Exploring GNSS Crowdsourcing Feasibility: Combinations of Measurements for Modeling Smartphone and Higher End GNSS Receiver Performance

Sensors (Basel). 2019 Jul 9;19(13):3018. doi: 10.3390/s19133018.


GNSS receiver data crowdsourcing is of interest for multiple applications, e.g., weather monitoring. The bottleneck in this technology is the quality of the GNSS receivers. Therefore, we lay out in an introductory manner the steps to estimate the performance of an arbitrary GNSS receiver via the measurement errors related to its instrumentation. Specifically, we do not need to know the position of the receiver antenna, which allows also for the assessment of smartphone GNSS receivers having integrated antennas. Moreover, the method is independent of atmospheric errors so that no ionospheric or tropospheric correction services provided by base stations are needed. Error models for performance evaluation can be calculated from receiver RINEX (receiver independent exchange format)data using only ephemeris corrections. For the results, we present the quality of different receiver grades through parametrized error models that are likely to be helpful in stochastic modeling, e.g., for Kalman filters, and in assessing GNSS receiver qualities for crowdsourcing applications. Currently, the typical positioning precision for the latest smartphone receivers is around the decimeter level, while for a professional-grade receiver, it is within a few millimeters.

Keywords: GNSS; combination of measurement; crowdsourcing; feasibility; receiver error; smartphone.