Assessing the quality of ionospheric models through GNSS positioning error: methodology and results
Rights accessOpen Access
European Commission's projectNAVSCIN - High Accuracy Navigation under Scintillation Conditions (EC-H2020-797461)
Single-frequency users of the global navigation satellite system (GNSS) must correct for the ionospheric delay. These corrections are available from global ionospheric models (GIMs). Therefore, the accuracy of the GIM is important because the unmodeled or incorrectly part of ionospheric delay contributes to the positioning error of GNSS-based positioning. However, the positioning error of receivers located at known coordinates can be used to infer the accuracy of GIMs in a simple manner. This is why assessment of GIMs by means of the position domain is often used as an alternative to assessments in the ionospheric delay domain. The latter method requires accurate reference ionospheric values obtained from a network solution and complex geodetic modeling. However, evaluations using the positioning error method present several difficulties, as evidenced in recent works, that can lead to inconsistent results compared to the tests using the ionospheric delay domain. We analyze the reasons why such inconsistencies occur, applying both methodologies. We have computed the position of 34 permanent stations for the entire year of 2014 within the last Solar Maximum. The positioning tests have been done using code pseudoranges and carrier-phase leveled (CCL) measurements. We identify the error sources that make it difficult to distinguish the part of the positioning error that is attributable to the ionospheric correction: the measurement noise, pseudorange multipath, evaluation metric, and outliers. Once these error sources are considered, we obtain equivalent results to those found in the ionospheric delay domain assessments. Accurate GIMs can provide single-frequency navigation positioning at the decimeter level using CCL measurements and better positions than those obtained using the dual-frequency ionospheric-free combination of pseudoranges. Finally, some recommendations are provided for further studies of ionospheric models using the position domain method.
CitationRovira-Garcia, A. [et al.]. Assessing the quality of ionospheric models through GNSS positioning error: methodology and results. "Gps solutions", 1 Gener 2020, vol. 24, p. 4:1-4:12.