Analysis of the PLL phase error in presence of simulated ionospheric scintillation events


Forte, B., 2012. Analysis of the PLL phase error in presence of simulated ionospheric scintillation events. Radio Science, 47 (3), RS3006.

Related documents:

PDF - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (320kB) | Preview

    Official URL:

    Related URLs:


    The functioning of standard phase locked loops (PLL), including those used to track radio signals from Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), is based on a linear approximation which holds in presence of small phase errors. Such an approximation represents a reasonable assumption in most of the propagation channels. However, in presence of a fading channel the phase error may become large, making the linear approximation no longer valid. The PLL is then expected to operate in a non-linear regime. As PLLs are generally designed and expected to operate in their linear regime, whenever the non-linear regime comes into play, they will experience a serious limitation in their capability to track the corresponding signals. The phase error and the performance of a typical PLL embedded into a commercial multiconstellation GNSS receiver were analyzed in presence of simulated ionospheric scintillation. Large phase errors occurred during scintillation-induced signal fluctuations although cycle slips only occurred during the signal re-acquisition after a loss of lock. Losses of lock occurred whenever the signal faded below the minimum C/N0 threshold allowed for tracking. The simulations were performed for different signals (GPS L1C/A, GPS L2C, GPS L5 and Galileo L1). L5 and L2C proved to be weaker than L1. It appeared evident that the conditions driving the PLL phase error in the specific case of GPS receivers in presence of scintillation-induced signal perturbations need to be evaluated in terms of the combination of the minimum C/N0 tracking threshold, lock detector thresholds, possible cycle slips in the tracking PLL and accuracy of the observables (i.e. the error propagation onto the observables stage).


    Item Type Articles
    CreatorsForte, B.
    Related URLs
    URLURL Type
    DepartmentsFaculty of Engineering & Design > Electronic & Electrical Engineering
    Publisher StatementForte_Radio_Science_2012_47_RS3006.pdf: © Copyright 2012 by the American Geophysical Union
    ID Code32808


    Actions (login required)

    View Item

    Document Downloads

    More statistics for this item...