Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Agriculture; Engineering


Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Timothy Stombaugh


A method for precisely synchronizing an external serial data stream to the pulse-per-second (PPS) output signal from a global navigation satellite-based system (GNSS) receiver was investigated. A signal timing device was designed that used a digital signal processor (DSP) with serial inputs and input captures to generate time stamps for asynchronous serial data based on an 58593.75 Hz internal timer. All temporal measurements were made directly in hardware to eliminate software latency. The resolution of the system was 17.1 µs, which translated to less than one millimeter of horizontal position error at travel speeds typical of most agricultural operations.

The dynamic error of a TTS was determined using a rotary test fixture. Tests were performed at angular velocities ranging from 0 to 3.72 rad/s and a radius of 0.635 m. Average latency from the TTS was shown to be consistently near 0.252 s for all angular velocities and less variable when using a reflector based machine target versus a prism target. Sight distance from the target to the TTS was shown to have very little effect on accuracy between 4 and 30 m. The TTS was determined to be a limited as a position reference for dynamic GNSS and vehicle auto-guidance testing based on angular velocity.

The dynamic error of a GNSS receiver was determined using the rotary test fixture and modeled as discrete probability density functions for varying angular velocities and filter levels. GNSS position and fixture data were recorded for angular velocities of 0.824, 1.423, 2.018, 2.618, and 3.222 rad/s at a 1 m radius. Filter levels were adjusted to four available settings including; no filter, normal filter, high filter, and max filter. Each data set contained 4 hours of continuous operation and was replicated three times. Results showed that higher angular velocities increased the variability of the distribution of error while not having a significant effect on average error. The distribution of error tended to change from normal distributions at lower angular velocities to uniform distributions at higher angular velocities. Internal filtering was shown to consistently increase dynamic error for all angular velocities.