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Single-epoch RTK performance assessment of tightly combined BDS-2 and newly complete BDS-3

Wanke Liu, Mingkui Wu, , , Wei Ke, Zhiqin Zhu
Published: 5 April 2021
Satellite Navigation , Volume 2, pp 1-17; doi:10.1186/s43020-021-00038-y

Abstract: The BeiDou global navigation satellite system (BDS-3) constellation deployment has been completed on June 23, 2020, with a full constellation comprising 30 satellites. In this study, we present the performance assessment of single-epoch Real-Time Kinematic (RTK) positioning with tightly combined BeiDou regional navigation satellite system (BDS-2) and BDS-3. We first investigate whether code and phase Differential Inter-System Biases (DISBs) exist between the legacy B1I/B3I signals of BDS-3/BDS-2. It is discovered that the DISBs are in fact about zero for the baselines with the same or different receiver types at their endpoints. These results imply that BDS-3 and BDS-2 are fully interoperable and can be regarded as one constellation without additional DISBs when the legacy B1I/B3I signals are used for precise relative positioning. Then we preliminarily evaluate the single-epoch short baseline RTK performance of tightly combined BDS-2 and the newly completed BDS-3. The performance is evaluated through ambiguity resolution success rate, ambiguity dilution of precision, as well as positioning accuracy in kinematic and static modes using the datasets collected in Wuhan. Experimental results demonstrate that the current BDS-3 only solutions can deliver comparable ambiguity resolution performance and much better positioning accuracy with respect to BDS-2 only solutions. Moreover, the RTK performance is much improved with tightly combined BDS-3/BDS-2, particularly in challenging or harsh conditions. The single-frequency single-epoch tightly combined BDS-3/BDS-2 solution could deliver an ambiguity resolution success rate of 96.9% even with an elevation cut-off angle of 40°, indicating that the tightly combined BDS-3/BDS-2 could achieve superior RTK positioning performance in the Asia–Pacific region. Meanwhile, the three-dimensional (East/North/Up) positioning accuracy of BDS-3 only solution (0.52 cm/0.39 cm/2.14 cm) in the kinematic test is significantly better than that of the BDS-2 only solution (0.85 cm/1.02 cm/3.01 cm) due to the better geometry of the current BDS-3 constellation. The tightly combined BDS-3/BDS-2 solution can provide the positioning accuracy of 0.52 cm, 0.22 cm, and 1.80 cm, respectively.
Keywords: BeiDou global navigation satellite system / BDS-2 / Real-time kinematic / Differential inter-system bias / Ambiguity resolution

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