Skip to main content
Log in

A new automated cycle slip detection and repair method for a single dual-frequency GPS receiver

  • Original Article
  • Published:
Journal of Geodesy Aims and scope Submit manuscript


This paper develops a new automated cycle slip detection and repair method that is based on only one single dual-frequency GPS receiver. This method jointly uses the ionospheric total electron contents (TEC) rate (TECR) and Melbourne–Wübbena wide lane (MWWL) linear combination to uniquely determine the cycle slip on both L1 and L2 frequencies. The cycle slips are inferred from the information of ionospheric physical TECR and MWWL ambiguity at the current epoch and that at the previous epoch. The principle of this method is that when there are cycle slips, the MWWL ambiguity will change and the ionospheric TECR will usually be significantly amplified, the part of artificial TECR (caused by cycle slips) being significantly larger than the normal physical TECR. The TECR is calculated based on the dual-frequency carrier phase measurements, and it is highly accurate. We calculate the ionospheric change information (including TECR and TEC acceleration) using the previous epochs (30 epochs in this study) and use the previous data to predict the TECR for the epoch needing cycle slip detection. If the discrepancy is larger than our defined threshold 0.15 TECU/s, cycle slips are regarded to exist at that epoch. The key rational of method is that during a short period (1.0 s in this study) the TECR of physical ionospheric phenomenon will not exceed the threshold. This new algorithm is tested with eight different datasets (including one spaceborne GPS dataset), and the results show that the method can detect and correctly repair almost any cycle slips even under very high level of ionospheric activities (with an average Kp index 7.6 on 31 March 2001). The only exception of a few detected but incorrectly repaired cycle slip is due to a sudden increased pseudorange error on a single satellite (PRN7) under very active ionosphere on 31 March 2001. This method requires dual-frequency carrier phase and pseudorange data from only one single GPS receiver. The other requirement is that the GPS data rate ideally is 1 Hz or higher in order to detect small cycle slips. It is suitable for many applications where one single receiver is used, e.g. real-time kinematic rover station and precise point positioning. An important feature of this method is that it performs cycle slip detection and repair on a satellite-by-satellite basis; thus, the cycle slip detection and repair for each satellite are completely independent and not affected by the data of other satellites.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others


  • Aoki T, Shimogaki Y, Ikki T, Tanikawara M, Sugimoto S, Kubo Y, Fujimoto K (2009) Cycle slip detection in kinematic GPS with a jerk model for land vehicles. Int J Innov Comput Inf Control 5(1): 153–166

    Google Scholar 

  • Bastos L, Landau H (1988) Fixing cycle slips in dual-frequency kinematic GPS-applications using Kalman filtering. Manuscr Geod 13(4): 249–256

    Google Scholar 

  • Bertiger WI, Bar-Sever YE, Haines BJ, Iijima BA, Lichten SM, Lindqwister UJ, Mannucci AJ, Muellerschoen RJ, Munson TN, Moore AW, Romans LJ, Wilson BD, Wu SC, Yunck TP, Piesinger G, Whitehead ML (1998) A real-time wide area differential GPS system. Navigation. J Navig 44(4): 433–447

    Google Scholar 

  • Bisnath SB, Gao Y (2008) Current state of precise point positioning and future prospects and limitations. In: Proceedings of International Association of Geodesy Symposia: observing our changing earth, vol 133, pp 615–623. Springer, Berlin

  • Bisnath SB, Langley RB (2000) Automated cycle-slip correction of dual-frequency kinematic GPS data. In: Proceedings of 47th Conference of CASI, Ottawa, Canada

  • Blewitt G (1990) An automatic editing algorithm for GPS data. Geophys Res Lett 17(3): 199–202

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bock H, Dach R, Jäggi A, Beutler G (2009) High-rate GPS clock corrections from CODE: support of 1 Hz applications. J Geod 83: 1083–1094. doi:10.1007/s00190-009-0326-1

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Colombo OL, Bhapkar UV, Evans AG (1999) Inertial-aided cycle-slip detection/correction for precise, long-baseline kinematic GPS. In: Proceedings of ION GPS-99, Nashville, TN, pp 1915–1922

  • Dach R, Schildknecht T, Hugentobler U, Bernier LG, Dudle G (2006) Continuous geodetic time-transfer analysis methods. IEEE Trans Ultrason Ferroelectr Freq Control 53(7): 1250–1259

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dai Z, Knedlik S, Loffeld O (2008) Real-time cycle-slip detection and determination for multiple frequency GNSS. In: Proceedings of the 5th workshop on positioning, navigation and communication 2008, Hannover, Germany, pp 37–43

  • Dai Z, Knedlik S, Loffeld O (2009) Instantaneous triple-frequency GPS cycle-slip detection and repair. Int J Navig Obs 2009:Article ID 407231. doi:10.1155/2009/407231

  • de Lacy MC, Reguzzoni M, Sans F, Venuti G (2008) The Bayesian detection of discontinuities in a polynomial regression and its application to the cycle-slip problem. J Geod 82: 527–542. doi:10.1007/s00190-007-0203-8

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dow JM, Neilan RE, Rizos C (2009) The International GNSS Service in a changing landscape of Global Navigation Satellite Systems. J Geod 83(3–4): 191–198

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Fang P, Gendt G, Springer T, Mannucci T (2001) IGS near real-time products and their applications. GPS Solut 4(4): 2–8. doi:10.1007/PL00012861

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Feltons J (2003) The international GPS service (IGS) ionosphere working group. Adv Space Sci 31(3): 635–644

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Foster JC, Erickson PJ, Coster AJ, Goldstein J, Rich FJ (2002) Ionospheric signatures of plasmaspheric tails. Geophys Res Lett 29(13): 1623. doi:10.1029/2002GL015067

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Fotopoulos G, Cannon ME (2001) An overview of multi-reference station methods for cm-level positioning. GPS Solut 4(3): 1–10

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gao Y, Li Z (1999) Cycle slip detection and ambiguity resolution algorithms for dual-frequency GPS data processing. Mar Geod 22(4): 169–181

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gao Y, Shen X (2002) A new method for carrier phase based precise point positioning. Navigation. J Inst Navig 49(2)

  • Ge M, Gendt G, Rothacher M, Shi C, Liu J (2008) Resolution of GPS carrier-phase ambiguities in precise point positioning (PPP) with daily observations. J Geod 82: 389–399. doi:10.1007/s00190-007-0187-4

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Grejner-Brzezinska DA, Kashani I, Wielgosz P, Smith DA, Spencer PSJ, Robertson DS, Mader GL (2007) Efficiency and reliability of ambiguity resolution in network-based real-time kinematic GPS. J Surv Eng 133(2): 56–65

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Guyennon N, Cerretto G, Tavella P, Lahaye F (2009) Further characterization of the time transfer capabilities of precise point positioning (PPP): the sliding batch procedure. IEEE Trans Ultrason Ferroelectr Freq Control 56(8): 1634–1641

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Héroux P, Kouba J, Beck N, Lahaye F, Mireault Y, Tétreault P, Collins P, MacLeod K, Caissy M (2006) Space geodetic techniques and the CSRS evolution, status and possibilities. Geomatica 60(2): 137–150

    Google Scholar 

  • Hill EM, Blewitt G (2006) Testing for fault activity at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, using independent GPS results from the BARGEN network. Geophys Res Lett 33: L14302. doi:10.1029/2006GL026140

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hu GR, Khoo HS, Goh PC, Law CL (2003) Development and assessment of GPS virtual reference stations for RTK positioning. J Geod 77(5-6): 292–302

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kass WG, Dulaney RL, Griffiths J, Hilla S, Ray J, Rohde J (2009) Global GPS data analysis at the National Geodetic Survey. J Geod 83: 289–295. doi:10.1007/s00190-008-0255-4

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kee C, Walter T, Enge P, Parkinson B (1997) Quality Control Algorithms on WAAS Wide Area Reference Stations. J Navig 44(1): 53–62

    Google Scholar 

  • Kim D, Langley RB (2001) Instantaneous real-time cycle-slip correction of dual frequency GPS data. In: Proceedings of the international symposium on kinematic systems in geodesy, geomatics and navigation, pp 255–264

  • Lee HK, Wang J, Rizos C (2003) Effective cycle slip detection and identification for high precision GPS/INS integrated systems. J Navig 56(3): 475–486. doi:10.1017/S0373463303002443

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Liu ZZ, Chen W (2009) Study of the ionospheric TEC rate in Hong Kong region and its GPS/GNSS application. In: Proceedings of the international technical meeting on GNSS global navigation satellite system—innovation and application, Beijing, China

  • Liu ZZ, Gao Y (2004) Development and evaluation of a new 3D ionospheric modeling method. Navigation. J Inst Navig 51(4): 311–329

    Google Scholar 

  • Melbourne WG (1985) The case for ranging in GPS based geodetic systems. In: Proceedings of the 1st international symposium on precise positioning with the global positioning system, Rockville, Maryland, pp 373–386

  • Michel FC (1964) K p as a planetary index. J Geophys Res 69(19): 4182–4183. doi:10.1029/JZ069i019p04182

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rizos C (2007) Alternatives to current GPS-RTK services and some implications for CORS infrastructure and operations. GPS Solut 11(3): 151–158

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Roberts GW, Meng X, Dodson AH (2002) Using adaptive filtering to detect multipath and cycle slips in GPS/Accelerometer bridge deflection monitoring data. In: FIG XXII International Congress, Washington, DC

  • Schaer S (1999) Mapping and predicting the earth’s ionosphere using the global positioning system. PhD dissertation, University of Berne, Berne

  • Springer TA, Hugentobler U (2001) IGS ultra rapid products for (near-) real-time applications. Phys Chem Earth A Solid Earth Geod 26(6–8): 623–628

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sükeová L, Santos MC, Langley RB, Leandro RF, Nnani O, Nievinski F (2007) GPS L2C signal quality analysis. In: Proceedings of Institute of Navigation 63rd annual meeting, Cambridge, MA, pp 232–241

  • Vollath U, Landau H, Chen X, Doucet K, Pagels C (2002) Network RTK versus single base RTK: Understanding the error characteristics. In: Proceedings of Institute of Navigation GPS 2002, Portland, OR, pp 2774–2781

  • Wübbena G (1985) Software developments for geodetic positioning with GPS using TI 4100 code and carrier measurements. In: Proceedings 1st international symposium on precise positioning with the global positioning system, Rockville, Maryland, pp 403–412

  • Xu G (2007) GPS: theory, algorithms and applications. 2nd edn. Springer, Berlin

    Google Scholar 

  • Zumberge JF, Heflin MB, Jefferson DC, Watkins MM, Webb FH (1997) Precise point positioning for the efficient and robust analysis of GPS data from large networks. J Geophys Res 102: 5005–5017

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Zhizhao Liu.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Liu, Z. A new automated cycle slip detection and repair method for a single dual-frequency GPS receiver. J Geod 85, 171–183 (2011).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: