Improving the Performance of RTK-GPS Reference Networks for Positioning in the Airborne Mode

A. El-Mowafy

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: The use of RTK multi-station reference networks for positioning in the airborne mode is investigated. Positioning accuracy and availability of measurement corrections were evaluated by conducting test flights using a helicopter and a small fixed-wing aircraft. The average positioning accuracies achieved were less than 4 cm with integer phase ambiguities, and at the decimeter level when using a float ambiguity solution. To maintain accurate positioning during short breaks in reception of the reference data, a method was developed for on-the-fly prediction of the spatially correlated satellite measurement corrections as a time series. In the proposed method, error corrections can be predicted independently or lumped together using the double exponential smoothing method. The difference between the two approaches yields mm-cm positioning errors, which can be neglected to decrease the computational load. Test results showed that the accuracy of predicting the corrections was at the decimeter level after 10–15 minutes of prediction. This resulted in a positioning accuracy of generally less than 20 cm.
Published in: NAVIGATION: Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Volume 55, Number 3
Pages: 215 - 223
Cite this article: El-Mowafy, A., "Improving the Performance of RTK-GPS Reference Networks for Positioning in the Airborne Mode", NAVIGATION: Journal of The Institute of Navigation, Vol. 55, No. 3, Fall 2008, pp. 215-223.
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