RTX Positioning: The Next Generation of cm-accurate Real-time GNSS Positioning

Rodrigo Leandro, Herbert Landau, Markus Nitschke, Markus Glocker, Stephan Seeger, Xiaoming Chen,Alois Deking, Mohamed BenTahar, Feipeng Zhang, Kendall Ferguson, Ralf Stolz, Nick Talbot, Gang Lu, Timo Allison, Markus Brandl, Victor Gomez, Wei Cao, Adrian Kipka

Abstract: The first commercial GPS Real-time Kinematic (RTK) positioning products were released in 1993. Since then RTK technology has found its way into a wide variety of application areas and markets including Survey, Machine Control, and Precision Farming. Current RTK systems provide cm-accurate positioning typically with initialization times of seconds. However, one of the main limitations of RTK positioning is the need of having nearby infra-structure. This infra-structure normally includes a single base station and radio link, or in the case of network RTK, several reference stations with internet connections, a central processing center and communication links to users. In single-base, or network RTK, the distances between reference stations and the rover receiver are typically limited to 100 km. During the last decade several researchers have advocated Precise Point Positioning (PPP) techniques as an alternative to reference station-based RTK. With the PPP technique the GNSS positioning is performed using precise satellite orbit and clock information, rather than corrections from one or more reference stations. The published PPP solutions typically provide position accuracies of better than 10 cm horizontally. The major drawback of PPP techniques is the relatively slow convergence time required to achieve kinematic position accuracies of 10 cm or better. PPP convergence times are typically on the order of several tens of minutes, but occasionally the convergence may take a couple of hours depending on satellite geometry and prevailing atmospheric conditions. Long initialization time is a limiting factor in considering PPP as a practical solution for positioning systems that rely on productivity and availability. Nevertheless, PPP techniques are very appealing from a ground infrastructure and operational coverage area perspective, since precise positioning could be potentially performed in any place where satellite correction data is available. For several years, efforts have been made by numerous organizations in attempting to improve the productivity of PPP-like solutions. Simultaneously, efforts have been made to improve network RTK performance with sparsely located reference stations. Until now there has not been a workable solution for either approach. Commercial success of the published PPP solutions for high-accuracy applications has been limited by the low productivity compared to established RTK methods. In this paper we present a technology that brings together the advantages of both types of solutions, i.e., positioning techniques that do not require local reference stations while providing the productivity of RTK positioning. This means coupling the high productivity and accuracy of reference station-based RTK systems with the extended coverage area of solutions based on global satellite corrections. The outcome of this new technology is the positioning service CENTERPOINT RTXTM, which provides real-time cm-level accuracy without the direct use of a reference station infrastructure, that is suitable for many GNSS market segments. Furthermore, the RTX solution is applicable to multi-GNSS constellations. The new technology involves innovations in RTK network processing, as well as advancements in the rover RTK positioning algorithms.
Published in: Proceedings of the 24th International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation (ION GNSS 2011)
September 20 - 23, 2011
Oregon Convention Center, Portland, Oregon
Portland, OR
Pages: 1460 - 1475
Cite this article: Leandro, Rodrigo, Landau, Herbert, Nitschke, Markus, Glocker, Markus, Seeger, Stephan, Chen, Xiaoming, Deking, Alois, BenTahar, Mohamed, Zhang, Feipeng, Ferguson, Kendall, Stolz, Ralf, Talbot, Nick, Lu, Gang, Allison, Timo, Brandl, Markus, Gomez, Victor, Cao, Wei, Kipka, Adrian, "RTX Positioning: The Next Generation of cm-accurate Real-time GNSS Positioning," Proceedings of the 24th International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation (ION GNSS 2011), Portland, OR, September 2011, pp. 1460-1475.
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