The planning of a GPS survey is an essential part of the process, as one is relying on good visibility to GPS satellites to be able to observe measurements. There is no point going into the field not knowing in advance whether or not the coverage is going to be available. In open terrain planning has less importance as the GPS constellation is setup to provide good coverage of satellites, 24 hours a day. In environments where the observable sky is limited, like cities or the UNSW campus, the GPS visibility is less predictable. By simulating the affects obstructions have on an area GPS survey planning would become more effective.

    This report covers the processes and strategies used in an attempt to map the satellite visibility for the UNSW campus over a period of time. Using MATLAB programming features, datasets representing the natural and built environment a program was written to simulated blockages to GPS satellite signal due to the UNSW environment. The resulting simulation output is represented by a series of images that show, by means of a graduated colour scale, the number of visible satellites at each point on the surface. The simulation was effective in plotting visibility from any reasonable point in space, but could not read correctly to the satellites due to a surface orientation error. 

Webpage created by Brendan O'Farrell, Last updated: 27/10/06, 18:00.