Quality assessment of GNSS observations from an Android N smartphone and positioning performance analysis using time-differenced filtering approach

Research paper by Xiaohong Zhang, Xianlu Tao; Feng Zhu; Xiang Shi; Fuhong Wang

Indexed on: 30 May '18Published on: 03 May '18Published in: GPS Solutions


The development of low-cost GNSS chips inspired the development of advanced positioning, navigation and timing devices. In ‘I/O of 2016’, Google announced that GNSS observations from devices running the Android version 7 operating system would be available to developers. Providing GNSS application developers the opportunity to develop advanced processing algorithms for accurate position estimation using pseudorange, Doppler and carrier phase observations. The quality of GNSS observations from Android smartphones and their accuracy in estimating position is assessed. The observed carrier-to-noise density ratio (C/N0), pseudorange noise, pseudorange rate error and phase rate error of GNSS observations are evaluated. The results demonstrate that the average (C/N0) value is approximately 10 dB-Hz lower than the representative values obtained from a geodetic-quality antenna and receiver. The station single-difference pseudorange residuals on all available signals vary from − 20 to 20 m, and the value of pseudorange rate varies within ± 10 m/s. In addition, the phase rate and Doppler reaches approximately ± 0.2 m/s. Different from the geodetic receivers, the signal noise ratio (SNR) obtained from smartphone varies more significantly, regardless of elevation angle. Therefore, the SNR-dependent weighting method is preferred during data processing. Furthermore, the results of the static data analysis show that the horizontal and vertical RMS position errors are less than 0.8 and 1.4 m, respectively, when Doppler and phase observations are incorporated into the positioning solution.