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MS - Global Navigation Satellite Systems

Institute of Space Technology, being the pioneer institute in space science, technology and applications reckoned the need of research and qualified human resource in the field of precise positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) and started a specialized Master of Science program in Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) in spring 2014. The program is structured according to the GNSS curriculum proposed and designed by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the only program of its kind in Pakistan and the 4th across the globe after Italy, China and France. The MS GNSS course work covers eight subjects (24 credit hours) covering specific areas of GNSS (theory, technology and applications) followed by a six credit hours research thesis.

Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) include constellations of Earth orbiting satellites in Medium Earth Orbits (MEO), networks of ground control and monitoring stations, and of receivers that calculate ground positions by the basic principle of trilateration. At present GNSS include two fully operational global navigation systems, the Global Positioning System (GPS) by US and the GLObal NAvigation Satellite System (GLONASS) by Russia. China has recently completed the launch of Beidou system while GALILEO by Europe is in the final phase of completion. In addition to global navigation systems, India has its own Regional Navigation Satellite System named as IRNSS / NavIC and Japan has the Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS). Once all these global and regional systems become fully operational, the user will have access to positioning, navigation and timing signals from more than 100 satellites. In addition to global and regional navigation satellite systems, there are also space based augmentation systems namely the Wide-area Augmentation System (WAAS) by US, the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS), the Russian System of Differential Correction and Monitoring (SDCM), the Indian GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) and Japanese Multi-functional Transport Satellite (MTSAT) Satellite-based Augmentation Systems (MSAS).

GNSS applications offer a cost-effective way of pursuing sustainable growth and provide solution to nearly all the SDGs. The applications and market of GNSS is enormous and employed in all sectors namely space/air/land/marine transportation and management, construction and survey, mining , health, fishing, agriculture, livestock management, space weather monitoring, telecommunications , electric power management, help and rescue, law enforcement, disaster and emergency response, finance and more. Keeping in view the wide application of GNSS, the specific objectives of the graduate program in GNSS are the demonstration and understanding of GNSS constellations, signals, errors, augmentation, sensors integration, receivers and practical applications development.

As we move forward in the 21st century, governments and business in developing and industrialized countries are exploring potential growth areas for their national economies. Almost without exception, the most promising option seems to be the outer space, and in particular the satellite positioning, navigation and timing (PNT).

Semester Code Subject Credit Hours
1 720201 Fundamentals of GNSS 3-0
720202 GNSS Mathematics and Positioning Techniques 3-0
720209 GNSS Signal Processing 3-0
2 720204 GNSS Receivers 3-0
720205 Space Weather and GNSS 3-0
  Elective-I 3-0
3 720208 GNSS Augmentation Systems 3-0
  Elective-II 3-0
  Thesis-I 3-0
4   Thesis-II 3-0
Credit Hours: 30 (24 + 6)

Elective Courses

A student should choose 1 course from each of the 2 Optional Groups (I and II) after the approval of program head, research supervisor and HoD.
Group – I: Integration and Design of Satellite Navigation Systems

  • GNSS – INS Integration
  • Inertial and Integrated Navigation System
  • Interplanetary Navigation and Guidance
  • Spacecraft Navigation
  • Guidance and Navigation of Aerospace Vehicles
  • Spacecraft Dynamics and Control
  • Orbit and Attitude Control of Spacecraft
  • Orbital Mechanics
  • Spacecraft System Design
  • Kalman Filtering Techniques
  • Integration of Navigation and Communication

Group – II: Satellite Navigation System Applications

  • GNSS Applications
  • GPS and its Applications
  • Advance Remote sensing and Digital Image Processing
  • Introduction to Remote Sensing & Digital Image Processing
  • Remote Sensing and GIS Multidisciplinary Applications
  • Special topics in Remote Sensing
  • Introduction to Geographical Information Science
  • Advance Geographical Information System
  • Advance programming and customizing GIS
  • Mobile GIS
  • Spatial Decision Support Systems
  • Special topic in GIS
  • Web GIS
  • Advance spatial databases
  • Planning GIS for Emergency Management
  • GIS Programming and Automation
  • Geospatial development with Python
  • Spatial Decision Support System (SDSS)
  • Plasma Physics
  • Solar Physics
  • Embedded System Design
  • Electronics for Space Applications
  • Advanced Digital Signal Processing
  • Antennas and Array Theory and Design
  • Space Missions Analysis and Design
  • Project Management for Space Projects

Note: Elective courses will be offered subject to the availability of relevant faculty.

PEO-1: GNSS Professionals with a strong practical and theoretical exposure who are able to contribute to society through innovation, enterprise and leadership

PEO-2: GNSS Graduates with critical thinking and global outlook to provide technological solutions through necessary technological tools

PEO-3: GNSS Professionals with ethical values, communication and interpersonal skills to work in interdisciplinary teams and capable to adopt to changing environments of science, engineering, technology and society

PLO-1: Knowledge & Understanding
The students will have knowledge and understanding of advanced mathematics, GNSS fundamentals, GNSS data formats, signal structures and positioning algorithms with their applications. They will also have fundamental concepts and understanding of principle and theory of Navigation, Positioning and GNSS. They will be well aware of engineering solutions, emerging technologies and GNSS constellations & augmentation and the ability to resolve practical engineering problems and providing GNSS solutions.

PLO-2: Problem Analysis and Solution Design
They will exhibit knowledge of acquired material and research. They will conceive, plan and execute an engineering and science problems in a systematic way. They would use information to innovate and implement alternate solutions and applications. They will also evaluate the designs, processes and products and make improvements. They will integrate and evaluate information, data and knowledge from a variety of sources. They would also take holistic approach in designing systems, applying professional judgments to balance risks, costs, scope and quality.

PLO-3: Problem Investigation and Experimentation
They will plan and execute a series of experiments and demonstrations safely. They will use software and hardware to generate data, to analyze experimental results and to draw correct inferences. They will prepare technical reports, proposals, business cases and presentations. They will have skills to search and use relevant scientific literature effectively. They will take notes effectively, use computational tools and packages.

PLO-4: Interpersonal and Professional Capability
The students will communicate effectively in writing and verbally. They will apply mathematical skills to transfer techniques and solutions from one field of engineering / science to another. They will manage resources and time efficiently and effectively. They will learn independently in familiar and unfamiliar situations with open-mindedness and in the spirit of critical enquiry. They will do effective research in their respective fields individually or part of various teams with an understanding of the impact of GNSS in societal and environmental contexts and knowledge of the need for sustainable development.

a. GNSS Reference Books

Sr. No. Title Author
1. GNSS–Global Navigation Satellite Systems GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and more Bernhard Hofmann, Wellenhof Herbert Lichtenegger, Elmar Wasle
2. Global Positioning System: Theory and Applications Bradford W. Parkinson, James J. Spilker Jr.
3. Understanding GPS/GNSS - Principles and Applications Elliott D. Kaplan, Christopher J. Hegarty
4. A Software-Defined GPS and Galileo Receiver - A Single-Frequency Approach Kai Borre, Dennis M. Akos, Nicolaj Bertelsen, Peter Rinder, Søren Holdt Jensen
5. A-GPS: Assisted GPS, GNSS, and SBAS Frank van Diggelen
6. Global Navigation Satellite Systems – Signal, Theory And Applications Shuanggen Jin
7. Global Positioning Systems, Inertial Navigation, and Integration Angus P. Andrews, Lawrence R. Weill, and Mohinder S. Grewal
8. GPS - Theory, Algorithms and Applications Guochang Xu · Yan Xu
9. Linear Algebra, Geodesy, and GPS Gilbert Strang, Kai Borre
10. Global Navigation Satellite Systems and Their Applications Scott Madry

b. Website Links

Sr. No. Link Organization
1. GPS
3. Galileo
4. BeiDou
9. GSA
10. ICG
11. IGS
13. Navipedia
Academic Labs
14. gAGE
16. PAG
18. LDT
20. PLAN

c. Technical Tools

Sr. No. Tool Link Courtesy
5. Analysis Tools from Google Google
  • BS/ BE/ M.Sc./ equivalent (16 Years of education) preferably in one of the below mentioned field of studies with minimum CGPA = 2.00 out of 4.00 or 60% marks (where CGPA not available) from HEC and PEC (where applicable) recognized Institute/ University or from Foreign Institute/ University of good repute:
    • Electrical/ Electronics/ Communications/ Computer/ Aerospace / Avionics / Aeronautical/ Mechatronics/ Civil/ Geomatics/ Software/ Environmental Engineering or
    • BS RS&GIS/ Environmental Science/ Geomatics/ Electronics /Communication Systems / Physics / Space Science or
    • MSc Electronics /Communication / Physics / Space Science
  • GAT-A or GAT-C (General) conducted by NTS in the relevant field of study with = 50% marks or HAT (General) conducted by HEC in the relevant field of study with = 50% marks or GRE International (General) conducted by ETS, USA, with minimum score as Quantitative: 145, Verbal: 145, Analytical: 3.5

Dr. Najam Abbas Naqvi (Program Head)
Email: |
Phone: +92(0)-51-907-5578 | +92(0)-321-5041155
GNSS Lab (Lab – 311), Naqvi Block
Institute of Space Technology, Islamabad Highway,
Islamabad, Pakistan.