The GPS Assimilator: a Method for Upgrading Existing GPS User Equipment to Improve Accuracy, Robustness, and Resistance to Spoofing
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A conceptual method is presented for upgrading existing GPS user equipment, without requiring hardware or software modifications to the equipment, to improve the equipment’s position, velocity, and time (PVT) accuracy, to increase its PVT robustness in weak-signal or jammed environments, and to protect the equipment from counterfeit GPS signals (GPS spoofing). The method is embodied in a device called the GPS Assimilator that couples to the radio frequency (RF) input of an existing GPS receiver. The Assimilator extracts navigation and timing information from RF signals in its environment—including non-GNSS signals—and from direct baseband aiding provided, for example, by an inertial navigation system, a frequency reference, or the GPS user. The Assimilator optimally fuses the collective navigation and timing information to produce a PVT solution which, by virtue of the diverse navigation and timing sources on which it is based, is highly accurate and inherently robust to GPS signal obstruction and jamming. The Assimilator embeds the PVT solution in a synthesized set of GPS signals and injects these into the RF input of a target GPS receiver for which an accurate and robust PVT solution is desired. A prototype software-defined Assimilator device is presented with three example applications.