The Namuru Open GNSS Research Receiver

P.J. Mumford, K. Parkinson, A. Dempster

Abstract: Namuru is the name given to the open GNSS receiver research platform developed at the University of New South Wales, Australia. This paper presents the latest design details, results and achievements from the Namuru project team. The platform includes three aspects; 1) a custom circuit board, 2) baseband processor (correlator block) logic design and 3) application firmware. Both the circuit board and baseband processor designs are open and available in the public domain. The custom circuit board has an L1 GPS RF front end and contains an Altera ´Cyclone´ FPGA chip, 3-axis accelerometer and various IO and memory components. The board has been carefully designed to keep noise around the sensitive RF front end as low as possible. Details about the board design and performance is provided in this paper. The firmware runs on a NiosII soft-core processor in the FPGA chip. Several versions of firmware based on the GPS Architect are available in binary form or, as an alternative, the firmware from an Open Source GNSS project would be suitable. The reference baseband processor has been designed to be clean and straight-forward to make it accessible to the widest range of researchers in the GNSS community. Many improvements and enhancements are possible by creating modifications and additions to the FPGA design code in either VHDL or Verilog. The Namuru platform supports many areas of research including; investigating new signals, multipath, weak signals, interference, timing applications, multi-sensor integration, acquisition strategies, and reconfigurable design. The Altera design tools ´Quartus´ and the ´NiosII IDE´ are used to develop the logic and firmware respectively. Altera is among the leading FPGA chip manufacturers and Altera tools are highly productive, fairly easy to use and well regarded. The L1 GPS receiver reference design on the Namuru platform has performance comparable to most ASICbased L1 GPS receivers targeted to a general market. Testing has been performed using a GPS simulator as well as real signals under a range of dynamic conditions. The results of testing are presented, as well as ideas for improvements and tuning.
Published in: Proceedings of the 19th International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation (ION GNSS 2006)
September 26 - 29, 2006
Fort Worth Convention Center
Fort Worth, TX
Pages: 2847 - 2855
Cite this article: Mumford, P.J., Parkinson, K., Dempster, A., "The Namuru Open GNSS Research Receiver," Proceedings of the 19th International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation (ION GNSS 2006), Fort Worth, TX, September 2006, pp. 2847-2855.
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