Evaluating Pseudorange Multipath at CGPS Stations Spanning Mexico Abstract


  • A research study was conducted in order to quantify and analyze the amount of pseudorange multipath at continuous Global Positioning System (CGPS) stations spanning Mexico. These CGPS stations are administered by a variety of organizations, including government agencies and public universities, and thus serve a wide range of positioning needs. Despite the diversity of the networks and their intended audiences, a core function of all of the networks is to provide a stable framework for high-precision positioning in support of diverse commercial and scientific applications. CGPS data from a large number of publicly available networks located in Mexico were studied. These include the RGNA (National Active Geodetic Network) administered by INEGI (National Institute of Statistics and Geography), the PBO network (Plate Boundary Observatory) funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and operated by UNAVCO (University NAVstar Consortium), the Southern California Integrated GPS Network (SCIGN), which is a collaboration effort of the United States Geological Survey (USGS), Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the UNAM network, operated by the National Seismological System (SSN) and the Institute of Geophysics of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), the Suominet Geodetic Network (SNG) and the CORS (Continuously Operating Reference Station) network, operated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). A total of 54 CGPS stations were evaluated, where dual-frequency geodetic-grade receivers collected GPS data continuously during the period from 1994 to 2013. It is usually assumed that despite carefully selected locations, all CGPS stations are to some extent, affected by the presence of signal multipath. In addition, the geographic distribution of stations provides a nation-wide access to the International Terrestrial Reference Frame (ITRF). For real-time kinematic (RTK) and rapid static applications that depend on the pseudo-range observable, the accuracy with which a roaming user may locate their assets with respect to the ITRF may be limited by site-specific multipath. The issue is particularly critical for users depending on pseudorange measurements for “real-time” (or “near-real-time”) kinematic GPS positioning, where ambiguity resolution is a critical step. Therefore, to identify the most and the least affected GPS stations we analyzed the averaged daily root mean square pseudorange multipath variations (MP1-RMS and MP2-RMS) for all feasible satellites tracked by the CGPS networks. We investigated the sources of multipath, including changes associated with hardware replacement (i.e., receiver and antenna type) and receiver firmware upgrades.

publication date

  • 2013

presented at event