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Vector Phase Tracking of GNSS carrier signals

29.06.2015

GNSS enables the determination of positions by the help of a carrier phase with an accuracy down to some centimeters. The GNSS receivers typically determine the carrier phase by help of a phase locked loop continuously. However, up to now GNSS receivers are tracking the carrier phase of each satellite and each frequency separately. This is a big drawback since the strong spectral and spatial correlation between carrier phases is not being exploited which makes phase tracking error-prone. Furthermore, this leads to a number of phase jumps especially with low-cost GNSS receivers. The new patented invention comprises a vector phase tracking method, which processes the carrier phases of all visible satellites on all available frequencies simultaneously, thus using the spectral and spatial correlation of the measurement. It enables a continuous, smooth tracking of carrier phases, even when the signal strength (C/NO) of individual satellites breaks down by 20 dB. Therefore the method is very suitable for the use of low-cost GNSS receivers/antennas in environments with multiple faults and ionospheric scintillations.

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