GEOG 862
GPS and GNSS for Geospatial Professionals

Telemetry and Handover Words

Navigation Message table with Telemetry and Handover Words
Telemetry and Handover Words
Source: GPS for Land Surveyors

Each of these five subframes begins with the same two words: the telemetry word (TLM) and the handover word (HOW). Unlike nearly everything else in the NAV message, these two words are generated by the satellite itself. As shown in the column headed Seconds of the Week at Midnight on that Day in Table 1.1, GPS time restarts each Sunday at midnight (0:00 o’clock). These data contain the time since last restart of GPS time on the previous Sunday 0:00 o’clock.

Telemetry Control Segment while it is in progress and contains information about the age of the ephemeris data. It also has a constant unchanging 8-bit preamble of 10001011, and a string helps the receiver reliably find the beginning of each subframe.

The HOW provides the receiver information on the time of the GPS week (TOW) and the number of the subframe, among other things. For example, the HOW’s Z count (an internally derived 1.5 second epoch) tells the receiver exactly where the satellite stands in the generation of positioning codes. In fact, the handover word actually helps the receiver go from tracking the C/A code to tracking the P(Y) code, the primary GPS positioning codes. It is used by military receivers.

The telemetry word indicates the status of uploading the control segment if it's in process or not. This allows your receiver to know that.

Also, it allows you to know the beginning of each word from the data string. The handover word is useful in a couple of ways, but probably most importantly to tell your receiver where the satellite is in its broadcast of the codes. There are several codes in GPS. We will talk more about those. For example, there are the C/A code, which is the Civilian Access code and then the P-Code which is the precise code. The P-Code itself is classified and for use by military only, and the civilian access code is useful to us all.