, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 521-533

Characterization of between-receiver GPS-Galileo inter-system biases and their effect on mixed ambiguity resolution

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Abstract

The Global Positioning System (GPS) and Galileo will transmit signals on similar frequencies, that is, the L1–E1 and L5–E5a frequencies. This will be beneficial for mixed GPS and Galileo applications in which the integer carrier phase ambiguities need to be resolved, in order to estimate the positioning unknowns with centimeter accuracy or better. In this contribution, we derive the mixed GPS + Galileo model that is based on “inter-system” double differencing, that is, differencing the Galileo phase and code observations relative to those corresponding to the reference or pivot satellite of GPS. As a consequence of this, additional between-receiver inter-system bias (ISB) parameters need to be solved as well for both phase and code data. We investigate the size and variability of these between-receiver ISBs, estimated from L1 and L5 observations of GPS, as well as E1 and E5a observations of the two experimental Galileo In-Orbit Validation Element (GIOVE) satellites. The data were collected using high-grade multi-GNSS receivers of different manufacturers for several zero- and short-baseline setups in Australia and the USA. From this analysis, it follows that differential ISBs are only significant for receivers of different types and manufacturers; for baselines formed by identical receiver types, no differential ISBs have shown up; thus, implying that the GPS and GIOVE data are then fully interoperable. Fortunately, in case of different receiver types, our analysis also indicates that the phase and code ISBs may be calibrated, since their estimates, based on several datasets separated in time, are shown to be very stable. When the single-frequency (E1) GIOVE phase and code data of different receiver types are a priori corrected for the differential ISBs, the short-baseline instantaneous ambiguity success rate increases significantly and becomes comparable to the success rate of mixed GPS + GIOVE ambiguity resolution based on identical receiver types.