Reduction in the ionospheric error for a single-frequency GPS timing solution using tomography

Julian A.R. Rose, Damien J. Allain, Cathryn N. Mitchell



Single-frequency Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers do not accurately compensate for the ionospheric delay imposed upon a GPS signal. They rely upon models to compensate for the ionosphere. This delay compensation can be improved by measuring it directly with a dual-frequency receiver, or by monitoring the ionosphere using real-time maps. This investigation uses a 4D tomographic algorithm, Multi Instrument Data Analysis System (MIDAS), to correct for the ionospheric delay and compares the results to existing single and dualfrequency techniques. Maps of the ionospheric electron density, across Europe, are produced by using data collected from a fixed network of dual-frequency GPS receivers. Single-frequency pseudorange observations are corrected by using the maps to find the excess propagation delay on the GPS L1 signals. Days during the solar maximum year 2002 and the October 2003 storm have been chosen to display results when the ionospheric delays are large and variable. Results that improve upon the use of existing ionospheric models are achieved by applying MIDAS to fixed and mobile single-frequency GPS timing solutions. The approach offers the potential for corrections to be broadcast over a local region, or provided via the internet and allows timing accuracies to within 10 ns to be achieved.

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Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN:  2037-416X