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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 detailGalileo Single Frequency Ionospheric Correction: Performances in Terms of Position
Bidaine, Benoît ULg; Lonchay, Matthieu ULg; Warnant, René ULg

in GPS Solutions (2013), 17(1), 63-73

For GPS single frequency users, the ionospheric contribution to the error budget is estimated by the well-known Klobuchar algorithm. For Galileo, it will be mitigated by a global algorithm based on the ... [more ▼]

For GPS single frequency users, the ionospheric contribution to the error budget is estimated by the well-known Klobuchar algorithm. For Galileo, it will be mitigated by a global algorithm based on the NeQuick model. This algorithm relies on the adaptation of the model to slant Total Electron Content (sTEC) measurements. Although the performance specifications of these algorithms are expressed in terms of delay and TEC, the users might be more interested in their impact on positioning. Therefore, we assessed the ability of the algorithms to improve the positioning accuracy using globally distributed permanent stations for the year 2002 marked by a high level of solar activity. We present uncorrected and corrected performances, interpret these and identify potential causes for Galileo correction discrepancies. We show vertical errors dropping by 56–64 % due to the analyzed ionospheric corrections, but horizontal errors decreasing by 27 % at most. By means of a fictitious symmetric satellite distribution, we highlight the role of TEC gradients in residual errors. We describe mechanisms permitted by the Galileo correction, which combine sTEC adaptation and topside mismodeling, and limit the horizontal accuracy. Hence, we support further investigation of potential alternative ionospheric corrections. We also provide an interesting insight into the ionospheric effects possibly experienced during the next solar maximum coinciding with Galileo Initial Operation Capability. [less ▲]

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See detailMonitoring the ionospheric activity using GNSS. From dual frequency GPS to multi-constellation multi-frequency GNSS
Warnant, René ULg; Bidaine, Benoît; Lonchay, Matthieu ULg et al

Scientific conference (2012, June 20)

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See detailPrecise Point Positioning: Performances under Ionospheric Scintillations
Lonchay, Matthieu ULg

Report (2012)

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 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 detailAn Efficient Dual and Triple Frequency Preprocessing Method for GALILEO and GPS Signals
Lonchay, Matthieu ULg; Bidaine, Benoît ULg; Warnant, René ULg

in 3rd International Colloquium – Scientific and Fundamentals Aspects of the GALILEO Programme (2011, September 02)

Data preprocessing is a mandatory stage for most of GNSS applications. In the frame of space weather and precise point positioning applications, the Geomatics Unit of the University of Liège has purchased ... [more ▼]

Data preprocessing is a mandatory stage for most of GNSS applications. In the frame of space weather and precise point positioning applications, the Geomatics Unit of the University of Liège has purchased two Septentrio PolaRx3eG receivers which allow tracking GPS L1/L5 and Galileo E1/E5a signals. In order to fully exploit these new data, we developed a preprocessing method extending existing techniques. Our preprocessing method consists of three consecutive steps. The first step is devoted to the compensation of receiver clock slips affecting code pseudorange and carrier-phase measurements. The second step covers cycle slips detection and the third step assesses data quality in terms of noise essentially affecting code pseudorange measurements. This preprocessing method was initially developed for GPS L1/L5 and Galileo E1/E5a dual frequency data but finally enhanced to also preprocess triple frequency data from first operational Galileo satellites as soon as data are available. The developed method already showed promising results. [less ▲]

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See detailAmélioration de la précision des GNSS: l'Université de Liège en bonne position
Lonchay, Matthieu ULg

Article for general public (2010)

Les GNSS font partie des techniques de pointe au service de la Géomatique. Cependant, les professionnels oublient parfois que la précision des GNSS est affectée par de nombreuses erreurs. A l’Université ... [more ▼]

Les GNSS font partie des techniques de pointe au service de la Géomatique. Cependant, les professionnels oublient parfois que la précision des GNSS est affectée par de nombreuses erreurs. A l’Université de Liège, des chercheurs ont étudié l’origine de certaines de ces erreurs et se sont penchés tout particulièrement sur l’effet de la géométrie de la constellation. Certaines formes de la géométrie de la constellation peuvent anéantir totalement la précision du positionnement par satellites. [less ▲]

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See detailPrécision du positionnement par satellites: influence de la géométrie de la constellation
Lonchay, Matthieu ULg

Conference (2010, February 24)

De nombreux facteurs sont susceptibles d’influencer la précision des systèmes globaux de positionnement et de navigation par satellites (GNSS, Global Navigation Satellite System), dont la géométrie de la ... [more ▼]

De nombreux facteurs sont susceptibles d’influencer la précision des systèmes globaux de positionnement et de navigation par satellites (GNSS, Global Navigation Satellite System), dont la géométrie de la constellation. La qualité de la géométrie de la constellation s’évalue au moyen d’un indicateur : le DOP (Dilution Of Precision). Certaines formes très particulières de la géométrie de la constellation nuisent de manière importante à la précision du positionnement par satellites. C’est le cas de la constellation de forme conique. Ces situations particulières se caractérisent par un état singulier de la matrice normale et de hautes valeurs du DOP. [less ▲]

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See detailInfluence of geometry in the case of relative positioning with GNSS
Wautelet, Gilles ULg; Lejeune, Sandrine; Lonchay, Matthieu ULg et al

Poster (2009, November 18)

Relative positioning with GNSS is generally used to achieve precise positions in the frame of critical applications (surveying, photo-control...). On this basis, we have developed a software which allows ... [more ▼]

Relative positioning with GNSS is generally used to achieve precise positions in the frame of critical applications (surveying, photo-control...). On this basis, we have developed a software which allows to compute a positioning error due to the ionosphere only using reference stations belonging to the Belgian Dense Network (BDN). This network consists in 66 GPS (dual-frequency) receivers over the whole Belgium. The drawback of this method is that this computation needs the design matrix which contains coefficients depending on satellite constellation geometry. Therefore, like for absolute positioning, a poor geometry (evaluated by the Dilution of Precision, or DOP) can also lead to large positioning error that cannot be separated from the one due to ionospheric effects, and in particular the small-scale structures. The main goal of this paper is to build a similar index to DOP for relative positioning in our software to be able to separate the ionospheric effects from the geometric ones. The final step is to study the feasability of a service for users of relative positioning using the BDN. The objective is to give in post-processing the positioning accuracy degradation for all BDN baselines and to associate a colour scheme to the different degradation classes created. [less ▲]

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See detailPrécision du positionnement par satellites: influence de la géométrie de la constellation
Lonchay, Matthieu ULg

Master's dissertation (2009)

Precision of GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) is affected by a lot of different factors, such as satellite geometry. The quality of satellite geometry is evaluated by an indicator: DOP (Dilution ... [more ▼]

Precision of GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) is affected by a lot of different factors, such as satellite geometry. The quality of satellite geometry is evaluated by an indicator: DOP (Dilution Of Precision). Specific satellite geometry, such as conical satellite geometry, are able to strongly harm to the precision of positioning. These particular situations lead the normal matrix to a singular state and the DOP to high values. [less ▲]

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See detailGoogle Earth et Windows Live Search Maps: Analyse fonctionnelle et comparaison
Lonchay, Matthieu ULg

in Bulletin de la Société Géographique de Liège (2007), 49

« Google Earth » and « Windows Live Maps » are two services of web mapping recently developed by two competitive American corporations: « Google » and « Microsoft Corporation ». These services, whose ... [more ▼]

« Google Earth » and « Windows Live Maps » are two services of web mapping recently developed by two competitive American corporations: « Google » and « Microsoft Corporation ». These services, whose working requires specific computer technologies, provide a visualization of the Earth using an assemblage of satellite images and aerial photographs. This article is written to try to establish a functional analysis and a comparison of free versions of these two services of web mapping based on their technical characteristics, qualities of their sources, levels of provided functionalities and additional possibilities of paying versions. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 317 (29 ULg)