Limitations in DGPS positioning accuracies at low latitudes during solar maximum

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Abstract

[1] While it is possible to mitigate the impact of ionospheric effects on Global Positioning System (GPS) positioning applications through differential techniques, residual errors may persist in regions of steep TEC gradients. An enhancement of absolute TEC and large-scale gradients is observed at low latitudes near the equatorial anomaly. This effect is significant in the equinoctial months during periods of solar maximum. In this paper, differential GPS (DGPS) positioning accuracies in the anomaly region are investigated during the period of solar maximum 1999–2000, using as data the L1 pseudoranges. TEC gradients of 30 TECU per 100 km are observed during March 2000, with corresponding horizontal and vertical position errors of approximately 25–30 m (95% confidence level) for single baseline processing. Positioning accuracies are improved by a factor of 5 for a wide area DGPS approach.

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