The RTCM Multiple Signal Messages: A New Step in GNSS Data Standardization

Alexey Boriskin, Dmitry Kozlov, Gleb Zyryanov

Abstract: New GNSS and their signals come into our life. Today, most professional receivers generate observation data for a multitude of GNSS and their signals. These observables are presented in proprietary formats, so compatibility between different vendors can be achieved only through RINEX-3 conversion which does not allow effective real-time interoperability. The need for standardized streaming protocol for GNSS observation data is obvious nowadays. There are already standardized GPS and GLONASS RTCM-3 messages which are used for base-rover RTK operation. But they cannot efficiently be extended to other GNSS (e.g. GALILEO) and other signals (e.g. L5). These legacy messages were limited to L1 and L2 bands and to only one signal per band. That is why the GNSS community has been waiting for new universal real time data formats. Multiple Signal Message (MSM) is the new key RTCM-3 concept (and respective format) to present all GNSS observation data in generic form. The RTCM-3 MSM standard insures GNSS receiver data interoperability one could not have dreamt of beforehand. The MSM standardization process started about three years ago within RTCM SC-104 by creating a dedicated MSM Working Group. Most of the professional GNSS vendors (receiver manufacturers and network software providers) actively participated in the MSM discussions and interoperability tests. Such a wide activity has allowed MSM to be released. This paper describes the principles of MSM organization and the author’s view on applications where MSM can be efficiently utilized. In this paper, we use GNSS terms and definitions applied in official RTCM and RINEX documents. This paper cannot be considered as a detailed MSM description; it is a short introduction to the new observation data concept accepted by most of GNSS vendors. For implementation, integrators must refer to the official RTCM standard. At the time of publishing given paper, the MSM standard is not yet officially available. But it is expected that it can be published by the end of this year.
Published in: Proceedings of the 25th International Technical Meeting of The Satellite Division of the Institute of Navigation (ION GNSS 2012)
September 17 - 21, 2012
Nashville Convention Center, Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville, TN
Pages: 2947 - 2955
Cite this article: Boriskin, Alexey, Kozlov, Dmitry, Zyryanov, Gleb, "The RTCM Multiple Signal Messages: A New Step in GNSS Data Standardization," Proceedings of the 25th International Technical Meeting of The Satellite Division of the Institute of Navigation (ION GNSS 2012), Nashville, TN, September 2012, pp. 2947-2955.
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