Tightly Coupled Integration of GPS Ambiguity Fixed Precise Point Positioning and MEMS-INS through a Troposphere-Constrained Adaptive Kalman Filter

Houzeng Han; Tianhe Xu; Jian Wang
July 2016
Sensors (14248220);Jul2016, Vol. 16 Issue 7, p1057
Academic Journal
Precise Point Positioning (PPP) makes use of the undifferenced pseudorange and carrier phase measurements with ionospheric-free (IF) combinations to achieve centimeter-level positioning accuracy. Conventionally, the IF ambiguities are estimated as float values. To improve the PPP positioning accuracy and shorten the convergence time, the integer phase clock model with between-satellites single-difference (BSSD) operation is used to recover the integer property. However, the continuity and availability of stand-alone PPP is largely restricted by the observation environment. The positioning performance will be significantly degraded when GPS operates under challenging environments, if less than five satellites are present. A commonly used approach is integrating a low cost inertial sensor to improve the positioning performance and robustness. In this study, a tightly coupled (TC) algorithm is implemented by integrating PPP with inertial navigation system (INS) using an Extended Kalman filter (EKF). The navigation states, inertial sensor errors and GPS error states are estimated together. The troposphere constrained approach, which utilizes external tropospheric delay as virtual observation, is applied to further improve the ambiguity-fixed height positioning accuracy, and an improved adaptive filtering strategy is implemented to improve the covariance modelling considering the realistic noise effect. A field vehicular test with a geodetic GPS receiver and a low cost inertial sensor was conducted to validate the improvement on positioning performance with the proposed approach. The results show that the positioning accuracy has been improved with inertial aiding. Centimeter-level positioning accuracy is achievable during the test, and the PPP/INS TC integration achieves a fast re-convergence after signal outages. For troposphere constrained solutions, a significant improvement for the height component has been obtained. The overall positioning accuracies of the height component are improved by 30.36%, 16.95% and 24.07% for three different convergence times, i.e., 60, 50 and 30 min, respectively. It shows that the ambiguity-fixed horizontal positioning accuracy has been significantly improved. When compared with the conventional PPP solution, it can be seen that position accuracies are improved by 19.51%, 61.11% and 23.53% for the north, east and height components, respectively, after one hour convergence through the troposphere constraint fixed PPP/INS with adaptive covariance model.


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