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See detailSpatial Analysis of GNSS Measurements from an Equatorial Ionospheric Scintillation Monitoring Receiver (ISMR) Network
Lonchay, Matthieu ULg; Wautelet, Gilles ULg; Cornet, Yves ULg et al

Conference (2014, November 19)

The ionosphere has always been a major limitation for GNSS positioning applications. Free electrons in the ionosphere perturb the propagation of GNSS radio signals involving both refraction and ... [more ▼]

The ionosphere has always been a major limitation for GNSS positioning applications. Free electrons in the ionosphere perturb the propagation of GNSS radio signals involving both refraction and diffraction effects. In particular, small-scale ionospheric irregularities generated by different physical processes may cause scattering effects on GNSS signals, producing rapid fluctuations of the signal phase and amplitude as a result. Such scintillations of GNSS signals are responsible for critical consequences regarding applications, such as precise positioning, due to many resulting effects: cycle slips, signal power fading, receiver loss of lock and poor resulting satellite geometry. Ionospheric Scintillation Monitoring Receivers collect high-rate GNSS data. Specific scintillation parameters, such as the well-known S4 and Phi60 indices, are built on high-rate measurements performed on GNSS signals and provide additional information to characterize the intensity of such an event occurring at a specific geographic location at a given time. Spatial Statistics belong to the field of Spatial Analysis, Geography and GIS (Geographic Information System). This discipline allows to perform analyses of data which are localised in space. Ionospheric Scintillation observations achieved by ISMR stations can be characterized by a set of attributes (S4, Phi60, Rate of TEC, etc.) including also the geographic location of their respective Ionospheric Pierce Point (IPP). By combining the simultaneous Multi-GNSS ISMR measurements from a network of ISMR stations, we can obtain a spatially denser data set, able to support spatial statistics tests. The idea of our research is to provide a spatio-temporal analysis of ionospheric scintillation events over Equatorial regions by applying spatial statistics on ISMR Multi-GNSS measurements. In particular, by using spatial statistics, we aim to resolve specific issues regarding ionospheric scintillation data from an ISMR network established in Brazil. The research consists in spatially describing the data set, detecting and measuring potential spatial autocorrelation, determining the scale of the spatial dependency and finally producing an interpolated scintillation sky map at a given time. In terms of applicability of the methodology, our research project consists in exploiting the spatio-temporal analysis performed on ionospheric scintillation data in order to improve the performances and the reliability of Absolute GNSS Positioning algorithms under moderate ionospheric scintillation conditions. By assessing correlations existing between specific ISMR data and classic GNSS observations, the method could be extended to a more general usage which would be independent of ISMR measurements. [less ▲]

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See detailSpatio-Temporal Analysis of Equatorial Ionospheric Scintillations in the Frame of Absolute GNSS Positioning Algorithms
Lonchay, Matthieu ULg; Cornet, Yves ULg; Aquino, Marcio et al

Conference (2014, April 30)

The ionosphere has always been a major limitation for GNSS positioning applications. Free electrons in the ionosphere perturb the propagation of GNSS radio signals involving both refraction and ... [more ▼]

The ionosphere has always been a major limitation for GNSS positioning applications. Free electrons in the ionosphere perturb the propagation of GNSS radio signals involving both refraction and diffraction effects. The ionospheric refraction mainly results in a modification of the propagation speed of the GNSS electromagnetic signals, inducing an error (propagation delay or phase advance depending on the observable) in GNSS measurements. In the frame of absolute positioning techniques, single-frequency algorithms usually exploit an ionospheric model to mitigate the ionospheric error while dual-frequency algorithms, such as the well-known Precise Point Positioning (PPP), take the benefit of the availability of two frequencies and the fact that the ionosphere is a dispersive medium to construct an ionosphere-free mathematical model. But these two strategies are not able to counteract the effect of the ionospheric diffraction which is due to small-scale irregularities in the free electron density. By scattering GNSS signals, these irregularities generate rapid fluctuations (scintillations) in the amplitude and phase of GNSS signals with critical consequences for GNSS applications: cycle slips, signal power fading, receiver loss of lock and poor resulting satellite geometry. The goal of our research is to develop a strategy to mitigate the effect of ionospheric scintillations on absolute GNSS positioning techniques, in particular the SPP (Standard Point Positioning) and the PPP (Precise Point Positioning). The strategy is based on the adjustment of the stochastic model. In order to construct the stochastic model (diagonal and non-diagonal elements) and study the correlation between observables, we adopted a “spatial” and an “empirical” approach. The spatial approach consists in a study of the spatial autocorrelation existing in scintillations effects on GNSS signals. The spatial autocorrelation is detected by using specific spatial analysis techniques applied on data from a network of ISMR (Ionospheric Scintillation Monitoring Receiver) stations located at equatorial and polar latitudes, where scintillations effects are most severe. The knowledge of how scintillation effects are spatially correlated is helpful for determining a coherent stochastic model. The empirical approach does not take into account the phenomenon spatiality and the locations of the measurements but only the observation data. Its objective is to determine the statistical correlation which exists between GNSS measurements during a scintillation event by using a moving filter applied on GNSS observation and scintillation data. The spatial approach exploits data and data locations while the empirical approach is based only the data itself. [less ▲]

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See detailSpatio-Temporal Analysis of Equatorial Ionospheric Scintillations in the Frame of Absolute GNSS Positioning Algorithms
Lonchay, Matthieu ULg; Cornet, Yves ULg; Aquino, Marcio et al

Poster (2014, April 23)

The ionosphere has always been a major limitation for GNSS positioning applications. Free electrons in the ionosphere perturb the propagation of GNSS radio signals involving both refraction and ... [more ▼]

The ionosphere has always been a major limitation for GNSS positioning applications. Free electrons in the ionosphere perturb the propagation of GNSS radio signals involving both refraction and diffraction effects. The ionospheric refraction mainly results in a modification of the propagation speed of the GNSS electromagnetic signals, inducing an error (propagation delay or phase advance depending on the observable) in GNSS measurements. In the frame of absolute positioning techniques, single-frequency algorithms usually exploit an ionospheric model to mitigate the ionospheric error while dual-frequency algorithms, such as the well-known Precise Point Positioning (PPP), take the benefit of the availability of two frequencies and the fact that the ionosphere is a dispersive medium to construct an ionosphere-free mathematical model. But these two strategies are not able to counteract the effect of the ionospheric diffraction which is due to small-scale irregularities in the free electron density. By scattering GNSS signals, these irregularities generate rapid fluctuations (scintillations) in the amplitude and phase of GNSS signals with critical consequences for GNSS applications: cycle slips, signal power fading, receiver loss of lock and poor resulting satellite geometry. The goal of our research is to develop a strategy to mitigate the effect of ionospheric scintillations on absolute GNSS positioning techniques, in particular the SPP (Standard Point Positioning) and the PPP (Precise Point Positioning). The strategy is based on the adjustment of the stochastic model. In order to construct the stochastic model (diagonal and non-diagonal elements) and study the correlation between observables, we adopted a “spatial” and an “empirical” approach. The spatial approach consists in a study of the spatial autocorrelation existing in scintillations effects on GNSS signals. The spatial autocorrelation is detected by using specific spatial analysis techniques applied on data from a network of ISMR (Ionospheric Scintillation Monitoring Receiver) stations located at equatorial and polar latitudes, where scintillations effects are most severe. The knowledge of how scintillation effects are spatially correlated is helpful for determining a coherent stochastic model. The empirical approach does not take into account the phenomenon spatiality and the locations of the measurements but only the observation data. Its objective is to determine the statistical correlation which exists between GNSS measurements during a scintillation event by using a moving filter applied on GNSS observation and scintillation data. The spatial approach exploits data and data locations while the empirical approach is based only the data itself. [less ▲]

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See detailPrecise Point Positioning: Performances under Ionospheric Scintillations
Lonchay, Matthieu ULg; Aquino, Marcio; Hancock, Craig et al

Scientific conference (2012, June 14)

The Precise Point Positioning (PPP) has become a powerful satellite positioning technique which nearly equals performances provided by advanced relative positioning techniques. Exploiting the growing ... [more ▼]

The Precise Point Positioning (PPP) has become a powerful satellite positioning technique which nearly equals performances provided by advanced relative positioning techniques. Exploiting the growing availability and quality of IGS products (satellite orbit and clock products), the PPP technique can now provide a centimetre level solution in static mode and a decimetre level in kinematic mode. However, the PPP technique still presents some weaknesses. In order to reach a high precision level, it requires a significant convergence period which can typically reach 30 minutes under normal conditions. Moreover, the PPP seems to be especially sensitive to ionospheric scintillations effects which involve signal amplitude and phase variations of GNSS signals. These weaknesses still limit the use of the PPP technique in the frame of some specific and demanding applications (agricultural industry, airborne mapping, etc.). The goal of our research project is to develop new data processing strategies attempting both to make the PPP technique more reliable under ionospheric scintillations and to optimize the PPP convergence time. The project is composed of several workpackages aiming to improve the mentioned current PPP weaknesses with specific strategies. One of the workpackages is devoted to the impact of satellite geometry on PPP performances. Ionospheric scintillations are susceptible to reduce the number of tracked satellites which degrades the quality of satellite geometry. Based on an analytical development, we first attempt to figure out what types of satellite geometry can be harmful. Then, we discuss about the improvement of the satellite geometry quality involved by the combined use of GPS and Galileo and its benefits in the frame of the PPP. Another workpackage is related to the weighting scheme. Based on an iterative least-square adjustment, the PPP algorithm requires the definition of a stochastic model composed of an observation covariance matrix. Usually, this matrix is chosen as diagonal with zero covariances assuming that correlations between observations can be neglected. In particular, our project aims to study the validity of this stochastic model for the PPP in order to determine whether tuning the weighting scheme of the stochastic model can improve the PPP performances. By exploiting spatial analysis techniques, we try to characterize the spatial auto-correlation between GNSS observations, considering the signal-to-noise ratio as the main observable. From the results of these experiments, we will discuss about the spatial correlation between GNSS observations both under normal conditions and ionospheric scintillations. [less ▲]

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See detailUnderstanding the occurrence of mid-latitude ionospheric irregularities by using GPS, ionosonde and geomagnetic measurements
Wautelet, Gilles ULg; Lejeune, Sandrine; Stankov, Stan et al

Conference (2010, June 11)

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See detailMitigation of ionospheric effects on GNSS
Warnant, René ULg; Foelsche, Ulrich; Aquino, Marcio et al

in Annals of Geophysics (2009), 52(3-4), 373-390

The effects of the ionosphere remain one of the main factors which limit the precision and the reliability of many GNSS applications. It is therefore indispensable on the one hand to improve existing ... [more ▼]

The effects of the ionosphere remain one of the main factors which limit the precision and the reliability of many GNSS applications. It is therefore indispensable on the one hand to improve existing mitigation techniques and on the other hand to assess their remaining weaknesses. Mitigation techniques depend on the type of application considered. Therefore, specific mitigation techniques have to be developed. The paper summarizes work performed on this topic in the frame of WP 3.2 “Mitigation techniques” of COST296. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 282 (69 ULg)