Moving Forward to the Future Low-Cost PPP Paradigm

D. Calle, P. Navarro, I. Rodríguez, G. Tobías

Abstract: Nowadays the society is living in a continuous technology evolution cycle. Each day tens of novel ideas are proposed to improve current state of the art, hundreds of evolutions are presented by the manufacturers and thousands of new applications are offered to the final users. In technology, the expansion of new hardware and software features are normally preceded by a price reduction and harmonization process which makes these new items affordable for the end-users thanks to the mass-scale production processes. The recent years have witnessed the consolidation of the so-called upcoming GNSS constellations. In this regard, both the high-end GNSS technologies manufacturers and High Accuracy (HA) service providers have quickened their pace to grant the users with enhanced performances thanks to the new multi-GNSS environment. However, a growing user trend is demanding high-accuracy GNSS solutions for mass-market receivers; here is where the low-cost PPP concept steps in. GMV is well known for its strong R&D commitment in the field of GNSS. One of the key actors of the R&D activities is magicPPP, the High Accuracy positioning engine developed and evolved during the last years. The most recent step given in the development of magicPPP has been the design, implementation and testing of a novel high-accuracy positioning solution targeting low-cost users, the Single-Frequency PPP (SF-PPP). The evolution performed in the positioning engine has implied the implementation of several updates aiming to improve the ionosphere estimation and to adapt the algorithm configuration to the characteristics of the measurements provided by the low cost receivers. The objective pursued by this new evolution of the magicPPP’s engine is threefold. First of all, it provides a multi-GNSS (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and BeiDou) HA positioning solution based on carrier-phase techniques with decimeter-level accuracy. Secondly, it is intended to foster cost-saving allowing the use of low-cost multi-GNSS receivers in the range of $1 and $100, which are perfectly suitable for a wide-range of mass-market applications i.e. mobile positioning, automotive solutions, etc. And, finally, it maximizes the compatibility with multiple GNSS receivers thanks to the use of RTCM standard messages and several proprietary interfaces published by receivers’ manufacturers. During the last months, an experimentation campaign has been carried out to validate and refine the SF-PPP algorithm and associated configuration. This campaign has included several static-user and kinematic-user scenarios in open-sky and urban canyons environments, as well as different mass-market and geodetic receivers. The results of these experimentation activities have shown that with a low-cost multi-GNSS receiver of $40-$60 together with a patch antenna, a horizontal accuracy below 20 centimeters RMS and below 25 centimeters in the vertical component with respect to a reliable reference is achievable in real conditions. The outcomes of the intense experimentation campaign demonstrate that magicPPP’s SF-PPP is a real alternative for High Accuracy users and applications that require an accurate positioning solution and cannot afford the purchase of a geodetic receiver. The SF-PPP solution is complemented with an integrity algorithm able to calculate in real-time horizontal and vertical protection levels for a configured confidence level. This algorithm has been designed on top of a statistical basement as a generalization of the well-known GMV’s IBPL (Isotropy-Based Protection Level) technique to sequential estimation processes. Together magicPPP’s SF-PPP and the integrity algorithm provide a complete low-cost off-the-self solution which fulfils the positioning and reliability requirements of a significant part of the GNSS community and customers. This paper will describe in detail the solution herein introduced, which takes advantage of the synergies of integrating low-cost multi-GNSS receivers, PPP techniques, and integrity algorithms. This solution has been proven as a solid basis for the expansion and exploitation of advanced High Accuracy solutions in new market sectors such as mobile devices, automotive embedded systems, tolling services, etc. Throughout this paper, the concept “Low-Cost PPP” based on the Single Frequency PPP techniques will be presented together with a deep analysis of the impact of this new technique on the potential high accuracy positioning users. A detailed description of the achievable performances in different user conditions will be presented.
Published in: Proceedings of the 29th International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation (ION GNSS+ 2016)
September 12 - 16, 2016
Oregon Convention Center
Portland, Oregon
Pages: 2210 - 2235
Cite this article: Calle, D., Navarro, P., Rodríguez, I., Tobías, G., "Moving Forward to the Future Low-Cost PPP Paradigm," Proceedings of the 29th International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation (ION GNSS+ 2016), Portland, Oregon, September 2016, pp. 2210-2235.
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