GNSS Software-Defined Radio: History, Current Developments, and Standardization Efforts

Thomas Pany, Universitat der Bundeswehr Munchen
Dennis Akos, University of Colorado, Boulder
Javier Arribas, Centre Tecnologic de Telecomunicacions de Catalunya
M. Zahidul H. Bhuiyan, Finnish Geospatial Research Institute
Pau Closas, Northeastern University
Fabio Dovis, Politecnico di Torino
Ignacio Fernandez-Hernandez, European Commission
Carles Fernandez-Prades, Centre Tecnologic de Telecomunicacions de Catalunya
Sanjeev Gunawardena, Air Force Institute of Technology
Todd Humphreys, University of Texas at Austin
Zaher M. Kassas, The Ohio State University
Jose A. Lopez Salcedo, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona
Mario Nicola, Northeastern University
Mark L. Psiaki
Alexander Rugamer, Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits
Young-Jin Song
Jong-Hoon Woon

© 2024 Institute of Navigation

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Supplemental information note: A video abstract by co-author Thomas Pany is available in the supplemental tab of the article page. Use the DOI link below.


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.