CASES: A Smart, Compact GPS Software Receiver for Space Weather Monitoring

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O'Hanlon, Brady W.
Psiaki, Mark L.
Powell, Steven
Bhatti, Jahshan A.
Humphreys, Todd E.
Crowley, Geoff
Bust, Gary S

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A real-time software-defined GPS receiver for the L1 C/A and L2C codes has been developed as a low-cost space weather instrument for monitoring ionospheric scintillation and total electron content. The so-called CASES receiver implements several novel processing techniques not previously published that make it well suited for space weather monitoring: (A) a differencing technique for eliminating local clock effects, (B) an advanced triggering mechanism for determining the onset of scintillation, (C) data buffering to permit observation of the prelude to scintillation, and (D) data-bit prediction and wipe-off for robust tracking. The receiver has been tested in a variety of benign and adverse signal conditions (e.g., severe ionospheric scintillation, both real and simulated); the results are presented here. The custom hardware platform on which the software runs is compact while remaining flexible and extensible. The CASES platform consists of a digital signal processor, an ARM microcontroller, and a custom-built narrow-band dualfrequency front end. Because the receiver is softwaredefined, it can be remotely reprogrammed via the internet or another communications link.


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