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Ionospheric error contribution to GNSS single-frequency navigation at the 2014 solar maximum

ABSTRACT

Abstract For single-frequency users of the global satellite navigation system (GNSS), one of the main error contributors is the ionospheric delay, which impacts the received signals. As is well-known, GPS and Galileo transmit global models to correct the ionospheric delay, while the international GNSS service (IGS) computes precise post-process global ionospheric maps (GIM) that are considered reference ionospheres. Moreover, accurate ionospheric maps have been recently introduced, which allow for the fast convergence of the real-time precise point position (PPP) globally. Therefore, testing of the ionospheric models is a key issue for code-based single-frequency users, which constitute the main user segment. Therefore, the testing proposed in this paper is straightforward and uses the PPP modeling applied to single- and dual-frequency code observations worldwide for 2014. The usage of PPP modeling allows us to quantify—for dual-frequency users—the degradation of the navigation solutions caused by noise and multipath with respect to the different ionospheric modeling solutions, and allows us, in turn, to obtain an independent assessment of the ionospheric models. Compared to the dual-frequency solutions, the GPS and Galileo ionospheric models present worse global performance, with horizontal root mean square (RMS) differences of 1.04 and 0.49 m and vertical RMS differences of 0.83 and 0.40 m, respectively. While very precise global ionospheric models can improve the dual-frequency solution globally, resulting in a horizontal RMS difference of 0.60 m and a vertical RMS difference of 0.74 m, they exhibit a strong dependence on the geographical location and ionospheric activity.AbstractFor single-frequency users of the global satellite navigation system (GNSS), one of the main error contributors is the ionospheric delay, which impacts the received signals. As is well-known, GPS and Galileo transmit global models to correct the ionospheric delay, while the international GNSS service (IGS) computes precise post-process global ionospheric maps (GIM) that are considered reference ionospheres. Moreover, accurate ionospheric maps have been recently introduced, which allow for the fast convergence of the real-time precise point position (PPP) globally. Therefore, testing of the ionospheric models is a key issue for code-based single-frequency users, which constitute the main user segment. Therefore, the testing proposed in this paper is straightforward and uses the PPP modeling applied to single- and dual-frequency code observations worldwide for 2014. The usage of PPP modeling allows us to quantify—for dual-frequency users—the degradation of the navigation solutions caused by noise and multipath with respect to the different ionospheric modeling solutions, and allows us, in turn, to obtain an independent assessment of the ionospheric models. Compared to the dual-frequency solutions, the GPS and Galileo ionospheric models present worse global performance, with horizontal root mean square (RMS) differences of 1.04 and 0.49 m and vertical RMS differences of 0.83 and 0.40 m, respectively. While very precise global ionospheric models can improve the dual-frequency solution globally, resulting in a horizontal RMS difference of 0.60 m and a vertical RMS difference of 0.74 m, they exhibit a strong dependence on the geographical location and ionospheric activity.