GPS differential code biases determination: methodology and analysis


We address two main problems related to the receiver and satellite differential code biases (DCBs) determination. The first issue concerns the drifts and jumps experienced by the DCB determinations of the International GNSS Service (IGS) due to satellite constellation changes. A new alignment algorithm is introduced to remove these nonphysical effects, which is applicable in real time. The full-time series of 18 years of Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite DCBs, computed by IGS, are realigned using the proposed algorithm. The second problem concerns the assessment of the DCBs accuracy. The short- and long-term receiver and satellite DCB performances for the different Ionospheric Associate Analysis Centers (IAACs) are discussed. The results are compared with the determinations computed with the two-layer Fast Precise Point Positioning (Fast-PPP) ionospheric model, to assess how the geometric description of the ionosphere affects the DCB determination and to illustrate how the errors in the ionospheric model are transferred to the DCB estimates. Two different determinations of DCBs are considered: the values provided by the different IAACs and the values estimated using their pre-computed Global Ionospheric Maps (GIMs). The second determination provides a better characterization of DCBs accuracy, as it is confirmed when analyzing the DCB variations associated with the GPS Block-IIA satellites under eclipse conditions, observed mainly in the Fast-PPP DCB determinations. This study concludes that the accuracy of the IGS IAACs receiver DCBs is approximately 0.3–0.5 and 0.2 ns for the Fast-PPP. In the case of the satellite DCBs, these values are about 0.12–0.20 ns for IAACs and 0.07 ns for Fast-PPP.

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The authors acknowledge the use of data and products from the International GNSS Service. This work has been partially sponsored by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation project CGL2015-66410-P, the ESA/ESTEC ICASES project PO 1520026618/01, and the ESA/EPO project EG-SIFE, Contract No. 40001122/14/NL/WE.

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Correspondence to Jaume Sanz.

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Sanz, J., Miguel Juan, J., Rovira-Garcia, A. et al. GPS differential code biases determination: methodology and analysis. GPS Solut 21, 1549–1561 (2017).

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  • DCB
  • Ionospheric models
  • GPS
  • GNSS