WO1994023310A1 - Differential gps system - Google Patents

Differential gps system Download PDF

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Publication number
WO1994023310A1
WO1994023310A1 PCT/US1994/003576 US9403576W WO9423310A1 WO 1994023310 A1 WO1994023310 A1 WO 1994023310A1 US 9403576 W US9403576 W US 9403576W WO 9423310 A1 WO9423310 A1 WO 9423310A1
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WO
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Prior art keywords
gps
signals
system
receiver
described
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PCT/US1994/003576
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French (fr)
Inventor
William D. Bauer
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Bauer William D
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01SRADIO DIRECTION-FINDING; RADIO NAVIGATION; DETERMINING DISTANCE OR VELOCITY BY USE OF RADIO WAVES; LOCATING OR PRESENCE-DETECTING BY USE OF THE REFLECTION OR RERADIATION OF RADIO WAVES; ANALOGOUS ARRANGEMENTS USING OTHER WAVES
    • G01S19/00Satellite radio beacon positioning systems; Determining position, velocity or attitude using signals transmitted by such systems
    • G01S19/01Satellite radio beacon positioning systems transmitting time-stamped messages, e.g. GPS [Global Positioning System], GLONASS [Global Orbiting Navigation Satellite System] or GALILEO
    • G01S19/03Cooperating elements; Interaction or communication between different cooperating elements or between cooperating elements and receivers
    • G01S19/07Cooperating elements; Interaction or communication between different cooperating elements or between cooperating elements and receivers providing data for correcting measured positioning data, e.g. DGPS [differential GPS] or ionosphere corrections

Abstract

GPS system for both generating and receiving multiple differential corrections from a single broadcast transmission may involve FM subcarrier modulations at any carrier frequency or subcarrier offset to provide multiple differential correction signals having varying accuracy. Signals may be generated by a subcarrier generator (32) and may be adjusted by some encryption means (18) and then accepted by some enablement means (17) including a controllable address signal so as to be provided on a subscription basis. Subcarrier transmissions are provided for in overlapping manner for redundancy and with either separate or interleaved differential signals so as to be able to both broadcast differential corrections and informational signals using existing equipment and FM stations at any available offset with both uplink and downlink capabilities through a variety of capabilities including a modem (38) or a satellite dish (39). Similarly at least one FM receiver (10) component is included within a traditional GPS receiver (9) to simultaneously receive, scan, locate, and compare differential signals for more accurate determination of location in a reliable and optimum manner and at differing locations.

Description

DIFFERENTIAL GPS SYSTEM

I. TECHNICAL FIELD

This invention relates generally to the utilization of Navstar global positioning system (GPS) signals to determine position. Specifically, the invention relates to methods and devices for reliably broadcasting, locating, delivering, and receiving differential GPS correction codes to support a more accurate determination of position.

π. BACKGROUND ART

The Navstar GPS is a navigation system for ascertaining position based upon signals received from orbiting satellites. These satellites, financed by the US Department of Defense, transmit accurately timed gigahertz signals in the L-band from which the user can determine position through timing and triangulation techniques. Since a number of satellites are in view at any given time, multichannel receivers sense from three to even eight or more satellite signals at one or more known L-band frequencies to then compute location based upon these signals. Although the Navstar system is considerably more accurate than most other radio navigation systems, it is subject to undesirable limitations for a variety of reasons. First, physical phenomenon introduce errors. Since the satellite signals are transmitted through the earth's atmosphere, they are subject to distortions, delays, relativistic effects, and other physical impacts which degrade accuracy. In addition, equipment limitations can impact accuracy. For instance, since many GPS receivers use inexpensive internal clocks, timing may not be as accurate as desired.

Perhaps the most significant limitation in accuracy is due to the fact that limitations are purposefully built into the system for national security. Since the Navstar satellites are primarily for military purposes, the US Department of Defense has purposely limited the accuracy of these signals for civilian users. This is facilitated by providing two different signals: a precision code signal (P-Code) available for government use and a course acquisition code signal (C/A-Code) for civilian use. The accuracy of the P-Code signal at a 95% probability level without further correction is on the order of 25 to 30 meters. The Department of Defense selectively introduces an error in to the C/A-Code signal so that a similar accuracy is on the order of 100 meters (330 feet). Naturally, since civilian users do not have access to P-Code signals, this accuracy is of significant concern as commercial applications expand.

To improve upon the accuracy of the Navstar system, one technique has been developed by groups such as the United States Coast Guard differential GPS navigation. This technique is based upon the fact that both inherent and intentional errors are approximately the same within a given locale. By receiving the GPS signals at a known location, the error in location can be determined and transmitted to users in the vicinity of that known location. This error, potentially represented by a set of correction values such as satellite ephemeris and clock bias errors for each satellite, can greatly improve the accuracies of the system. For instance, utilizing differential GPS techniques in conjunction with other corrections, accuracies of considerably less than one meter have been achieved. To transmit the differential GPS correction, a variety of techniques have been suggested including satellite, person-to-person, and ground based transmissions. Typically, the ground based techniques have involved dedicated transmitters using specific frequency allocations and licensing. Due to limited frequency availability, this has resulted in limiting the useful transmission range of such systems. In addition, the expense of such dedicated systems has made it less practical and more difficult to achieve the reliability desired.

In attempting to provide either a widespread or reliable signal, prior efforts have often focused on utilizing failsafe components to transmit at an available frequency. Similarly, efforts to provide a more accurate determination of location have naturally focused on providing only as accurate a correction as possible. Efforts to provide an available signal have likewise often focused on utilizing a specific, dedicated frequency for transmission and receipt. Unfortunately each of these directions have in many instances caused those involved to overlook the commercial realities necessary to effectively implement a differential GPS system on a reliable, widespread basis. While those involved have made great technical strides and even tried to utilize satellite dissemination over a large area, and have developed correction techniques capable of centimeter level accuracies, they have not developed a system which can be practically implemented. Problems such as the initial expense of such systems, the recovery of the cost of placing and maintaining such systems, the limitations on frequency availability, and the equipment impacts for users who may not require maximum accuracy have not been fully addressed. Even attempts involving direct links such as modems and satellite links have not satisfied the need for inexpensive widespread dissemination and are actually directed away from the approaches taken by the present invention. As a result, differential GPS corrections have not yet become available for widespread use. Similarly, the need for extremely reliable, uninterrupted corrections has not been met.

Certainly, those involved in the industry have appreciated the desirability of providing reliable, widespread differential GPS correction in a cost effective manner. To date however, they have not fully satisfied this desire. This may be due, in part, to a preoccupation with the technical challenges, the expense of failsafe systems, an expectation of a need to use available frequencies or frequency allocations, limitations in range and reliability, acquisition time constraints, to presumptions regarding attaining the maximum accuracy in a single differential GPS signal, or to presumptions regarding the use of a dedicated frequency system over the full useful range of a correction. As a result those involved in providing differential GPS signals, have overlooked the solutions proposed by the present invention even though the needed implementing arts and elements had long been available.

In addition, the unique nature of the GPS field itself contributed to those involved overlooking the solutions of the present invention. As mentioned, the GPS signals are satellite signals already in existence. Those skilled in the art either focus on the satellite transmission of such signals or they focus on ways to receive and utilize the existing signals for maximum benefit. Unlike the present invention, these directions have not required significant interaction with the appropriate broadcast fields. As one example, the present invention overcomes significant problems by utilizing subcarrier scanning technology. US Patent number 4782531 to Karr demonstrates that subcarrier capabilities have been known for years. In spite of this availability, such techniques have not been appropriately applied to the commercial delivery of differential GPS signals. The present invention overcomes significant problems by utilizing ground based broadcast capability which had been known and available for years. The potentially narrow focus of those involved with GPS may be highlighted by the fact that even though committees and groups had actively worked together to address and develop standards for the radio broadcast of data, the particular needs of those involved with GPS had not been integrated. Perhaps surprisingly, the existing capabilities had not been applied to achieve the appropriate dissemination of differential GPS corrections.

Not only have the technical directions taken by those involved with differential GPS navigation lead away from the directions taken by the present invention, but the directions used in unrelated arts have also done so to some extent. For instance, as explained later, one embodiment of the invention may involve the use of subcarrier broadcasts to provide differential GPS correction. Within this art, pre-existing standards for the broadcast of data have been established. These standards might suggest that an adequate transmission rate is not available for differential GPS correction. The present invention establishes that, in fact, such potential limitations do not exist. Even if it had been applied to the GPS field, US Patent 4782531 may have suggested receiving specifically known subcarrier offsets and thus been directed away from the approach taken by one embodiment of the present invention.

Basically, it appears that to some degree attempts at providing differential GPS correction in a commercially feasible manner have, until the present invention, been limited because those skilled in the differential art have simply failed to understand that the problem of accurate, reliable and widespread delivery was not purely technical in nature. To an extent they failed to address the possibility of using existing systems, failed to realize that failsafe systems broadcasting over either the full correction area or over only a very limited area were not an optimum way to commercially deliver differential corrections, failed to realize that dedicated systems were not an optimum way to commercially deliver differential corrections, failed to realize the need for cost recovery, and failed to realize that multiple accuracy corrections could afford significant commercial advantages. Each of these directions taken by various embodiments of the present invention contribute to a practical system which can be reliably implemented on a widespread basis. Thus, until the present invention, those skilled in the art simply failed to realize that simple modifications of existing concepts from other fields could achieve a solution. Until the present invention, no system achieved a practically balanced delivery of differential GPS correction, let alone the ability to inexpensively provide reliable corrections in a single system, the ability to provide multiple differential GPS corrections, and the ability to use a variety of frequencies in a single system. In its various embodiments the present invention provides such capabilities in a commercially attractive manner.

m. DISCLOSURE OF INVENTION

Accordingly, the present invention includes both differential generator and differential receiver designs. In one embodiment, a number of differential generators may provide differential GPS correction signals which may be broadcast in overlapping fashion over a variety of carrier and subcarrier frequencies in the FM band. The receiver may also have a scanning capability to search for not only an available differential correction, but for an optimum one. In other embodiments, the differential generator may provide multiple differential GPS correction signals which may have varying accuracies. These signals may be provided through one or more subcarrier modulations on an existing FM carrier transmission. To accomplish this, the overall signal generator may use a processor to derive multiple differential GPS signals which are then input to a subcarrier generator. Appropriate differential GPS codes are then received by a subcarrier receiver integrated with a GPS receiver to determine position to a predetermined level of accuracy. In yet other embodiments, the differential generator may provide differential GPS correction signals which may be broadcast over a variety of carrier and subcarrier frequencies. The receiver may then have a scanning capability to search for an available differential correction signal. Each of these can also incorporate encryption or encoding for access control when commercially desirable.

A general object of one embodiment of the invention is to provide a system which can reliably deliver differential GPS correction in a commercially feasible manner for widespread use. Thus, one goal is to provide a system which can redundantly deliver differential corrections so that should one delivery fail, another can immediately replace it. This delivery can also utilize existing broadcast capability to minimize cost. Another goal is to economically provide differential correction over a practical area.

A general object of another embodiment of the invention is to provide a system which can deliver differential GPS correction in a commercially feasible manner. Thus, one goal is to provide multiple differential GPS correction signals which may be tailored to specific applications. These corrections may have varying accuracy or may be tailored to specific receivers. Thus a goal is to optimize the transmission of differential GPS correction to allow the user to achieve only the accuracy desired. It is also a goal to be able to provide such multiple signals through a single broadcast transmission. Another object is to provide differential GPS correction over a widespread area with a minimum of broadcast sites.

A general object of yet another embodiment of the invention is to provide a system which can deliver differential GPS corrections on a variety of frequencies or even over changing frequencies dependent upon availability, pricing, and the like. This delivery can thus utilize existing broadcast capability.

Each of these embodiments has as a goal accommodating the ability to provide differential correction on a subscription basis. In keeping with the object of commercial feasibility, it is also a goal to provide a signal which can be encrypted and which can enable specific receivers to utilize the differential GPS corrections provided.

Further, it is a goal of one embodiment to provide a receiver design which can react to interruptions in signal without user involvement and which can work in a variety of locations without user involvement. Thus an object is to have a cost- effective design which can be added to existing receivers and which is inexpensive to include in or add to new products. Another object is to provide a design which accomplishes its goals automatically so that the user need not be aware of the processes or even the changes accomplished unless desired. Yet another goal is to provide techniques and designs which minimize the time necessary to locate and select optimum signals. Another object of the invention is to provide differential GPS correction over some area with a minimum of broadcast sites. Thus one goal is to use non-line-of-sight transmissions. A further goal is to utilize existing equipment to the largest extent possible. Hence, it is a goal of the invention to utilize available subcarrier bandwidth from existing FM broadcast stations.

Still another general object is to provide both generator and receiver designs.

In keeping with this object, a goal is to utilize existing components and equipment where possible. Thus, a more focused goal is to provide systems and designs which integrate with existing GPS receivers and which require mimmal additional equipment or components.

Naturally, further objects of the invention are disclosed throughout other areas of the specification and claims.

IN. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

Figure 1 is a block diagram of a differential GPS signal generator.

Figure 2 is a block diagram of a receiver utilizing both GPS and differential signals.

V. BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION

As can be seen from the drawings, an overall system according to the present invention involves both generator and receiver designs. Referring to figure 1, a block diagram of a differential GPS signal generator, the basic Navstar system can be most easily understood. In basic form, GPS involves a number of Navstar satellites (1) which continuously transmit signals sensed by a GPS satellite antenna (8). These signals are transmitted in the L-band at 1575.42 megahertz and 1227.6 megahertz. As shown in both figure 1 and figure 2 these GPS signals are sensed by a GPS satellite antenna (8) which provides them as an input to a GPS receiver so that it is responsive to these signals. This GPS receiver is shown in figure 1 with respect to the generator as first receiver (2) and in figure 2 with respect to the receiver design as second receiver (9). These receivers provide some input to first and second process means, (3) and (12) respectively, in order to determine the location indicated by the GPS signals. Naturally, while these process means are shown separately from the receiver in each diagram, they may be included as part of an integrated receiver design.

Referring to figure 1, the generator block diagram, the details of a system to provide differential GPS correction can be understood. The differential GPS correction may be arrived at by conceptually comparing a GPS signal-indicated location with the known location of the GPS receiver. As shown in figure 1, the known location, or actually data representative of the known location, may be stored in location memory (36). Both the output of location memory (36) and first process means (3) are available to some comparison means (4). Comparison means (4) can then serve to arrive at the appropriate correction value or values for a specific differential GPS correction through creating a comparative representation. This representation may be input to signal generator (5) to create one or more differential corrections. These can be represented by signals which are then provided as input to the remainder of the system to ultimately be broadcast through electromagnetic broadcast transmitter (6) and ground-based antenna (7). Thus by utilizing traditional GPS techniques, a GPS signal-indicated location can be calculated and compared to a known location to create a differential GPS correction with respect to at least one of the satellites GPS signals. With respect to each aspect of this disclosure, it should be understood that although a variety of separate components are shown in the figures for conceptual understanding, the components can naturally be combined or they can be accomplished by separate capabilities. This is particularly true for aspects which may be achieved by programmable components and the like. As only one such example, naturally location memory (36), comparison means (4), and signal generator (5) could be combined or programmed into a programmable processor or separately achieved by a connected computer. Other possibilities of combining or splitting components are also possible throughout the invention. In order to achieve a commercially desirable system, signal generator (5) may include variable programming or other capabilities or components so as to be able to create more than one differential GPS correction. Since, in a preferred embodiment as presently contemplated, signal generator (5) actually is contained within an existing differential GPS base station such as model RTK1 from Trimble Navigation Ltd., the standard single differential GPS correction output could be modified to provide multiple accuracy signals. Using this base station, the highest accuracy signal may be accomplished by utilizing the original, high-accuracy differential correction, such as the real-time kinematic correction as provided. This signal can include differential, carrier phase, and other correction components. By further processing, this high-accuracy signal can be processed to provide an intermediate accuracy. As one such example, available software could be employed to transform the signal to a more common (and less accurate) RTCM-format differential correction. Further to provide an even lesser accuracy signal, a time delay could be introduced by looping one of the signals back for further processing as those skilled in the art would readily understand. Through this arrangement a set of signals having multiple accuracy could be achieved. Naturally other techniques could be employed such as utilizing multiple base station components and the like. These signals could then be output in parallel as shown or in series through interleaving and the like for eventual broadcast. With respect to the particular modes of providing multiple differential GPS corrections, it should be understood that a variety of signal generators and other components are possible. Accordingly, the claims are not limited to a specific architecture or design.

In order to enhance the commercial feasibility of the design, the differential GPS corrections may also be combined or interleaved with other information prior to dissemination. In the embodiment shown, this may be accomplished by inputting the signal or signals representative of the differential GPS corrections and those containing specific information into combiner (13). As those skilled in the art readily understand, combiner (13) serves to integrate the various signals for dissemination. While combiner (13) may merely be an electrical connection, in the preferred embodiment, a multi-port RS 232-type combiner such as model Plus 8-8 from Industrial Computer Source has been utilized to allow for variability. Naturally a great variety of devices might be used to integrate the signals, including other interleave means or merely tying leads together.

As shown in figure 1, the signals may also be processed by some encryption ' means (18) which may be a separate component or merely programming. While shown to occur after the signals have been combined, naturally, this may occur at any point and may even be achieved through combining itself. Since encryption can occur through specific processing, it may occur to only a portion of the combined signal through framing coordination and the like. For instance, even when configured as shown in figure 1, the portion of the signal containing information which might enable receipt of the signal and that containing the least accurate differential correction might remain unencrypted. In addition to the variation possible in the signals selected for encryption, a variety of encryption techniques are also possible. As one of the many possible techniques, quadrature phase shift keying, even though a modulation technique, may be utilized as an encryption technique through use of a properly programmed chip as available from SCA Data Incorporated. Alternatively, encryption may be achieved by merely combining the signals through use of the multi-port RS 232-type combiner mentioned earlier. Regardless of the specific technique utilized, encryption means (18) serves to facilitate the delivery of differential GPS correction on a subscription basis by selectively making a differential GPS correction signal available to only those who pay the appropriate subscription fee. This serves the important purpose of making the system commercially feasible in that the cost of disseminating and broadcasting the differential GPS correction can be recouped.

Prior to subcarrier modulation, the signal may be further conditioned for efficient transmission. This may be achieved by programming within encryption means (18) (actually a computer programmed to process the signals in the embodiment presently preferred) or by a separate framing processor. As those skilled in the art would readily understand, this further processing could take a variety of forms. Since multiple signals may be involved, this conditioning might include framing and packetizing. In addition, forward error correction may be provided. This could be as part of the packet information or as separate conditioning. As presently envisioned, a modified Hamming code algorithm might be used for forward error correction within the packet information. After encryption and possibly conditioning, the entire signal is shown as an input to electromagnetic broadcast transmitter (6). Electromagnetic broadcast transmitter (6) may include subcarrier generator (32). Naturally, subcarrier generator (32) may be a physically separate component as well. Rather than provide a single 5 transmission dedicated specifically to differential GPS correction, the embodiment shown utilizes existing capability, bandwidth, and licensing to the largest extent possible. The broadcast can be on any carrier frequency at any subcarrier offset. Each location broadcasting differential corrections need not have the same frequency or offset and can be changed over time as pricing or other such practical conditions warrant. 10 As contemplated, the preferred broadcast sites would be FM radio stations. In such instances, electromagnetic broadcast transmitter (6) would already include FM exciter (34) and FM transmitter (35). This arrangement offers several advantages.

First, by utilizing existing capability, the entire system cost is minimized.

15 Second, by utilizing existing stations, regulatory impact and licensing needs may be avoided to some extent since the subcarrier capabilities of existing FM stations are not often fully utilized. Next, by allowing for different subcarrier offsets at different locations, broadcast locations can still be utilized even though one offset is not available. In addition, by utilizing FM broadcast transmissions, line-of-sight limitations

20 are avoided. FM transmissions are in the 88 to 108 MHz band; they are not significantly attenuated by buildings or trees in their path and tend to follow the curvature of the earth to an extent. By selecting this bandwidth for broadcast, the differential GPS corrections can be made available throughout a larger area than traditional line-of-sight ground based transmissions. Importantly, in this regard the

25 invention breaks from some traditional teachings by both utilizing a different frequency than typically involved with GPS signals and by not demanding transmission of differential GPS corrections throughout their entire practically useful area (ie. at hundreds of miles distant from the differential generator). In this manner, the differential GPS corrections are transmitted at a predominant frequency of about 88 to

30 108 MHz. This further affords the advantage of allowing for redundant dissemination as numerous FM signals often are available at a given location. Naturally other non-line-of-sight frequencies could also be used as well as other existing transmission or broadcast capabilities such as AM stations, however, practical impacts such as reflections off the ionosphere and the like might make this latter option less desirable for most applications. To avoid the line-of-sight limitations frequencies of less than approximately a few hundred MHz are contemplated. Similarly, due to data ' transmission needs, frequencies of more than approximately a hundred KHz may be desirable.

As shown in figure 1 , electromagnetic broadcast transmitter (6) may also receive a signal from identifier generator (46) and may have its output sensed by subcarrier monitor (33). Each of these components is included to enhance commercial performance but is not required in order to achieve some of the more basic embodiments. Identifier generator (46) can serve to provide a specific identification code in order to enhance scanning and signal acquisition times and may be configured as an input to subcarrier generator (32). Basically, identification generator (46) is designed to continuously include an easily identifiable signal during pauses in the differential or information transmissions on the subcarrier modulation so as to allow a quick determination as to whether differential GPS codes are provided through that FM transmission. In the scanning mode discussed in more detail later, the receiver would scan for FM transmissions which include the appropriate identifier.

Additionally, subcarrier monitor (33) may be provided for applications where backlink monitoring is desirable. Subcarrier monitor (33) could create information concerning the status and quality of the subcarrier transmission actually broadcast. As shown in figure 1, subcarrier monitor (33) provides this signal to modem (38) which could provide a signal to some type of information input/output (15) such as a telephone line. Similarly it could provide the signal to a NSAT (very small aperture transmission) satellite transmitter, VSAT transmitter (41). VSAT transmitter (41) would then be linked to satellite dish (39) to provide an uplink information capability. Again, this is not required in order to practice the invention but may be commercially advantageous in certain applications.

In addition to the uplink information capability shown in figure 1, a generator, according to the embodiment shown in figure 1, might also include optional downlink information capabilities. As shown in figure 1, three types of data capabilities can be provided. First, information input/output (15) and modem (38) can operate to provide a signal to be input to combiner (13) and for ultimate transmission by electromagnetic broadcast transmitter (6). This information could be of a varied nature including ' highway, weather and other user information as well as specific subscription information. As such, information input/output (15) or perhaps a computer providing such information might serve as an information signal generator. With respect to subscription information, this information signal generator might act as a controllable address generator so as to provide serial number or other specific receiver information in order to enable receipt by one receiver. By including this type of signal with the differential GPS corrections provided from signal generator (5), an information signal which enables receipt of the differential GPS corrections can be achieved. Naturally, this aspect could be achieved either before or after the action of encryption means (18). It may also go through encryption means (18) unaffected for further conditioning as mentioned earlier. When achieved after encryption means (18), the controllable address generator might be provided as another type of input into subcarrier generator (32) similar to that of identification generator (46).

Satellite download capability might also be achieved through the use of satellite dish (39) and VSAT receiver (40). Again, as those skilled in the art would readily understand VSAT receiver (40) could provide another input into combiner (13) to achieve either pure information downlink capabilities or specific receiver enablement. Since specific receivers could thus be addressed, it is possible through each of these techniques that information specific to that one user could be provided throughout a large area since the actual user's location may not be known. This could occur periodically or regularly by transmission during pauses in the transmission of the other information or differential corrections. Since the entire system is designed to be utilized on a subscription basis, this would facilitate cost recovery needs and would serve to make the system more commercially feasible.

For specific applications, tailored information download capabilities can also be provided. As shown in figure 1, the system designed may include intelligent vehicle highway system (TVHS) input (43) and IVHS signal generator (42) for road conditions and the like. This aspect could be tied with VSAT transmitter (41) and could also provide yet another information input to combiner (13) as shown. Naturally a variety of information capabilities could also be included or easily added through the utilization of additional lines (47) into combiner (13) including message capabilities and the like. ' Upon receipt, this information could also be further processed and selected based upon the user's determined location. As with other features shown in the drawings, such is shown to illustrate the great degree of variation capable in specific generator and receiver designs. While initially the preferred embodiment contemplated might provide only basic information capabilities such as that available through the use of information input/output (15) and modem (38), expansion is provided for. Naturally as the demand for the system grows, additional capabilities should be easily added. In keeping with this object, the design shown illustrates a variety of alternatives in order to enhance understanding of the variations possible which fall within the scope of this patent.

As shown in figure 1, the multiple differential GPS corrections output by signal generator (5), are provided for single broadcast to afford cost savings. Other efficiencies can be gained through optimal utilization of subcarrier generator (32). Subcarrier generator (32) might be configured or programmed so as to create one or more subcarrier transmissions at any selected subcarrier offset. When configured to provide multiple channels of subcarrier signals, these channels might be adjacent subcarrier transmissions to minimize bandwidth requirements. To avoid conflict with existing subcarrier transmissions, it is believed that a frequency offset of 67 KHz might be desirable. As mentioned, naturally this offset can be varied to accommodate availability and the like. The offset of 67 KHz, however, can allow a wide bandwidth for greater information capabilities. In this regard, the invention departs from any suggestion to integrate with existing subcarrier transmission structures at only the 57 KHz offset. The present invention can do this, but it need not and, importantly, receiver designs would not need any change in capability. In addition, the use of the full bandwidth of the "67 KHz" subcarrier (from about a 60 KHz offset to about a 75 KHz offset) allows high data transmission rates such as those necessary for a 9600 baud transmission. This avoids the limitations which are inherent in other data transmission services and formats where as little as 50 baud is typically available. This limitation in data transmission rate is significant as a typical differential GPS correction transmission will presently require appropriately 600 baud. Due to information needs, providing three different levels of accuracy might demand about 3000 baud or a bandwidth of as little as 5 KHz. As mentioned, this could be provided in separate adjacent subcarrier transmissions or could be provided in one interleaved subcarrier ' transmission where more than one correction could be provided as part of a single subcarrier transmission. When provided in a multi-channel format, bandwidth can also be allocated for optimal signal presentation. Thus, since greater accuracy demands greater information, a larger bandwidth could be provided. Naturally each of these bandwidths should be sufficient to allow for appropriate error correction and transmission capabilities.

Referring to figure 2, a receiver design according to the invention can be understood. As mentioned earlier, the receiver involves GPS satellite antenna (8) and second receiver (9) in a traditional fashion so as to be able to sense a GPS signal-indicated location through the operation of second process means (12). As also traditionally utilized, second process means (12) can provide some type of location output (45) either by display or as input to other components. The receiver, according to the present invention, may also involve at least one differential subcarrier receiver (10). Although in figure 2, two different differential subcarrier receivers (10) are shown, as will be discussed later with respect to the scanning capabilities of the receiver, this aspect is not necessary in order to merely achieve differential GPS correction.

Conceptually, a single differential subcarrier receiver (10) responds to differential GPS corrections sensed by FM antenna (11) and then provides these corrections as input into differential GPS processor (48). Differential processor (48) would then act to convert the broadcast transmission into a signal such as a digital signal by A/D converter (30) and would then act to provide it as input into second process means (12). Second process means (12) would then utilize both the GPS signal-indicated location and the appropriate differential GPS corrections in order to provide the actual location of GPS satellite antenna (8) to some higher degree of accuracy.

As mentioned with respect to a generator design according to the present invention, the differential GPS correction provided may not always be at a known carrier frequency or subcarrier offset. Accordingly, differential subcarrier receiver (10) can include tunable receiver (24). Tunable receiver (24) may be controlled ' through the operation of frequency scanner (19). Frequency scanner (19) may include a component or programming as a carrier scanner (22) to locate FM carrier signals which are available and in the vicinity of the user. Once a carrier signal has been located, a subcarrier transmission could be similarly located. Note that while a subcarrier offset of 67 KHz is desirable at present, for availability and other reasons, such offset can vary. Accordingly, subcarrier demodulator (44) may be similarly controlled by a component or program to act as subcarrier scanner (23) to automatically locate either an available or an optimum differential GPS correction. Subcarrier demodulator (44), and even the tunable receiver may be achieved by a hybrid chip or the like. Both carrier scanner (22) and subcarrier scanner (23) might combine to serve as frequency scanner (19) so as to operate in conjunction with tunable receiver (24) to efficiently locate the appropriate signal without user involvement.

In scanning, a variety of decision techniques could be utilized. First, some type of memory could be utilized alone or in conjunction with the identifier mentioned earlier in order to minimize the acquisition time. As shown in figure 2, this might include scanner memory (20) as an input into frequency selector (21). Frequency selector (21) could then control either or both the carrier scanner (22) and possibly subcarrier scanner (23) in order to initialize the carrier frequency and offset at which to look for either the identifier or the differential GPS corrections. In this fashion, the receiver could be configured to recall the last carrier frequency and offset and to first test that configuration for availability. Thus, if the user had not significantly moved in position since the receiver was turned off, the unit might first acquire the signal which was last utilized and thus save time in the acquisition phase. Additionally, differential processor (48) could serve the same task.

Either in addition or alternatively, frequency scanner (19) could be operated as a signal optimization means so as to select an optimum signal. As shown in figure 2, this might include utilization of the capabilities of differential processor (48) to control or augment carrier scanner (22) and subcarrier scanner (23). Naturally a signal which is deemed "optimum" could be determined in a variety of ways such as the strongest signal, the closest signal, a signal above an acceptable threshold, or even the signal having the highest amount of transmission accuracy. When configured so as to sense ' the strongest signal, the receiver design might include signal strength detector (27) so as to provide some input to differential processor (48). By providing some indication of the strength of the particular signal receiver, signal strength detector (27) could allow differential processor (48) to act as some threshold comparison means. For convenience, this has been shown as threshold comparison means (28) within differential processor (48), however it should be understood that this could be accomplished through a separate component as well as a subroutine or programming as available to differential processor (48). When configured to serve as threshold comparison means (28), such programming could be established so as to compare with acceptable thresholds and thus interactively control carrier scanner (22) and subcarrier (23) until a signal of acceptable strength has been located.

Similarly, differential processor (48) could be configured through programming to act as an error detector (29). As mentioned earlier, since the subcarrier transmission provided by the generator might include some type of error correction, it could be appropriate for error detector (29) to sense the number of errors actually received in the transmission. This might serve as one type of signal strength threshold. If the number of errors grew too large, differential processor (48) could be configured so as to cause carrier scanner (22) and subcarrier scanner (23) to look for another differential GPS correction signal or to inform the user of potential unreliability. Once located, this new signal could then be accepted by differential processor (48) and transformed through A/D converter (30) for utilization by second processor means (12). As those skilled in the art would readily understand, naturally a variety of signal optimization techniques and even combinations of the above could be utilized. The design, however, is not limited by these specific techniques.

As mentioned, in order to speed the scanning time needed, the identifier provided to the generator through identifier generator (46) need only be located on the subcarrier transmission. Naturally, this could be compared to stored locations of known differential generator sites for further processing and more rapid scanning even before actual receipt of the differential GPS corrections is accomplished. Also, since initialization of the GPS receiver itself takes a significant amount of time, a single receiver could act to select a number of possible signals initially. These could be stored for later retrieval, of course.

As shown in figure 2, differential processor (48) also may include enablement means (17). Enablement means (17) may be programming so as to allow sensing of the appropriate information signal such as a serial number in order to activate differential sensing. In this manner, enablement means (17) acts to afford the provision of signals on a subscription basis and may even allow the transmission of personalized information to the specific receiver involved. This could be easily accomplished by programming to trigger the enablement upon sensing of the appropriate identification code or address so as to unlock the receiver for a specific period of time. Naturally, this could be automatically deactivated after a certain period of time so as to assure continued payment of the subscription fees involved. In addition, enablement means (17) may be separately provided and need not be limited to configurations within differential processor (48).

For applications in which continuous sensing of the differential GPS corrections is required, a second differential correction receiver could be utilized. As shown in figure 2, the second differential correction receiver might involve a second tunable receiver (25) possibly together with a similar subcarrier demodulator (44). Each differential subcarrier receiver (10) whether including only a tunable carrier receiver or a tunable carrier receiver in conjunction with a subcarrier demodulator could be controlled by a separate frequency scanner or by the same frequency scanner (19) as discussed earlier. In this configuration, while one differential subcarrier receiver (10) was acting to sense the appropriate signal, the other might act to locate a second differential correction which was either the next best or an even better signal. These could be received simultaneously by two receivers or could similarly be received simultaneously by one receiver programmed to timeshare its capabilities as discussed later. When two receivers are involved, through the use of buffer (31) and switch means (26), differential processor (48) could then cause switching in an uninterrupted fashion from one differential GPS correction transmission to another. As mentioned, switching could be achieved by even a single differential receiver if operated so as to look for other frequencies during pauses in its operation. Thus programming or components could be included as a broadcast test means to allow for a step of periodically testing for alternative differential correction broadcasts or as a timeshare means to allow for a step of simultaneously receiving two signals. These could be included as further programming within frequency scanner (19). Specifically, since GPS signals are only actually sensed for fractions of a second, the other portion of that time could be spent looking for other signals by the single differential correction receiver involved or sensing a second signal and comparing its accuracy to the first. Multiple differential corrections could also be received and utilized to increase accuracy or reliability even further by either one or more receivers. In addition, since the differential GPS correction might not change as dynamically as the actual GPS signals, the differential GPS correction could be utilized and processed for brief periods while the single differential subcarrier receiver (10) constantly updated or searched for the broadcast transmission involved to further enhance reliability and redundancy.

In keeping with the goal of providing uninterrupted differential GPS correction receipt, it is similarly possible to position the differential generator sites so as to be redundant. In this configuration, although each FM station (in one embodiment) might have a useable area over which differential GPS corrections could normally be provided, multiple stations having overlapping areas could be utilized so that in the event a single station were unavailable for one reason or another, uninterrupted reception of differential GPS correction could be provided to a specific site by merely switching to another differential GPS correction broadcast site. Thus, the overlapping signals themselves and generators could serve as a redundant dissemination means in a fashion similar to the way in which the multiple receivers or timeshare means served as a redundant reception means. Each would thus serve as a redundant correction means. Naturally, it could be advisable for each generator to have its own differential GPS correction so as to afford truly independent differential GPS correction signals. It could similarly be desirable to inform the user of the unavailability of an alternative signal or of an imminent loss of reliability.

Applications for this invention will be very broad. In the agriculture industry, this system would provide the accuracy of location necessary to provide or coordinate with mapping of crop yields and soil types for optimum fertilization and the like. With a higher level of accuracy, the signal could be used to navigate a tractor or airplane as ' it applies agri-chemicals with no overlap of paths and no missed areas. The additional data delivery capabilities would facilitate the delivery of traffic control information, weather information, paging messages, headline news, and even stock market prices and the like. In addition, the information provided could be utilized by internal or external processing capabilities with or without the location information for a simplified display. Intelligent vehicle highway system (IVHS) information could also be provided. As only one such example, with the level of accuracy now practically possible, directions to a specific location and even the precise turns to be made could be displayed for a driver.

With reference to the claims, it can be seen that in many instances, one element is responsive to another element. This is meant in its broadest sense. For instance, since signal generator (5) outputs some signals which ultimately impact the operation of subcarrier generator (32), subcarrier generator (32) should be deemed responsive to signal generator (5). This is in spite of the fact that the output may be conditioned through other components. In the broad sense intended, all that is necessary for this example is that subcarrier generator (32) vary its operation based upon the output of signal generator (5) in order to be deemed "responsive" to signal generator (5). Intermediate processing or manipulation would not impact this responsiveness. Similarly as those skilled in the art would understand, many steps in the techniques discussed can be accomplished at varying points in time, in varying orders, and even at external locations. Naturally each such variation would fall within the scope of this patent. This is particularly true for the present invention since inputs can be provided at differing points and since processing capability can be achieved or distributed throughout the design or applied externally. As one example, the capabilities discussed with respect to differential processor (48) might be achieved within second process means (12) or might be distributed to other portions of the design or even achieved by a computer connected in some manner. Further, the receiver, might be completely integrated so as to contain both the FM and GPS reception capability by merely including an appropriate chip set, filter and the like. Hardwired or firmware designs rather than pure programming should also be understood to fall within the scope of this invention. Also it should be understood that the terms used for elements or components ("differential processor" and the like) are used to distinguish the component or element only; they are not intended to limit its scope as it is the result achieved by the element which is important, not its inherent function.

The foregoing discussion and the claims which follow describe a preferred embodiment of the present invention. Particularly, with respect to the claims, it should be understood that changes may be made without departing from the essence of the invention. In this regard it is intended that such changes would fall within the scope of the present invention. It simply is not practical to describe and claim all possible revisions to the present invention which may be accomplished. For instance, the claims are directed to both methods and apparatus. Although the methods related to the system have been included in various detail, only initial claims directed toward the reception or generation methods or toward the system apparatus or the generator or receiver apparatus have been included. Naturally, the disclosure of system or method focus is sufficient to support the full scope of method and apparatus claims having a system, generator, and receiver focus as well. While these may be added to explicitly include such details, the existing claims should be construed to encompass such aspects. Without limitation, the present disclosure should be construed to encompass subclaims similar to those presented in a system or method context for the generator apparatus and methods and for the receiver apparatus and methods.

In addition, to the extent any revisions utilize the essence of the invention, each would naturally fall within the breadth of protection encompassed by this patent. This is particularly true for the present invention since its basic concepts and understandings are fundamental in nature and can be broadly applied.

Claims

VI, CLAIMS I claim:
1. A method of accurately deterrnining position using Navstar Global Position' System (GPS) signals comprising the steps of: a. receiving said GPS signals at a known location; b. calculating a GPS signal-indicated location from said signals; c. comparing said GPS signal-indicated location with said known location; d. creating more than one differential correction with respect to at least one of said GPS signals; e. disseminating said differential corrections by transmission through electromagnetic broadcast at a predominant frequency which follows the curvature of the earth; f. receiving at least one of said differential corrections at an unknown location; g. receiving said GPS signals at said unknown location; and h. utilizing said differential correction and said GPS signals to determine the location of said unknown location.
2. A method of accurately deterrnining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) as described in claim 1 wherein said step of disseminating said differential correction is by transmission through redundant electromagnetic broadcast.
3. A method of accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) as described in claim 1 and further comprising the step of scanning to ascertain the predominant frequency at which said differential correction is transmitted at said unknown location.
4. A system for accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals comprising: a. a first receiver situated at a known location and responsive to said GPS signals; b. a first process means responsive to said first receiver; c. a comparison means responsive to said process means which creates a comparative representation, and having available to it data representative of said known location; d. a signal generator responsive to said comparative representation which creates a plurality of differential correction representations; e. an electromagnetic broadcast transmitter responsive to said differential correction representation and which transmits at least one signal at a predominant frequency which follows the curvature of the earth; f. a second receiver responsive to said GPS signals; g. a differential correction receiver responsive to said signal transmitted by said electromagnetic broadcast transmitter; and h. a second process means responsive to both said differential correction receiver and said second receiver and capable of determining the location of said second receiver. 5. A system for accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 4 wherein said differential correction receiver comprises a tunable receiver and further comprising a frequency scanner which operates in conjunction with said tunable receiver to locate said signal transmitted by said electromagnetic broadcast transmitter.
6. A method of accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals comprising the steps of: a. receiving said GPS signals at a known location; b. calculating a GPS signal-indicated location from said signals; c. comparing said GPS signal-indicated location with said known location; d. creating more than one differential correction with respect to at least one of said GPS signals; e. disseminating said differential corrections by transmission through electromagnetic broadcast; f. receiving at least one of said differential corrections at an unknown location; g. receiving said GPS signals at said unknown location; and h. utilizing said differential correction and said GPS signals to determine the location of said unknown location.
7. A method of accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 6 wherein said differential corrections have varying accuracy.
8. A method of accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 7 wherein said step of disseminating said differential corrections by transmission through electromagnetic broadcast comprises the step of disseminating said differential corrections in one broadcast.
9. A method of accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 7 wherein said step of disseminating said differential corrections by transmission through electromagnetic broadcast comprises the step of transmitting said differential corrections on a subcarrier broadcast.
10. A method of accurately deterrnining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 9 wherein said electromagnetic broadcast is broadcast at a predominant frequency of between about 88 and 108 MHz.
11. A method of accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 9 wherein said step of transmitting said differential corrections on a subcarrier broadcast comprises the step of transmitting more than one adjacent subcarrier broadcast.
12. A method of accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 9 or 11 wherein said step of transmitting said differential corrections on a subcarrier broadcast comprises at least one subcarrier transmission having a transmission rate of at least 600 bits per second. 13. A method of accurately deterrnining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 9 wherein said step of disseminating said differential corrections by transmission through electromagnetic broadcast ' comprises the step of interleaving more than one signal in said electromagnetic
5 broadcast.
14. A method of accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 8, 9, or 10 and further comprising the step of transmitting an information signal as part of said electromagnetic
10 broadcast.
15. A method of accurately deterrnining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 14 wherein said information signal is addressed to an individual receiver.
15
16. A method of accurately deterrnining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 15 wherein said information signal enables receipt of at least one of said differential corrections by said receiver.
20 17. A method of accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 8, 9, or 10 wherein said step of receiving at least one of said differential corrections at an unknown location is accomplished by an individual receiver and further comprising the step of transmitting an information signal addressed to said individual receiver.
25
18. A method of accurately deterrnining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 17 wherein said information signal enables receipt of at least one of said differential corrections by said receiver.
30 19. A method of accurately detern ining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 6, 7, or 10 wherein said step of disseminating said differential corrections by transmission through electromagnetic broadcast comprises the step of encrypting at least some of said differential corrections.
20. A method of accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 17 or 18 wherein said step of disseminating said differential corrections by transmission through electromagnetic broadcast comprises the step of encrypting at least some of said differential corrections.
21. A method of generating differential corrections for use with Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals comprising the steps of: a. receiving said GPS signals at a known location; b. calculating a GPS signal-indicated location from said signals; c. comparing said GPS signal-indicated location with said known location; d. creating more than one differential correction for said GPS signals; and e. disseminating said differential corrections by transmission through electromagnetic broadcast.
22. A system for accurately deterrnining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals comprising: a. a first receiver situated at a known location and responsive to said GPS signals; b. a first process means responsive to said first receiver; c. a comparison means responsive to said process means which creates a comparative representation, and having available to it data representative of said known location; d. a signal generator responsive to said comparative representation which creates a plurality of differential correction representations; e. an electromagnetic broadcast transmitter responsive to said differential correction representations; f. a second receiver responsive to said GPS signals; g. a differential correction receiver responsive to said electromagnetic broadcast; and h. a second process means responsive to both said differential correction receiver and said second receiver and capable of determining the location of said second receiver.
23. A system for accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position 5 System (GPS) signals as described in claim 22 wherein said signal generator creates differential correction representations which are representative of said comparative representation to varying degrees of accuracy.
24. A system for accurately deterrnining position using Navstar Global Position 10 System (GPS) signals as described in claim 23 wherein said electromagnetic broadcast transmitter comprises a subcarrier generator.
25. A system for accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 24 wherein said electromagnetic
15 broadcast transmitter creates a signal which is broadcast at a predominant frequency of between about 88 and 108 MHz.
26. A system for accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 24 wherein said subcarrier generator
20 creates adjacent multichannel subcarrier transmissions.
27. A system for accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 24 or 26 wherein said signal generator is capable of creating a signal of at least 600 bits per second.
25
28. A system for accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 24 and further comprising a combiner responsive to said differential correction representations.
30 29. A system for accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 24 or 25 and further comprising an information signal generator and wherein said subcarrier generator is responsive to said information signal generator. 30. A system for accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 29 and further comprising a controllable address generator and wherein said subcarrier generator is ' responsive to said controllable address generator.
5
31. A system for accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 30 and further comprising an enablement means responsive to said electromagnetic broadcast transmitter.
10 32. A system for accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 22, 23, or 25 and further comprising an encryption means connected so as to affect at least one of said differential correction representations.
15 33. A differential correction generator for use with Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals comprising: a. a receiver situated at a known location and responsive to said GPS signals; b. a process means responsive to said receiver; 0 c. a comparison means responsive to said process means, which creates a comparative representation, and having available to it data representative of said known location; d. a signal generator responsive to said comparative representation which creates a plurality of differential correction representations; and 5 e. an electromagnetic broadcast transmitter responsive to said differential correction representations.
34. A method of accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals comprising the steps of: 0 a. receiving said GPS signals at at least one known location; b. calculating a GPS signal-indicated location from said signals; c. comparing said GPS signal-indicated location with said known location; d. creating at least one differential correction for said GPS signals; e. disseminating said differential correction by transmission through an electromagnetic broadcast having a predominant frequency; f. receiving said GPS signals at an unknown location; g. scanning to ascertain the predominant frequency at which said 5 differential correction is transmitted at said unknown location; h. receiving said differential correction at said unknown location; and i. utilizing said differential correction and said GPS signals to accurately determine the location of said unknown location.
10 35. A method of accurately determimng position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 34 wherein said step of scanning to ascertain the predominant frequency at which said differential correction is transmitted at said unknown location comprises the step of scanning for a broadcast on a carrier frequency.
15
36. A method of accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 35 wherein said step of scanning for a broadcast on a carrier frequency comprises the steps of: a. storing at least one frequency value; and 0 b. testing said stored values.
37. A method of accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 35 wherein said step of scanning to ascertain the predominant frequency at which said differential correction is 5 transmitted at said unknown location further comprises the step of scanning for a subcarrier offset at which said differential correction is broadcast.
38. A method of accurately deterrnining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 35 wherein said step of scanning to 0 ascertain the predominant frequency at which said differential correction is transmitted at said unknown location further comprises the step of assessing the optimum signal available at said unknown location. 39. A method of accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 38 wherein said step of assessing the optimum signal available at said unknown location comprises the steps of: ' a. receiving a second differential correction at said unknown location; and b. switching to utilize said second differential correction to determine the location of said unknown location.
40. A method of accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 38 wherein said step of assessing the optimum signal available at said unknown location comprises the step of ascertaining the strongest signal available at said unknown location.
41. A method of accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 38 wherein said step of assessing the optimum signal available at said unknown location comprises the step of discovering a signal which is above a set threshold at said unknown location.
42. A method of accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 41 wherein said differential correction is broadcast using an error correction technique capable of detecting the number of errors occurring in said transmission and wherein said threshold is determined by the step of assessing the number of errors detected.
43. A method of accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 34 or 41 wherein said predominant frequency at which said differential correction is transmitted is previously established and wherein said step of scanning to ascertain the predominant frequency at which said differential correction is transmitted at said unknown location further comprises the step of initially recalling said previously established predominant frequency.
44. A method of accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 34, 37, or 41 wherein said step of receiving said differential correction at an unknown location is accomplished by an individual receiver and further comprises the step of transmitting an information signal addressed to said individual receiver.
45. A method of accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 44 wherein said information signal enables receipt of said differential correction by said receiver.
46. A method of accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals comprising the steps of: a. receiving said GPS signals at an unknown location; b. scanning to ascertain the predominant frequency at which said differential correction is transmitted at said unknown location; c. receiving said differential correction at said unknown location; and d. utilizing said differential correction and said GPS signals to accurately determine the location of said unknown location.
47. A system for accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals comprising: a. a first receiver situated at a known location and responsive to said GPS signals; b. a first process means responsive to said first receiver; c. a comparison means responsive to said process means, which creates a comparative representation, and having available to it data representative of said known location; d. a signal generator responsive to said comparative representation which creates at least one differential correction representation; e. an electromagnetic broadcast transmitter responsive to said differential correction representation and which transmits a signal at a predominant frequency; f. a second receiver responsive to said GPS signals; g. a tunable receiver responsive to a selected electromagnetic broadcast; h. a frequency scanner which operates in conjunction with said tunable receiver to locate said signal transmitted by said electromagnetic transmitter; and i. a second process means responsive to both said tunable receiver and said' second receiver and capable of determining the location of said second receiver.
48. A system for accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 47 wherein said frequency scanner comprises a carrier frequency scanner.
49. A system for accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 48 and further comprising:
1) a scanner memory; and
2) a frequency selector responsive to said scanner memory and wherein said frequency scanner is responsive to said frequency selector.
50. A system for accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 48 wherein said frequency scanner further comprises a subcarrier scanner.
51. A system for accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 48 and further comprising a signal optimization means.
52. A system for accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 48 and further comprising:
1) a second tunable receiver; and
2) a switch means connecting each of said tunable receivers and said second process means.
53. A system for accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 48 wherein said frequency scanner comprises a timeshare means.
54. A system for accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position ' System (GPS) signals as described in claim 51 and further comprising a signal strength detector and wherein said signal optimization means is responsive to said signal strength detector.
55. A system for accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 54 and further comprising a threshold comparison means and wherein said signal optimization means is responsive to said threshold comparison means.
56. A system for accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 55 wherein said differential correction is broadcast using an error correction technique and wherein said threshold comparison means comprises an error detector.
57. A system for accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 47 or 55 and further comprising a memory means which initially recalls said previously established predominant frequency.
58. A system for accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 47, 50, or 55 and further comprising an information signal generator and wherein said electromagnetic broadcast transmitter is responsive to said information signal generator.
59. A system for accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 58 and further comprising: a. a controllable address generator; and b. an enablement means responsive to said controllable address generator and wherein said tunable receiver is responsive to said enablement means. 60. A receiver for use with Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals comprising: a. a receiver responsive to said GPS signals; b. a tunable receiver responsive to a selected electromagnetic broadcast; 5 c. a frequency scanner which operates in conjunction with said tunable receiver to locate a signal transmitted by said electromagnetic transmitter; and d. a process means responsive to both said tunable receiver and said receiver and capable of determining the location of said receiver. 10
61. A method of accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals comprising the steps of: a. receiving said GPS signals at at least one known location; b. calculating a GPS signal-indicated location from said signals;
15 c. comparing said GPS signal-indicated location with said known location; d. creating at least one differential correction for said GPS signals; e. disseminating said differential correction by transmission through redundant electromagnetic broadcast; f. receiving said differential correction at an unknown location; 20 g. receiving said GPS signals at said unknown location; and h. utilizing said differential correction and said GPS signals to accurately determine the location of said unknown location.
62. A method of accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position 25 System (GPS) signals as described in claim 61 wherein said step of disseminating said differential correction by transmission through redundant electromagnetic broadcast comprises the step of transmitting more than one electromagnetic broadcast.
30 63. A method of accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 62 and further comprising the step of simultaneously receiving more than one of said electromagnetic broadcasts. 64. A method of accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 62 wherein said step of disseminating said differential correction by transmission through redundant' electromagnetic broadcast further comprises the step of transmitting more than one overlapping electromagnetic broadcast and wherein each of said overlapping electromagnetic broadcasts has its own differential corrections.
65. A method of accurately deterrnining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 61 or 64 wherein said step of disseminating said differential correction by transmission through redundant electromagnetic broadcast comprises the step of transmitting a subcarrier broadcast.
66. A method of accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 65 wherein said step of transmitting a subcarrier broadcast comprises the step of transmitting a signal which is broadcast at a predominant frequency of between about 88 and 108 MHz.
67. A method of accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 62 and further comprising the step of scanning said electromagnetic broadcasts for an optimum signal.
68. A method of generating at least one differential correction for use with Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals comprising the steps of: a. receiving said GPS signals at at least one known location; b. calculating a GPS signal-indicated location from said signals; c. comparing said GPS signal-indicated location with said known location; d. creating at least one differential correction for said GPS signals; and e. disseminating said differential correction by transmission through redundant electromagnetic broadcast.
69. A system for accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals comprising: a. a first receiver situated at a known location and responsive to said GPS signals; b. a first process means responsive to said first receiver; c. a comparison means responsive to said process means, which creates a comparative representation, and having available to it data representative of said known location; d. a signal generator responsive to said comparative representation which creates at least one differential correction representation; e. a redundant dissemination means responsive to said differential correction representation and which transmits at least one signal at a predominant frequency; f. a second receiver responsive to said GPS signals; g. a differential correction receiver responsive to at least one of said signals transmitted by said redundant dissemination means; and h. a second process means responsive to both said differential correction receiver and said second receiver and capable of determining the location of said second receiver.
70. A system for accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 69 wherein said redundant dissemination means comprises a plurality of electromagnetic broadcast transmitters.
71. A system for accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 69 and further comprising: a. a second differential correction receiver responsive to said signals transmitted; and b. a switch means connecting each of said differential correction receivers and said second process means.
72. A system for accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 69 and further comprising a timeshare means and wherein said differential correction receiver is responsive to said timeshare means.
73. A system for accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position ' System (GPS) signals as described in claim 70 wherein each of said electromagnetic broadcast transmitters transmits signals over a usable area and wherein said usable areas overlap and wherein each of said electromagnetic broadcast transmitters transmits an independent differential correction.
74. A system for accurately deterrnining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 69 or 73 and further comprising a subcarrier generator responsive to said signal generator.
75. A system for accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 74 wherein said redundant dissemination means comprises a transmitter which transmits a signal which is broadcast at a predominant frequency of between about 88 and 108 MHz.
76. A system for accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 70 and further comprising a frequency scanner and a signal optimization means.
77. A differential correction generator for use with Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals comprising: a. a receiver situated at a known location and responsive to said GPS signals; b. a process means responsive to said first receiver; c. a comparison means responsive to said process means, which creates a comparative representation, and having available to it data representative of said known location; d. a signal generator responsive to said comparative representation which creates at least one differential correction representation; and e. a redundant dissemination means responsive to said differential correction representation and which transmits at least one signal at a predominant frequency.
78. A method of accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals comprising the steps of: a. receiving said GPS signals at a known location; b. calculating a GPS signal-indicated location from said signals; c. comparing said GPS signal-indicated location with said known location; d. creating at least one differential correction for said GPS signals; e. disseminating said differential correction by an electromagnetic broadcast at a predominant frequency which follows the curvature of the earth; f. receiving said differential correction at an unknown location; g. receiving said GPS signals at said unknown location; and h. utilizing said differential correction and said GPS signals to accurately determine the location of said unknown location.
79. A method of accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 78 wherein said step of disseminating said differential correction by an electromagnetic broadcast at a predominant frequency which follows the curvature of the earth comprises the step of transmitting a ground based signal.
80. A method of accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 79 wherein said electromagnetic broadcast is broadcast at a predominant frequency of between about 88 and 108 MHz.
81. A method of accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 79 or 80 wherein said step of disseminating said differential corrections by transmission through electromagnetic broadcast comprises the step of transmitting said differential corrections on a subcarrier broadcast.
82. A method of accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 81 wherein said step of transmitting said differential corrections on a subcarrier broadcast comprises the step of transmitting more than one adjacent subcarrier broadcast.
83. A method of generating at least one differential correction for use with Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals comprising the steps of: a. receiving said GPS signals at a known location; b. calculating a GPS signal-indicated location from said signals; c. comparing said GPS signal-indicated location with said known location; d. creating at least one differential correction for said GPS signals; and e. disseminating said differential correction by an electromagnetic broadcast at a predominant frequency which follows the curvature of the earth.
84. A system for accurately determimng position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals comprising: a. a first receiver situated at a known location and responsive to said GPS signals; b. a first process means responsive to said first receiver; c. a comparison means responsive to said process means, which creates a comparative representation, and having available to it data representative of said known location; d. a signal generator responsive to said comparative representation which creates at least one differential correction representation; e. an electromagnetic broadcast transmitter responsive to said differential correction representation and which transmits at least one signal at a predominant frequency which follows the curvature of the earth; f. a second receiver responsive to said GPS signals; g. a differential correction receiver responsive to said signal transmitted by said electromagnetic broadcast transmitter; and h. a second process means responsive to both said differential correction receiver and said second receiver and capable of determimng the location of said second receiver. 85. A system for accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 84 wherein electromagnetic broadcast transmitter comprises a ground based transmitter.
5 86. A system for accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 85 wherein said electromagnetic broadcast transmitter transmits a signal at a predominant frequency of between about 88 and 108 MHz.
10 87. A system for accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 85 or 86 and further comprising a subcarrier generator and wherein said ground based transmitter is responsive to said subcarrier generator.
15 88. A system for accurately determining position using Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals as described in claim 87 wherein said subcarrier generator creates adjacent multichannel subcarrier transmissions.
89. A differential correction generator for use with Navstar Global Position System 0 (GPS) signals comprising: a. a receiver situated at a known location and responsive to said GPS signals; b. a process means responsive to said receiver; c. a comparison means responsive to said process means, which creates a 5 comparative representation, and having available to it data representative of said known location; d. a signal generator responsive to said comparative representation which creates at least one differential correction representation; and e. an electromagnetic broadcast transmitter responsive to said differential 0 correction representation and which transmits at least one signal at a predominant frequency which follows the curvature of the earth;
90. A receiver for use with Navstar Global Position System (GPS) signals comprising: a. a first receiver responsive to said GPS signals; b. a differential correction receiver responsive to a subcarrier signal at a predominant frequency of between about 88 and 108 MHz; and c. a process means responsive to both said differential receiver and said first receiver and capable of determining the location of said first receiver.
PCT/US1994/003576 1993-04-02 1994-04-01 Differential gps system WO1994023310A1 (en)

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US4247593 true 1993-04-02 1993-04-02
US4198593 true 1993-04-02 1993-04-02
US08042471 US5510798A (en) 1993-04-02 1993-04-02 Multiple-accuracy GPS system
US08/041,985 1993-04-02
US08/042,475 1993-04-02
US08/042,471 1993-04-02

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