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Stanford University

GPS: An Introduction to Satellite Navigation, with an interactive Worldwide Laboratory using Smartphones

Stanford University via Coursera

This course may be unavailable.


Today, the Global Positioning System (GPS) is deployed in over three billion devices across the world. This course will teach you the fundamentals of how GPS works and introduce you to the diverse range of uses of satellite navigation—in all aspects of our lives.

Through vivid online lectures and a set of "backyard experiments" enabled by the widespread availability of GPS-enabled smart phones and tablets, students will be able to connect online learning to real-­world experience. Even those who do not own laptop or desktop computers can take part; they will be able to view lectures and completing labs via mobile device only.

We hope students will enjoy the interactive nature of the course, while gaining knowledge that benefits their personal and professional lives. Please visit for up-to-date details!


Part I. Fundamentals of GPS Introduction

· How GPS works and what it does for us (Enge)
· Course objectives & schedule (Enge, van Diggelen)
· The Joy of GPS (van Diggelen)
Module 1: How GPS Works (Enge)
· How GPS works
· Navigation in Our Lives: The Exxon Valdez

Module 2: Pseudoranges (Enge)
· Linearization & error analysis
· Accuracy & dilution of precision (DOP)
· Differential GPS
· Navigation in Our Lives: Landing Airplanes Using GPS
· Experiment A: Accuracy

Module 3: Orbits and Signals
· Satellite orbits
· Signals, codes
· Navigation in Our Lives: Maritime & Air Surveillance
· Experiment B: Satellite Visibility

Part II. Modern GPS receivers: cell phones, tablets and more!

Module 4: Receiver Design Basics
(van Diggelen)
· Power, Receiver design
· Acquisition
· Navigation in Our Lives: GPS in sports
· Experiment C: GPS Signal Power

Module 5: Assisted GPS
(van Diggelen)
· Supplanting the Navigation Message
· Improving Sensitivity
· Navigation in Our Lives: “There’s an app for that” 

Module 6: The Future of GPS and Satellite Navigation (van Diggelen)
· GNSS, all Global Navigation Satellite Systems
· GLONASS, QZSS, Beidou, Galileo, IRNSS, and Future GPS (GPS III)
· Navigation in Our Lives: GPS everywhere

Taught by

Per Enge and


4.8 rating, based on 4 Class Central reviews

Start your review of GPS: An Introduction to Satellite Navigation, with an interactive Worldwide Laboratory using Smartphones

  • L K B
    This is a nice introduction to GPS. Certain elements require good understanding of maths, but are well explained.
    If you interested in learning basics of GPS, this is good start.
    If you are advanced user this is good way to learn how to explain GPS to non-experts.
  • Profile image for Max Ni
    Max Ni
    this class is very useful to understand GPS system,
    it is from basic concept to complex system and adopt illustrate to let student understand GNSS easily.
  • Sebastián Marín Díaz
    un curoso que encontre a la rapida pero no importa por que neveosito la acreditacion gracias por too etc etc fgrascias
  • Bill Tollefson

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