Global Positioning System (GPS) is a navigation system widely used in civilian and military application, but its accuracy is highly impacted with consequential fading, and possible loss of communication due to multipath propagation and high power interferences. This dissertation proposes alternatives to improve the performance of the GPS receivers to obtain a system that can be reliable in critical situations. The basic performance of the GPS receiver consists of receiving the signal with an antenna array, delaying the signal at each antenna element, weighting the delayed replicas, and finally, combining the weighted replicas to estimate the desired signal. Based on these, three modifications are proposed to improve the performance of the system. The first proposed modification is the use of the Least Mean Squares (LMS) algorithm with two variations to decrease the convergence time of the classic LMS while achieving good system stability. The results obtained by the proposed LMS demonstrate that the algorithm can achieve the same stability as the classic LMS using a small step size, and its convergence rate is better than the classic LMS using a large step size. The second proposed modification is to replace the uniform distribution of the time delays (or taps) by an exponential distribution that decreases the bit-error rate (BER) of the system without impacting the computational efficiency of the uniform taps. The results show that, for a BER of 0.001, the system can operate with a 1 to 2 dB lower signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) when an exponential distribution is used rather than a uniform distribution. Finally, the third modification is implemented in the design of the antenna array. In this case, the gain of each microstrip element is enhanced by embedding ferrite rings in the substrate, creating a hybrid substrate. The ferrite rings generates constructive interference between the incident and reflected fields; consequently, the gain of a single microstrip element is enhanced by up to 4 dB. When hybrid substrates are used in microstrip element arrays, a significant enhancement in angle range is achieved for a given reflection coefficient compared to using a conventional substrate.
- Performance enhancement of space-time adaptive processing for GPS and microstrip antenna design using ferrite rings