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CEG2710 : GNSS Theory and Practice

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Peter Clarke
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


To introduce the basic principles of positioning using the Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) with special emphasis on Positioning System (GPS).

This module will introduce the basic principles of positioning using the Global Positioning System (GPS). Special emphasis will be placed on high precision positioning.

Outline Of Syllabus

Introduction and orbit review
Normal orbits and Kepler's laws
Perturbed orbits and ephemerides
GPS description and signal structure
The pseudorange observable
Pseudorange point positioning
Differential positioning
The carrier phase observable
Relative positioning and differencing techniques
Computation of relative position
Ambiguity resolution techniques
Error sources in GPS I
Error sources in GPS II
Modes of GPS positioning
Third party products
Instruments, applications, field procedures and observation processing
Future directions

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture181:0018:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion180:309:00Revision for exam
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion15:005:00Coursework submission - Network RTK positioning
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion14:004:00Group report on Positioning by GNSS - Fieldwork/Data post processing.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion12:002:00Exam
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical13:003:00GNSS surveying
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork23:006:00Practical GNSS surveying
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study153:0053:00Includes background reading and reading lecture notes for a full understanding of material.
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
CEG3712GNSS Surveying
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lecture series is designed to impart theoretical knowledge, understanding and skills which are supported and developed by focussed practical sessions. A structured reading list allows students to manage their learning patterns and provides the opportunity to increase their depth of learning. Team working and problem solving are practiced and assessed.

The one small group teaching activity provides the opportunity for students to explore, in a directed way, the use of internet based GNSS positioning services. Specifically, issues relating to common pitfalls in use are explored e.g. coordinate datums and reference frames. Fieldwork allows students to expand their skill base in practical GNSS surveying and consolidates underlying theory delivered in lectures.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1202A70Unseen written examination
Exam Pairings
Module Code Module Title Semester Comment
CEG3712GNSS Surveying2N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report2M15Group report on Positioning by GNSS - Fieldwork/Data post processing (approx 6 pages max).
Practical/lab report2M15Network RTK positioning (approx. 3 pages max)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The specialist knowledge and understanding acquired during this module are assessed by means of an unseen written examination, database processing, computation, data interpretation and student reflection. Specific coursework submissions will allow the student to demonstrate their ability to report on and synthesise practical work.

Reading Lists