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Taking the work conducted by the global navigation satellite system (GNSS) software-defined radio (SDR) working group during the last decade as a seed, this contribution summarizes, for the first time, the history of GNSS SDR development. This report highlights selected SDR implementations and achievements that are available to the public or that influenced the general development of SDR. Aspects related to the standardization process of intermediate-frequency sample data and metadata are discussed, and an update of the Institute of Navigation SDR Standard is proposed. This work focuses on GNSS SDR implementations in general-purpose processors and leaves aside developments conducted on field programmable gate array and application-specific integrated circuit platforms. Data collection systems (i.e., front-ends) have always been of paramount importance for GNSS SDRs and are thus partly covered in this work. This report represents the knowledge of the authors but is not meant as a complete description of SDR history.


This article is published by the Institute of Navigation (ION), licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0), which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Supplemental information: A video abstract by co-author Thomas Pany is available. https://vimeo.com/883977396

A version of this work was presented at an ION conference in October 2022. That conference paper is cited on AFIT Scholar here. Only a citation and link to ION is available for the conference version.

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