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GNSS hardware biases in code and carrier phase observables

Time: Fri 2020-02-28 10.00

Location: F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm (English)

Subject area: Geodesy and Geoinformatics Geodesy

Doctoral student: Martin Håkansson , Geodesi och satellitpositionering, Lantmäteriet

Opponent: Professor Lambert Wanninger, Technische Universität Dresden, Tyskland

Supervisor: Docent Milan Horemuz, Geodesi och satellitpositionering; Gästprofessor Anna B. O. Jensen, Geodesi och satellitpositionering


GNSS hardware biases appear in code and phase observations, and originates both from the receiver and satellite hardware. The presence of biases in GNSS observations might affect the accuracy in precise GNSS positioning applications, and might also be of relevance in other GNSS applications. They may also be a cause of incompatibility between different receiver types or GNSS constellations.

In this thesis, which is based on four papers, the biases in GNSS code and carrier phase observables are investigated. This is done by: characterizing and analyzing some selected biases; revealing some previously unknown biases; developing new methods to estimate some of the biases; and compiling and presenting information about biases in a new and comprehensive way.

Paper 1 gives a full review of how various kinds of biases affect various applications of precise GNSS positioning, including multi-GNSS positioning and ambiguity resolved PPP.

In Paper 2, two cases of relative phase biases, that potentially could degrade the positioning accuracy in precise positioning applications, are investigated. Fortunately, these biases turns out to be small in size with negligible effect on the positioning accuracy in both cases, which involves relative between-receivers biases for receivers of different type and between-signals biases for carrier phase observations of different signals associated with the same carrier frequency.

Paper 3 characterizes GNSS observations from a Nexus 9 Android tablet. By doing this, it reveals a number of earlier unknown biases. A drift between the code and phase observable of -3 and 2 mm/s is revealed for GPS and GLONASS, respectively. Additionally, an unexpected variation in the GLONASS phase observable, which seems to be dependent on the topocentric range rate of the satellite, is discovered.

In Paper 4, the existence of nadir dependent code biases is confirmed for GNSS observations from BeiDou-2 satellites of the BeiDou constellation by analyzing the residuals of 2-D and 3-D ionosphere modeling. This a new method to derive this kind of bias, independent of the earlier employed approach based on the multipath linear combination. The estimated effect is, however, too small to infer a similar nadir dependence for GPS and Galileo as well.