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Last updated:

October 14, 2022


Unlimited Duration


This course includes:

Unlimited Duration

Badge on Completion

Certificate of completion

Unlimited Duration


The aim of this course is to introduce the principles of the Global Positioning System and to demonstrate its application to various aspects of Earth Sciences.

The specific content of the course depends each year on the interests of the students in the class. In some cases, the class interests are towards the geophysical applications of GPS and we concentrate on high precision (millimeter level) positioning on regional and global scales. In other cases, the interests have been more toward engineering applications of kinematic positioning with GPS in which case the concentration is on positioning with slightly less accuracy but being able to do so for a moving object. In all cases, we concentrate on the fundamental issues so that students should gain an understanding of the basic limitations of the system and how to extend its application to areas not yet fully explored.

Course Curriculum

  • Overview of the aims of the class Unlimited
  • Coordinate and time systems Unlimited
  • Potential fields and coordinate systems Unlimited
  • Coordinate types Unlimited
  • GPS satellite orbits Unlimited
  • GPS observables Unlimited
  • Specifics of GPS signal Unlimited
  • Pseudorange measurements Unlimited
  • Range and phase data Unlimited
  • Estimation: introduction Unlimited
  • Statistical approach to estimation Unlimited
  • Estimation: correlations Unlimited
  • Estimation Unlimited
  • Propagation medium: propagation Unlimited
  • Propagation medium: neutral atmosphere Unlimited
  • Propagation: ionospheric delay Unlimited
  • Basic antenna operation Unlimited
  • Mathematical models in GPS Unlimited
  • GPS models and processing Unlimited
  • Processing software Unlimited
  • GPS groups/IGS Unlimited
  • Kinematic GPS Unlimited
  • Applications, High-rate GPS results, and Tools Unlimited

About the instructor

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology