UCLA Extension

Global Positioning Systems (GPS): Principles and Applications

This course is designed for communication/navigation system engineers, system analysts, software engineers, and project/program managers who would like to streamline and enhance their knowledge and expertise in global positioning systems (GPS) and related technology.

Complete Details

Instruction provides an up-to-date and comprehensive treatment of GPS and other global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) and their applications, including:

  • GPS total system architecture, space segment, control segment, and user equipments
  • GPS signal characteristics, modulation types, multiplexing techniques; GPS signal modernization; GPS signal acquisition, tracking, and data demodulation; impact and mitigation of interferences, multipath and scintillation
  • GPS receiver architecture and performance, software receivers
  • Differential GPS, precision positioning using carrier-phase, carrier-phase-based attitude determination, integrated GPS/inertial navigation, integrated GPS/odometer navigation, integrity monitoring, anti-jamming and anti-spoofing techniques
  • GPS augmentations, GPS integration with cell phone services, weak signal acquisition and tracking
  • GPS-related test and integration equipment and approach
  • Other GNSS, such as GLONASS, Galileo, and Compass
  • GPS applications and various markets

Course Materials

The text, Understanding GPS: Principles and Applications, Second Edition, Elliott Kaplan and Christopher Hegarty (Artech House, 2005), and lecture notes are distributed on the first day of the course. The notes are for participants only and are not for sale.

Coordinator and Lecturer

Rongsheng (Ken) Li, PhD, Boeing Senior Technical Fellow, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, El Segundo, California. Dr. Li has 27 years of experience and is a recognized expert in guidance, navigation, and control system design/analysis; software architecting/design/implementation; and system integration. He has been with Boeing for the last 13 years and was previously the system analysis department manager at BAE Control Systems. Dr. Li is the primary developer of several national high-precision spacecraft attitude determination and control systems, as well as numerous integrated GPS/inertial navigation systems in the industry. He has 34 issued U.S. patents and many more pending, and has authored numerous technical papers and technical reports. Dr Li has developed and taught several technical courses for multiple Boeing sites and at UCLA Extension, including Kalman Filtering and Applications, Spacecraft Attitude Determination, System and Software Architecting: A Model Driven Approach, and Spacecraft Attitude Dynamics and Control


Kamran Ghassemi, PhD, Chief System Engineer, iGPS Program, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, El Segundo, California. During the last 20 years, Dr. Ghassemi has served as a senior scientist and project manager for multiple Boeing GPS-related programs, including chief engineer for Boeing’s GPS III risk reduction program and the lead systems engineer for navigation payload and system performance for GPS IIF. He holds a MS and PhD in Mathematics from University of California, Berkeley, and Purdue University, respectively.

Isaac Jeng, MS, Boeing Associate Technical Fellow, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, El Segundo, California. Mr. Jeng has been a member of the signal-in-space analysis team for GPS at Boeing since 1998. He has worked on the GPS-IIF and GPS-III studies with a concentrated effort in signal structure and satellite navigation areas, and has been involved in the analysis and development of signal processing for communications, navigation, and various aspects of satellite-related applications for over 22 years. In addition, Mr. Jeng has been recognized for his works at Boeing in satellite navigation parametric operating space optimization and signal combining areas and is the developer of parametric optimization that became the national baseline. He has authored numerous technical papers and reports, and has developed and taught several Boeing technical courses.

Clifford Kelley, PhD, Boeing Associate Technical Fellow, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, El Segundo, California. Dr. Kelley has been involved in GPS at Rockwell International (now Boeing) since 1995. His professional work on GPS began with requirements and performance analysis of the integration of the MAGR into the B-1B navigation system. On his own time he developed the open-source GPS software and designed and built the first open-source GPS hardware beginning in 1995. Since joining the navigation systems group at Boeing, Dr. Kelley has worked on the GPS-IIA, GPS-IIF, and the GPS-III studies. He has received recognition for his work on GPS from two best paper awards and was a session chair at the September ION conference for three years.

Alberto Perez, MS, Senior GN&C Engineer, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, El Segundo, California. Mr. Perez has 21 years of experience in the area of inertial navigation, GPS systems, and real-time hardware in the loop system design and implementation for spacecrafts, missiles, and airplanes. He was the technical lead for the Space Shuttle GPS triple string system hardware in the loop testing and the Johnson Space Center Space Shuttle GPS hardware in the loop test-bed. He also was the technical lead for the original Rockwell Missile Defense System seeker navigation prototype and hardware in the loop testing. Mr. Perez was the technical lead for the Boeing EELV GPS-based range safety system receiver verification and hardware in the loop validation. He is currently supporting the Globe Master C-17 program GPS/INS hardware in the loop test set.

Daily Schedule

Day 1

Wu and Ghassemi

  • Review of signal processing, communications, and estimation knowledge
  • GPS overview
  • Satellite navigation basics
  • GPS system architecture and segments

Day 2


  • GPS signal structure
  • GPS signal acquisition and tracking
  • Interference/multi-path
  • Receiver architecture and performance
  • Lab Session 1: hands-on GPS signal acquisition/tracking and jamming impact

Day 3

Li and Kelley

  • Differential GPS
  • Carrier-phase-based precision positioning
  • Carrier-phase-based attitude determination
  • Kalman filters and GPS integration with inertial, odometer
  • Assisted GPS and GPS integration with cell phone network
  • Weak signal acquisition and tracking
  • Software radio
  • Lab Session 2: software radio

Day 4

Perez and Li

  • Integration and test approach and equipment
  • Galileo and other GNSS systems
  • Review
  • Lab Session 3: comprehensive example

For more information contact the Short Course Program Office:
shortcourses@uclaextension.edu | (310) 825-3858 office