ACCURACY OF THE GPS POSITIONING SYSTEM IN THE CONTEXT OF INCREASING THE NUMBER OF SATELLITES IN THE CONSTELLATION
A possibility of utilising the GPS system for navigation and transport are fundamentally dependent on the accuracy in positioning. Two fundamental factors decisive for its value are the values of the User Range Error (URE) and Dilution of Precision (DOP), strictly related to the number of satellites forming the constellation. The nominal constellation of GPS satellites consists of 24 units which gives a possibility of identification of coordinates all over the globe. In the last few years, however, the nominal number of satellites in the constellation was much higher, and the URE value has been constantly increasing. The authors of the paper try to estimate the impact of the changing number of GPS satellites on accuracy of position coordinates with a variable URE value. Mathematical model for estimating geometrical indicators’ value, utilising data derived from the almanac files has been presented. Following a drawn-up algorithm and calculations made with Mathcad software, the authors carried out a comparative analysis of mean daily values of DOP indicators for a variable number of satellites included in the GPS constellation in the years 2001-2013. Then, the authors have established representative values of Two Distance Root Mean Square Error (2drms) 2D and 3D, and calculated a percentage increase of accuracy in the period under discussion.
Keywords:GPS, User Range Error, Dilution of Precision, GPS Almanac, Accuracy of Positioning
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