Estimating and assessing Galileo satellite fractional cycle bias for PPP ambiguity resolution
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Due to the rapid deployment of the Galileo constellation, Galileo is now able to contribute to GNSS precise point positioning (PPP) ambiguity resolution (AR) with 17 operational satellites as of December 2017. We estimate the satellite fractional cycle bias (FCB) based on globally distributed MGEX stations and assess the Galileo FCB quality by a comparison with that of GPS and BDS. Results of 60 days indicate that the quality of Galileo wide-lane (WL) FCB is better than GPS and BDS in terms of data usage rate, residual distribution, as well as standard deviation of daily estimates. The RMS of Galileo WL FCB residuals is 0.071 cycles, while that of GPS and BDS are 0.089 and 0.117 cycles, respectively. The standard deviation of Galileo daily WL FCB is 0.010 cycles, while that of GPS and BDS is 0.018 and 0.043 cycles. We attribute the better quality of Galileo WL FCB to its signal modulation, AltBOC, which significantly compresses the multipath effect for pseudorange measurement. Within the Galileo constellation, the performance of In-Orbit Validation (IOV) satellites WL FCB is worse than that of Full Operational Capability (FOC) satellites as a result of a reduction in the power of the transmitted signal. The performance of the two highly eccentric satellites is comparable to other FOC satellites. The overall quality of Galileo narrow-lane (NL) FCB is slightly worse than that of GPS but better than that of BDS. The RMS of Galileo NL FCB residuals is 0.062 cycles, while that for GPS and BDS is 0.050 and 0.086 cycles respectively. In addition, the NL FCB quality of FOC, IOV (except E19), as well as the two eccentric satellites, shows no significant difference in terms of data usage rates and residuals. Galileo PPP AR solutions are conducted at 20 MGEX stations with 3-h sessions for 10 days. The positional biases of AR solutions are 0.7, 0.6, and 2.1 cm for east, north and up components respectively, while those for float solutions are 2.1, 1.1, and 2.7 cm, corresponding to the improvements of 67, 45, and 22%, respectively. These results demonstrate that, currently, Galileo FCB can be estimated with accuracy comparable with GPS and BDS, and the Galileo observations can bring an obvious benefit to ambiguity-fixed PPP.
KeywordsGalileo Precise point positioning Integer ambiguity resolution Fractional cycle bias Full operational capability
Thanks go to IGS-MGEX and GFZ for providing GNSS data and products. Thanks also go to Maorong Ge from GFZ for valuable discussions. Guorui Xiao is supported by the China Scholarship Council. This work was supported in part by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grants Nos. 41674016, 41274016, and 41604024). Finally, we highly acknowledge the comments by two anonymous reviewers which helped to improve the submitted version of the paper.
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