Table of Contents
International Journal of Navigation and Observation
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 295029, 15 pages
Research Article

Enhancing Weak-Signal Carrier Phase Tracking in GNSS Receivers

Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen, European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC), Ispra, Italy

Received 30 June 2015; Revised 29 September 2015; Accepted 20 October 2015

Academic Editor: Olivier Julien

Copyright © 2015 James T. Curran. 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.


Examining the performance of the GNSS PLL, this paper presents novel results describing the statistical properties of four popular phase estimators under both strong- and weak-signal conditions when subject to thermal noise, deterministic dynamics, and typical pedestrian motion. Design routines are developed which employ these results to enhance weak-signal performance of the PLL in terms of transient response, steady-state errors, and cycle-slips. By examining both single and data-pilot signals, it is shown that appropriate design and tuning of the PLL can significantly enhance tracking performance, in particular when used for pedestrian applications.