Journal of Geodesy

, Volume 87, Issue 2, pp 179–193

Mitigating the impact of ionospheric cycle slips in GNSS observations


DOI: 10.1007/s00190-012-0604-1

Cite this article as:
Banville, S. & Langley, R.B. J Geod (2013) 87: 179. doi:10.1007/s00190-012-0604-1


Processing of data from global navigation satellite systems (GNSS), such as GPS, GLONASS and Galileo, can be considerably impeded by disturbances in the ionosphere. Cycle-slip detection and correction thus becomes a crucial component of robust software. Still, dealing with ionospheric cycle slips is not trivial due to scintillation effects in both the phase and the amplitude of the signals. In this contribution, a geometry-based approach with rigorous handling of the ionosphere is presented. A detailed analysis of the cycle-slip correction process is also tackled by examining its dependence on phase and code noise, non-dispersive effects and, of course, the ionosphere. The importance of stochastic modeling in validating the integer cycle-slip candidates is emphasized and illustrated through simulations. By examining the relationship between ionospheric bias and ionospheric constraint, it is shown that there is a limit in the magnitude of ionospheric delay variation that can be handled by the cycle-slip correction process. Those concepts are applied to GNSS data collected by stations in northern Canada, and show that enhanced cycle-slip detection can lead to decimeter-level improvements in the accuracy of kinematic PPP solutions with a 30-s sampling interval. Cycle-slip correction associated with ionospheric delay variations exceeding 50 cm is also demonstrated, although there are risks with such a procedure and these are pointed out.


GNSS Ionosphere Cycle slips 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Natural Resources CanadaOttawaCanada
  2. 2.Department of Geodesy and Geomatics EngineeringUniversity of New BrunswickFrederictonCanada

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