Accuracy assessment of Precise Point Positioning with multi-constellation GNSS data under ionospheric scintillation effects
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GPS and GLONASS are currently the Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) with full operational capacity. The integration of GPS, GLONASS and future GNSS constellations can provide better accuracy and more reliability in geodetic positioning, in particular for kinematic Precise Point Positioning (PPP), where the satellite geometry is considered a limiting factor to achieve centimeter accuracy. The satellite geometry can change suddenly in kinematic positioning in urban areas or under conditions of strong atmospheric effects such as for instance ionospheric scintillation that may degrade satellite signal quality, causing cycle slips and even loss of lock. Scintillation is caused by small scale irregularities in the ionosphere and is characterized by rapid changes in amplitude and phase of the signal, which are more severe in equatorial and high latitudes geomagnetic regions. In this work, geodetic positioning through the PPP method was evaluated with integrated GPS and GLONASS data collected in the equatorial region under varied scintillation conditions. The GNSS data were processed in kinematic PPP mode and the analyses show accuracy improvements of up to 60% under conditions of strong scintillation when using multi-constellation data instead of GPS data alone. The concepts and analyses related to the ionospheric scintillation effects, the mathematical model involved in PPP with GPS and GLONASS data integration as well as accuracy assessment with data collected under ionospheric scintillation effects are presented.