Exploiting new GNSS signals to monitor, model and mitigate the ionospheric effects in GNSS

Elmas, Zeynep Günsu (2013) Exploiting new GNSS signals to monitor, model and mitigate the ionospheric effects in GNSS. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Abstract

Signals broadcast by the Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) enable global, autonomous, geo-spatial positioning exploited in the areas such as geodesy, surveying, transportation and agriculture. The propagation of these signals is affected as they propagate through the Earth's upper atmosphere, the ionosphere, due to the ionic and electronic structure of the ionosphere. The ionosphere, a highly dynamic and spatially and temporally variable medium, can be the largest error source in Global Navigation Satellite System (Klobuchar 1991) in the absence of the Selective Availability.

Propagation effects due to the ionosphere lead to errors in the range measurements, impact on receiver signal tracking performance and influence the GNSS positioning solution. The range error can vary from 1 to 100m depending on time of day, season, receiver location, conditions of the earth's magnetic field and solar activity (Hofmann-Wellenhof et al. 2001).

This thesis focuses on modelling, monitoring and mitigating the ionospheric effects in GNSS within the scope of GNSS modernization, which introduces new signals, satellites and constellations. The ionosphere and its effects on GNSS signals, impact of the ionospheric effects at the receiver end, predicted error bounds of these effects under different solar, geomagnetic and ionospheric conditions, how these effects can be modelled and monitored with current and new (possible with GNSS modernization) correction approaches, degradation in the GNSS positioning solution and mitigation techniques to counter such degradation are investigated in this thesis.

Field recorded and simulated data are considered for studying the refractive and diffractive effects of the ionosphere on GNSS signals, signal tracking performance and position solution. Data from mid-to-high latitudes is investigated for the refractive effects, which are due to dispersive nature of the ionosphere. With the use of multi-frequency, multi-constellation receivers, modelling of the refractive effects is discussed through elimination and estimation of these effects on the basis of dual and triple frequency approaches, concentrating on the benefit of the new GNSS signals. Data from the low latitudes is considered for studying the diffractive effects of the ionosphere, scintillation in particular, in GNSS positioning, and possible mitigation techniques to counter them. Scintillation can have a considerable impact on the performance of GNSS positioning by, for instance, increasing the probability of losing phase lock with a signal and reducing the accuracy of pseudoranges and phase measurements. In this sense, the impact of scintillation on signal tracking performance and position solution is discussed, where a novel approach is proposed for assessing the variance of the signal tracking error during scintillation. The proposed approach also contributes to the work related with scintillation mitigation, as discussed in this thesis.

The timeliness of this PhD due to the recent and increasingly active period of the next Solar Cycle (predicted to reach a peak around 2013) and to the ongoing GNSS modernization give this research an opportunity to enhance the ionospheric knowledge, expertise and data archive at NGI, which is rewarding not only for this PhD but also for future research in this area.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Aquino, M.
Hill, C.J.
Keywords: Global Positioning System, ionosphere, research, artificial satellites, scintillation
Subjects: T Technology > TL Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering
Item ID: 28418
Depositing User: Airey, Ms Valerie
Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2015 13:51
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2016 15:53
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/28418

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