Mitigation of Global Navigation Satellite System Cycle Slips Due to Scintillation Using Radio Backpropagation

Brian Breitsch and Jade Morton

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: Measurements of signals from satellites from global navigation satellite systems are an important tool not only for precision navigation and timing applications, but also for various scientific and remote-sensing applications such as ionosphere monitoring and atmosphere probing using radio occultation. When traveling through turbulent patches of the Earth’s ionosphere, these signals can experience scintillation, which is characterized by rapid fluctuations in the amplitude and phase of the received signal. In addition to these fluctuations, the signal can undergo phase transitions that induce cycle slips in the resulting phase measurement. When left uncorrected, cycle slips can lead to large errors in positioning and remote-sensing applications. In this work, we determine how backpropagation based on a single-phase screen model of the ionosphere can help to limit the occurrence of these cycle slips. This approach is applicable for batch post-processing of measurements. Furthermore, our results when applying the method to both simulations and real-life data suggest that backpropagation can correct many of the cycle slips that are generated during severe scintillation.
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Published in: NAVIGATION: Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Volume 70, Number 3
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