Effectiveness of Observation-Domain Sidereal Filtering for GPS Precise Point Positioning

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Christopher Atkins and Marek K Ziebart, University College London, London, United Kingdom
Global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) are increasingly being used in earthquake monitoring and tsunami warning systems. However, the ability of GNSS to measure potentially small ground displacements is limited by a number of error sources, one of which is multipath interference, which affects the measurements made by a GNSS receiver.
Sidereal filtering is a technique sometimes used to reduce errors caused by multipath in the positioning of static receivers via GPS in particular. It relies upon the receiver and its surrounding environment remaining static from one day to the next and takes advantage of the approximately sidereal repeat time of the GPS constellation geometry. The repeating multipath error can thus be identified, usually in the position domain, and largely removed from the following day.
We have developed an observation-domain sidereal filter (ODSF) algorithm that operates on un-differenced ionosphere-free GPS carrier phase observations to reduce errors caused by multipath. It is applied in the context of high-rate 1 Hz precise point positioning (PPP) of a static receiver. An ODSF is able to account for the slightly different repeat times of each GPS satellite, unlike a position-domain sidereal filter, and can hence be more effective at reducing high-frequency multipath error.
Using eight-hour long datasets of GPS observations from two different receivers with different antenna types and contrasting environments, the ODSF algorithm is shown overall to yield a position time series 10% to 45% more stable, in terms of Allan deviation, than a position-domain sidereal filter over time intervals of between 20 s and 300 s in length. This would be particularly useful for earthquake and tsunami early warning systems where the accurate measurement of small displacements of the ground over the period of just a few minutes is crucial. However, the sidereal filters have also been applied to a third dataset during which two short episodes of particularly high-frequency multipath error were identified. These two periods are analyzed in detail and illustrate the limitations of using sidereal filters with important implications for other methods of correcting for multipath at the observation level.