Space Weather

Volume 344 of the series Astrophysics and Space Science Library pp 129-146

Space Weather Influence on Satellite-based Navigation and Precise Positioning

  • R. WarnantAffiliated withRoyal Observatory of Belgium, Avenue Circulaire
  • , S. LejeuneAffiliated withRoyal Observatory of Belgium, Avenue Circulaire
  • , M. BavierAffiliated withRoyal Observatory of Belgium, Avenue Circulaire

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Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) are widely used to measure positions with accuracies ranging from a few mm to about 20 m. The effect of the Earth ionosphere on GNSS signal propagation is one of the main error sources which limits the accuracy and the reliability of GNSS applications. In particular, disturbed Space Weather conditions can be the origin of strong variability in the ionosphere Total Electron Content (TEC) which itself degrades the accuracy of GNSS applications. Space Weather effects on GNSS depend very much on the type of application. In this paper, we discuss the effects of Space Weather conditions on differential positioning with the Differential GPS (DGPS) technique and on relative positioning with the Real Time Kinematic (RTK) technique. We show that DGPS is affected by medium to large-scale gradients in TEC mainly observed at solar maximum when RTK will be degraded by smaller-scale ionospheric variability due to scintillations, TEC noise-like behaviour and Travelling Ionospheric Disturbances