An Assessment of Ionospheric Error Mitigation Techniques for GNSS Estimation in the Low Equatorial African Region
Single frequency GNSS receivers are the most widely used tools for tracking, navigation and geo-referencing around the world. It is estimated that over 75% of all GNSS receivers used globally are single frequency receivers and users experience positioning error due to the ionosphere. To enable GNSS Single Frequency Precise Point Positioning (SFPPP), accurate a-prior information about the ionosphere is needed. The variation of the ionosphere is larger around the magnetic equator and therefore
... or and therefore depends on latitude. It will be expected that SFPPP works better on latitude further from the magnetic equator. This present study aims to investigate the accuracy of some ionospheric error mitigation approaches used in single frequency precise point positioning (SFPPP) at several GNSS station in the new Nigerian GNSS Network (NIGNet) and two IGS sites in the low equatorial African region. This study covers two epochs of observation. The first consists of observation from three consecutive days (GPS week 1638; days 0, 1 and 2) that belongs to a period of low solar activities. The second epoch consists of observation from three consecutive days (GPS week 1647; days 2, 3 and 4) that belongs to a high solar activity and intense geomagnetic conditions. The estimated position for the GNSS stations from dual frequency measurement and their known ITRF solutions were used as a benchmark to assess the accuracy of SFPPP under four conditions i.e., SFPPP without ionospheric correction, SFPPP using final GIM models from the Centre for Orbit Determination in Europe( CODE), SFPPP with Klobuchar model, and SFPPP with a computed (local) model at each station. All computation was done using Leica Geo-office software. The result of the study clearly demonstrates the significance of removing or correcting for the effect of the ionosphere, which can result in up to 7 m displacement. It was recommended that GIMs from different organization should be investigated and also efforts should be towards improvement in algorithms and clock error modeling.