Effects of Ionospheric Scintillation on GNSS-Based Positioning

Xiaoqing Pi, Byron A. Iijima and Wenwen Lu

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: This paper presents a characterization of L-band ionospheric scintillation observed at a single site in the Arctic auroral zone, and an analysis of GPS-based point positioning error caused by carrier phase data degradation during scintillation. Observed amplitude and phase scintillations of L1CA, L2C, and L5 signals during auroral electrojet activities driven by space weather disturbances show the following three types: continuous, intermittent, and spike (sudden intensity drop). The relations of scintillation strength between different signals are derived for carrier phase, signal intensity, and code-carrier divergence fluctuations, showing precise linear relation, de-correlation, and different linear fitting slope, respectively. These relations can help predict phase scintillation behavior of one signal from measurements of another, except for amplitude scintillation. Experiments of precise point positioning show that phase data degradation due to scintillation can cause significant positioning error increase if the scintillation effects are not considered carefully in GNSS data processing and design of positioning approaches.
Published in: NAVIGATION: Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Volume 64, Number 1
Pages: 3 - 22
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