GNSS Antenna Phase Center Variation Calibration for Attitude Determination on Short Baselines

Daniel Willi, Michael Meindl, Hui Xui, Markus Rothacher

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: Relative antenna field calibrations were carried out for two attitude determination setups with antennas located within a wavelength of each other. In one case, four Amotech ceramic patch antennas of 18 x 18 mm2 size, in the other case three Trimble Bullet III antennas were used. The results are significant phase center offsets and phase center variation maps. The obtained phase patterns are highly heterogeneous and asymmetrical. These patterns were applied to a simulation of attitude determination onboard a spacecraft in low Earth orbit. Synthetic data was generated with the Bernese GNSS Software V5.2. The analysis revealed the importance of the proper correction of phase center variations. The impact on ambiguity resolution was studied as well. Finally, a field data validation was carried out. The root mean square error of the estimated attitude for a platform with three antennas located within 15 cm of each other, could be reduced from over 6 degrees to 4.5 degrees. A step towards more precise attitude determination on very short baselines was done, but additional efforts are required. Especially the temporal stability of the phase patterns of low-cost antennas remains questionable.
Published in: Proceedings of the 30th International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation (ION GNSS+ 2017)
September 25 - 29, 2017
Oregon Convention Center
Portland, Oregon
Pages: 3997 - 4010
Cite this article: Updated citation: Published in NAVIGATION: Journal of the Institute of Navigation
Full Paper: ION Members/Non-Members: 1 Download Credit
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