirements on message demodulation, pseudorange accuracy and acquisition performance can be expressed as a function of signal carrier to noise power spectral density ratio (C/N_0); where the minimum C/N_0 allowing to meet the GNSS receiver required performance are called thresholds, C/N_0,th. In other words, received GNSS signal C/N_0 is supposed to exceed particular C/N_0 thresholds in order to guarantee that each basic operation of the GNSS receiver (acquisition, tracking, demodulation) meets its required performance; and civil aviation GNSS receiver manufacturers must guarantee the fulfillment of receiver requirements if the received signal C/N_0 is equal to or above the associated requirement threshold. Certification requirements for Dual Frequency Multi Constellations (DFMC) receivers, which are the new generation of civil aviation GNSS receivers, are currently being elaborated. The objective of this article is to revise and to adapt the calculation of the acquisition thresholds for DFMC GNSS receiver. This article starts by presenting acquisition requirements for the current civil aviation GNSS receiver generation (legacy receiver) and DFMC receiver. This article follows by describing the mathematical method used to derive the acquisition thresholds and by computing their numerical values for the different processed signals: GPS L1 C/A for the legacy receiver, GPS L1 C/A, Galileo E1, GPS L5 and Galileo E5a for DFMC receiver. Finally, this article establishes C/N_0 link budgets for acquisition to verify that the received signal C/N_0 is above C/N_0 acquisition threshold at all points in the worlds, and therefore, that acquisition requirements can be met worldwide.
Published in: Proceedings of the 35th International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation (ION GNSS+ 2022)
September 19 - 23, 2022
Hyatt Regency Denver
Denver, Colorado
Pages: 166 - 191
Cite this article: Novella, Guillaume, -Pena, Axel J. Garcia, Macabiau, Christophe, Martineau, Anaïs, Ladoux, Pierre, Estival, Philippe, Troubet-Lacoste, Olivier, "GNSS Acquisition Thresholds for Civil Aviation GNSS Receivers," Proceedings of the 35th International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation (ION GNSS+ 2022), Denver, Colorado, September 2022, pp. 166-191.
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