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International Journal of Antennas and Propagation
Volume 2012, Article ID 236464, 15 pages
Research Article

Spatial Characterization of GNSS Multipath Channels

Position Location and Navigation (PLAN) Group, Schulich School of Engineering, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada T2N 1N4

Received 2 December 2011; Accepted 7 February 2012

Academic Editor: Hamsakutty Vettikalladi

Copyright © 2012 Hatef Keshvadi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


There is a growing interest in detecting and processing Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) signals in indoors and urban canyons by handheld devices. To overcome the signal attenuation problem in such adverse fading environments, long coherent integration is normally used. Moving the antenna arbitrarily while collecting signals is generally avoided as it temporally decorrelates the signals and limits the coherent integration gain. This decorrelation is a function of the antenna displacement and geometry of reflectors and angle of arrival of the received signal. Hence, to have an optimum receiver processing strategy it is crucial to characterize the multipath fading channel parameters. Herein, Angle of Arrival (AoA) and Angle Spread (AS) along with signal spatial correlation coefficient and fading intensity in GNSS multipath indoor channels are defined and quantified theoretically and practically. A synthetic uniform circular array utilizing a right-hand circular polarized (RHCP) antenna has been used to measure the spatial characteristics of indoor GNSS fading channels. Furthermore, rotating effect of a circular polarized antenna on the synthetic array processing and AoA estimation has been characterized. The performance of the beamforming technique via array gain is also assessed to explore the advantages and limitations of beamforming in fading conditions.