From the airplane pilot operating a Boeing 747 to the hobbyist searching for buried treasure in the forest, GPS technology is quickly becoming integrated into a wide variety of applications. As innovation drives GPS receivers to even better performance, techniques used to characterize performance are becoming increasingly sophisticated as well.

As GPS technology becomes more commonplace on the commercial market, many design goals are aimed at improving characteristics such as lower power consumption, tracking of weak satellites, faster acquisitions times, and more accurate position fixes. In this application note, you will learn how to make a variety of GPS receiver measurements including: sensitivity, noise figure, position accuracy, time to first fix (TTFF), and position deviation. The goal is to provide engineers with a thorough understanding of GPS measurement techniques.