US 20020021241 A1 Abstract Satellites of the GPS and GLONASS navigation systems broadcast code signals which are modulated onto respective carrier signals, and which are received by two receivers on Earth. The first receiver is situated at a point with known coordinates. The results of its measurements are transmitted to a user at a second receiver through a connection link, the user being interested in knowing his or her positioning. The second receiver is similar to the first receiver and it receives the signals of the same satellites. By processing data from the measurements of code delays and carrier phase shifts in the satellite signals received by two receivers, the methods and apparatuses of the inventions of the present application determine the location of the user with high precision and make the time indications of receiver clocks more accurate and exact.
In the first invention, the measurements of two receivers are related to a common time moment by extrapolating measurement data that has arrived through the connection link with a delay. This common time moment is defined by the user. An extrapolating unit examines the measurements to find and discard measurements with abnormal errors. The unit then generates extrapolated measurement data (e.g., predictions) for the common time based upon the most reliable data.
In the second invention, cycle slips in the phase-lock loops (PLLs) of the receivers, which may be caused by blockage of direct signals from the satellites, strong interference signals, and reflections, are detected and corrected in a multi-loop nonlinear tracking system.
In the third invention, the procedure of resolution of phase measurement ambiguities comprises the preliminary estimation of floating ambiguities by a recurrent (e.g., iterative) procedure including the simultaneous processing of code and phase measurements for all satellites for each processing time interval, and the gradual improvement of the result as the information is accumulated. After the resolution of ambiguity, the user coordinates are estimated with centimeter accuracy on the basis of phase measurements on the carrier frequency.
Claims(94) 1. A method of extrapolating the value of a navigation parameter (e.g., φ^{B} _{k }or γ^{B} _{k}) from a global positioning satellite as measured by a base receiver, said navigation parameter being transmitted to a rover receiver over a communication link in a sequence of consecutively provided frames, each frame comprising the measured value of the navigation parameter made for a specific time moment t_{k }as designated by a clock in the base receiver, the start of each frame occurring at a time interval T_{k }from the start of the previous frame, the navigation parameter being extrapolated according to an extrapolation form comprising a constant, plus one or more terms which are a function of time, and one or more corresponding scaling parameters for scaling the terms, the values of said constant and scaling parameters being generated by said method, said method comprising the steps of:
(a) transmitting in each frame a measured value of the navigation parameter, a representation of the specific time moment t
_{k }as designated by a clock in the base receiver at which the value was measured, and a weight factor K_{k }representative of the estimated quality of measured value of said frame; (b) measuring the signal-to-noise ratio of the communication link during the time each frame is received by the rover;
(c) storing a plurality M
_{r }of the most recent consecutive frames in a memory of the rover, and further storing for each stored frame an indication representative of the signal-to-noise ratio of the communication link during the receipt of the corresponding stored frame; (d) generating a quality indication associated with each stored frame of whether the measured value of a frame is satisfactory or unsatisfactory, said quality indication being generated as satisfactory unless one or more unsatisfactory conditions occurs, said quality indication being generated as unsatisfactory when the signal-to-noise ratio of the communication link falls below a first threshold value during the reception of the frame;
(e) selecting, after each frame is received and stored, a subset of a number n
_{s }of the most recent frames from said set M_{r }of stored frames which have satisfactory quality indications; (f) computing the values of the constant and scaling parameters of the extrapolation form from at least one selected subset of n
_{s }frames by an application of a least squares method which accounts for the weighting factors; and (g) generating an extrapolated value of the navigation parameter frame from the extrapolation form for one or more time moments occurring after the time moment of the last received frame.
2. A method according to _{k }of the frame falls below a second threshold value during the reception of the frame. 3. A method according to wherein said step (c) comprises the step of decoding the frames to detect transmission errors; and
wherein said step (d) comprises the step of generating the quality indication of a frame as being unsatisfactory if said decoding step detects an error in said frame.
4. A method according to wherein said step (c) comprises the step of decoding the frames to correct transmission errors and to detect transmission errors which cannot be corrected; and
wherein said step (d) comprises the step of generating the quality indication of a frame as being unsatisfactory if said decoding step detects an error in said frame which cannot be corrected.
5. A method according to _{s}; and
wherein said step (f) is performed after each frame is received and after step (e) is performed unless said first alarm signal has been generated.
6. A method according to ^{B} _{k }of a satellite carrier phase measured in the base receiver. 7. A method according to ^{B} _{k }of a satellite measured in the base receiver. 8. A method according to _{p }in time t, and wherein n_{s}>n_{p}. 9. A method according to _{p}=2, wherein n_{s}≧3, wherein 3≦M_{r}≦5, and wherein said time interval T_{k }is between 0.5 seconds and 2 seconds. 10. A method of detecting and correcting cycle slips in the phase measurements of a plurality n of satellite carrier signals (m=1 . . . n) made by a first navigation receiver (B) and a second navigation receiver (R), each of the navigation receivers tracking each satellite carrier signal with a phase lock loop, each phase lock loop capable of locking onto the satellite carrier signal at a plurality of separate points of steady balance which are spaced apart from one another by an respective interval ‘α_{m}’ of phase, a cycle slip being an unplanned transition from one point of steady balance to another, said method including the steps of:
(a) generating, for a plurality of sequential and discrete moments i of time, a plurality n of phase signals φ
_{l,m} ^{B }(m=1 . . . n) representative of the phases of the satellite carrier signals as received by the first navigation receiver; (b) generating, for each discrete time moment i, a plurality n of phase signals φhd l,m
^{R }(M=1 . . . n) representative of the phases of the satellite carrier signals as received by the second navigation receiver; (c) receiving, for each discrete time moment i, a plurality n of distances D
_{i,m} ^{B}(m=1 . . . n) between the satellites and the first receiver, a plurality n of distances D_{l,m} ^{R}(m=1 . . . n) between the satellites and the second receiver; (d) generating, for each discrete time moment i, a plurality n of single-difference residual signals Δφ
_{{overscore (i,m)}}(m=1 . . . n) in the form of: Δφ
_{i,m=(φ} _{i,m} ^{B}φ_{i,m} ^{R})−1/λ_{m} ·]D _{i,m} ^{B} −D _{i,m} ^{R}], where λ
_{m }is the wavelength of the corresponding satellite carrier signal; (e) generating, for each discrete time moment i, a first estimate Δ{circumflex over (φ)}
_{i,S }of a selected residual signal Δφ_{l,S }corresponding to a selected satellite carrier signal S (S being in the group of m=1 . . . n) as a function of the residual signals Δφ_{i,m}(m=1 . . . n); (f) generating, for each discrete time moment i, a first mismatch signal δφ
_{i,S }as a difference between the selected residual signal Δφ_{l,S }and the estimate Δ{circumflex over (φ)}_{l,S }for it: δφ
_{i,S}=Δφ_{i,S}−Δ{circumflex over (φ)}_{i,S}; and (g) generating, for each discrete time moment i, a first correction signal φ
_{l,S} ^{C }in relation to the first mismatch signal δφ_{i,S }according to the form: φ
_{i,S} ^{C}=α_{S} ·round(δφ_{l,S}/α_{S}), where round(*) is the operation of rounding the quantity δφ
_{l,S}/α_{S }to the nearest integer. 11. A method according to (h) generating, for one or more of the discrete time moments i, a first corrected residual signal Δφ
_{i,S} ^{C }as a difference of the first single-difference residual signal Δφ_{l,S }and the first correction signal φ_{i,S} ^{C}: Δφ_{i,S} ^{C}=Δφ_{i,S}−φ_{i,S} ^{C}. 12. A method according to _{i,S }of the selected residual signal Δφ_{i,S }comprises the steps of:
(i) generating, for each discrete time moment i, an additional estimate Δ{circumflex over (φ)}
_{l,m }for each of the other residual signals Δφ_{i,m }(m≠S); (j) generating, for each discrete time moment i, an additional mismatch signal δφ
_{i,m }for each of the other residual signals Δφ_{i,m}(m≠S), the additional mismatch signal δφ_{i,m }being generated as a difference between each additional residual signal Δφ_{l,m }and its corresponding estimate Δ{circumflex over (φ)}_{l,m}: δφ
_{i,m}=Δφ_{i,m}−Δ{circumflex over (φ)}_{l,m}(m≠S); (k) generating, for each discrete time moment i, an additional correction signal φ
_{l,m} ^{C }(m≠S) for each of the other residual signals Δφ_{i,m }(m≠S) in the form: φ
_{i,m} ^{C}=α_{m} ·round(δφ_{i,m}/α_{m})(m≠S), where round(*) is the operation of rounding the quantity δφ
_{l,m}/α_{m }to the nearest integer; (l) generating, for each discrete time moment i, a corrected mismatch signal ψ
_{l,m }(m≠S) for each of the other residual signals Δφ_{l,m }(m≠S) as a difference of the corresponding additional mismatch δφ_{l,m }(m≠S) and the corresponding additional correction φ_{lm} ^{C }(m≠S): ψ
_{l,m}=δφ_{l,m}−φ_{i,m} ^{C }(m≠S); (m) generating for each discrete time moment i, a plurality of bias signals (A
_{x} ^{φ}, A_{y} ^{φ}, A_{z} ^{φ}) representing biases in the coordinates of the base line vector (x, y, z) and a bias signal (A_{q} ^{φ}) representing a bias in the time clock offset q, said bias signals being generated in relation to the corrected mismatch signals ψ_{l,m}(m≠S); (n) generating, for each discrete time moment i, a plurality of respective estimate signals (V
_{x}, V_{y}, V_{z}, V_{q}) for the bias signals (A_{x} ^{φ}, A_{y} ^{φ}, A_{z} ^{φ}, A_{q} ^{φ}) by filtering each bias signal; (o) generating, for each discrete time moment i, a plurality of projected estimates V
_{p,i,m }(m=1 . . . n) by multiplying a geometric Jacobian matrix H_{i} ^{φ }with a vector Vd_{i }of the estimate signals (V_{x}, V_{y}, V_{z}, V_{q}), three columns of matrix H_{i} ^{φ }comprising the directional cosines between one of the receivers and the satellites and a fourth column of matrix H_{i} ^{φ }comprising the unit vector, one of the projected estimates V_{p,i,S }corresponding to the selected residual signal Δφ_{i,S }and each of the remaining projected estimates V_{p,i,m }(m≠S) corresponding a respective one of the other residual signals Δφ_{i,m}(m≠S); and (p) integrating the projected estimate V
_{p,i,S }corresponding to the selected residual signal Δφ_{i,S }with respect to time to generate the first estimate Δ{circumflex over (φ)}_{i,S}; and wherein said step (i) of generating the additional estimates Δ{circumflex over (φ)}
_{i,m }comprises the step of integrating the remaining projected estimates with respect to time V_{p,l,m }(m≠S). 13. A method according to _{lm }(m≠S) may be grouped as a vector ψ_{i }of mismatch signals;
wherein said step (m) of generating the plurality of bias signals (A
_{x} ^{φ}, A_{y} ^{φ}, A_{z} ^{φ}, A_{q} ^{φ}) comprises the step of multiplying a geometric pseudo-inverse matrix G_{i} ^{φ }of matrix H_{i} ^{φ }with the vector ψ_{i }of mismatch signals, the resulting product of which comprises the plurality of bias signals (A_{x} ^{φ}, A_{y} ^{φ}, A_{z} ^{φ}, A_{q} ^{φ}). 14. A method according to _{i} ^{φ }is generated in the form: G _{i} ^{φ}=[(H _{i} ^{φ})^{T}·(R _{i} ^{φ})^{−1}·(H _{i} ^{φ})]^{−1}·(H _{i} ^{φ})^{T}·(R _{i} ^{φ})^{−1}, where matrix R
_{i} ^{φ }is a covariance observation matrix having diagonal elements which are representative of the combined measurement accuracy of the satellite signals made by both receivers, one diagonal element corresponding to the measurement accuracy of the first satellite carrier signal and each remaining diagonal element corresponding to the measurement accuracy of one of the additional satellite carrier signals. 15. A method according to (q) generating, for each discrete time moment i, a corrected mismatch signal ψ
_{l,S }for the selected residual-signal Δφ_{i,S }as a difference of the first mismatch signal δφ_{i,S }and the first correction signal φ_{i,S} ^{C}: ψ
_{i,S}=δφ_{i,S}−φ_{i,S} ^{C}; and (r) adding the corrected mismatch signal ψ
_{i,S }as a component to the vector ψ_{i }of mismatch signals. 16. A method according to _{m}(m=1 . . . n) are the same for all of the satellite carrier signals. 17. A method according to _{l,m (m=}1 . . . n) which are measured at the first navigation receiver by extrapolation at the second navigation receiver from measured values which are transmitted from the first navigation receiver to the second navigation receiver through a communication link. 18. A method according to _{1 }which is in the range of 5 ms to 10 ms:
wherein the phase lock loops comprise a common circuit topology such that α
_{m}=0.5 cycles (m=1 . . . n); wherein said steps (a)-(r) are performed for each discrete time moment i before being performed for the next time moment i+1;
wherein the processing steps included by steps (e)-(g), (i)-(r) form a common tracking system which conveys each bias signal (A
_{x} ^{φ}, A_{y} ^{φ}, A_{z} ^{φ}, A_{q} ^{φ}) through a feedback loop formed by the processing steps included by steps (e)-(g), (i)-(r), wherein the frequency response of each feedback loop has a bandwidth of between 15 Hz and 25 Hz; and
wherein said step (n) of filtering each bias signal comprises the step of filtering each bias signal with a filter having a frequency transfer function of the form:
where p is the Laplacian operator.
19. A method according to 20. A method according to _{l,m} ^{B}(m=1 . . . n) and φ_{i,m} ^{R}(m=1 . . . n), and wherein said steps (c)-(h) are preformed during a second period time which follows said first period of time. 21. A method according to _{l,m} ^{B}(m=1 . . . n) and φ_{l,m} ^{R}(m=1 . . . n), and wherein said steps (c)-(r) are preformed during a second period time which follows said first period of time. 22. A method according to _{I }which is in the range of 0.05 seconds to 1 second;
wherein the phase lock loops comprise a common circuit topology such that α
_{m}=0.5 cycles (m=1 . . . n); wherein said steps (a)-(r) are performed for each discrete time moment i before being performed for the next time moment i+1;
wherein the processing steps included by steps (e)-(g), (i)-(r) form a common tracking system which conveys each bias signal (A
_{x} ^{φ}, A_{y} ^{φ}, A_{z} ^{φ}, A_{q} ^{φ}) through a feedback loop formed by the processing steps included by steps (e)-(g), (i)-(r), wherein the frequency response of each feedback loop has a bandwidth of between 4 Hz and 0.2 Hz; and
wherein said step (n) of filtering each bias signal comprises the step of filtering each bias signal with a filter having a frequency transfer function of the form:
where p is the Laplacian operator.
23. A method according to (s) generating a first drift correction signal V
_{In,i,S }as a function of the corrected mismatch signal ψ_{i,S }for the selected residual signal Δφ_{i,S}, the first drift correction signal V_{In,i,s }for correcting the first estimate Δ{circumflex over (φ)}_{i,S }for systematic errors appearing in the selected residual signal Δφ_{l,S}; and wherein said step (p) comprises the step of adding the first drift correction signal V
_{In,i,S }to the projected estimate V_{p,l,S }corresponding to the first residual signal Δφ_{l,S }to form a combined signal, and wherein said step (p) integrates the combined signal. 24. A method according to _{In,i,S }comprises the step of periodically sampling the corrected mismatch signal ψ_{i,S }for the selected residual signal Δφ_{i,S }at a plurality of time moments spaced apart by a time interval ΔT_{in}, and generating the first drift correction signal V_{In,i,S }in proportion to the sampled corrected mismatch signal ψ_{l,S}. 25. A method according to _{ln }is initially set to a value in the range of 0.01 seconds to 5.0 seconds;
wherein the first corrected residual signal Δφ
_{i,S} ^{C }is provided to an ambiguity resolution process which generates an indication when the cycle ambiguity in the carrier phase has been resolved; and wherein the time interval ΔT
_{in}, is set to a value in the range of 60-200 seconds when an indication is generated that the cycle ambiguity has been resolved. 26. A method according to _{ln }is initially set to a value in the range of 0.01 seconds to 5.0 seconds for an initial period of time, and is thereafter set to a value in the range of 60-200 seconds. 27. A method according to _{In,i,S }comprises the step of integrating the corrected mismatch signal ψ_{l,S }for the selected residual signal Δφ_{l,S }with an integrating-type filter having a transfer function of the form (1+K4/p) or of the form (1+K4′/p+K5′/p^{2}), wherein the corrected mismatch signal ψ_{i,S }is applied to the input of the integrating-type filter for an initial time period T_{W }and thereafter removed and wherein the first drift correction signal V_{In,i,S }is provided at the output of the integrating-type filter. 28. A method according to _{i,S} ^{C }is provided to an ambiguity resolution process which generates an indication when the cycle ambiguity in the carrier phase has been resolved; and
wherein the corrected mismatch signal ψ
_{l,S }for the selected residual signal Δφ_{l,S }is reapplied to the input of the integrating-type filter for another time period T_{W }when an indication is generated that the cycle ambiguity has been resolved, and is thereafter removed. 29. A method according to _{i,S }for the selected residual signal Δφ_{i,S }is reapplied to the input of the integrating-type filter for another time period T_{W}, and thereafter removed. 30. A method according to wherein the processing steps included by steps (e)-(g), (q), (s) and (p) form an individual feedback loop during the initial time period T
_{W}, the loop conveying the first drift correction signal V_{In,i,S }as a feedback signal through the processing steps included by steps (e)-(g), (q), (s) and (p); wherein the individual feedback loop has a second order of astaticism (type 2 servo system) during the initial time period T
_{W}; wherein the frequency response of the individual feedback loop has a bandwidth of between 1 Hz and 3 Hz; and
wherein the initial time period T
_{W }is between 0.5 seconds and 3 seconds. 31. A method according to _{l,S }for the selected residual signal Δφ_{l,S }is reapplied to the input of the integrating-type filter for another time period T_{W}, and wherein the time between the first and second applications of the corrected mismatch signal ψ_{l,S }is between 10 minutes and 15 minutes. 32. A method according to monitoring the signal quality of the selected satellite carrier signal as received by the first navigation receiver (B) and generating a first alarm signal in an active state when the signal quality falls below a respective selected level;
monitoring the signal quality of selected satellite carrier signal as received by the second navigation receiver (R) and generating a second alarm signal in an active state when the signal quality falls below a respective selected level; and
generating a blocking signal in an active state whenever one or more of said first and second alarm signals are active, or whenever the absolute value of the corrected mismatch ψ
_{i,S }for the selected residual signal Δφ_{i,S }is above a respective threshold Π_{δ}; and wherein said step (r) comprises the step of removing the corrected mismatch signal ψ
_{i,S }for the selected residual signal Δφ_{i,S }is from the vector ψ_{i }of mismatch signals when the blocking signal is generated in an active state; and wherein said step (m) comprises the step of forming, when the blocking signal is generated in an active state, a reduced matrix H
_{i} ^{φ }which has the matrix row corresponding to the first satellite signal removed and thereafter generating a replacement matrix G_{i} ^{φ }from said reduced matrix H_{i} ^{φ}. 33. A method according to _{i,m} ^{B}(m=1 . . . n) measured at the first navigation receiver to the second navigation receiver through a communication link; and
wherein the step of generating the blocking signal further comprises the steps of monitoring the signal quality of the communication link and generating the blocking signal in an active state when the quality of the communication link falls below a respective selected level.
34. A method according to monitoring the signal quality of the selected satellite carrier signal as received b% the first navigation receiver (B) and generating a first alarm signal in an active state when the signal quality falls below a respective selected level;
monitoring the signal quality of the selected satellite carrier signal as received by the second navigation receiver (R) and generating a second alarm signal in an active state when the signal quality falls below a respective selected level;
generating a blocking signal in an active state whenever one or more of said first and second alarm signals are active, or whenever the absolute value of the corrected mismatch ψ
_{i,S }corresponding to the selected satellite carrier signal is above a threshold Π_{δ}; and blocking the sampling of the corrected mismatch signal ψ
_{l,S }for the selected satellite carrier signal when the blocking signal is generated in an active state. 35. A method according to _{l,S }for the selected residual signal Δφ_{l,S }from the vector ψ_{i }of mismatch signals when the blocking signal is generated in an active state; and
said step (m) further comprises the step of forming, when the blocking signal is generated in an active state, a reduced matrix H
_{i} ^{φ }which has the matrix row corresponding to the first satellite signal removed and thereafter computing a replacement pseudo-inverse matrix G_{i} ^{φ }from said reduced matrix H_{i} ^{φ}. 36. A method according to generating the blocking signal in a nonactive state when the absolute value of the corrected mismatch ψ
_{l,S }for the selected residual signal Δφ_{i,S }remains below the threshold Π_{δ }for a time period T_{d }with said first and second alarm signals being nonactive, said time period being greater than the time period T_{I }between consecutive discrete time moments i. 37. A method according to _{δ}=1.4 radians and the time period T_{d}=1.0 second. 38. A method according to generating the blocking signal in a nonactive state when the absolute value of the corrected mismatch ψ
_{l,S }for the selected residual signal Δφ_{l,S }remains below the threshold Π_{δ }for a time period T_{d }with said first and second alarm signals being nonactive, said time period being greater than the time period T_{I }between consecutive discrete time moments i. 39. A method according to _{δ}=1.4 radians and the time period T_{d}=1.0 second. 40. A method according to _{i,S} ^{C }may have errors due to a cycle slip, said step including the steps of generating the error alarm signal in an active state whenever the value of the first correction signal φ^{C} _{l,S }changes between consecutive discrete moments of time i, and generating the error alarm signal in a nonactive state when the value of the first correction signal φ^{C} _{l,S }remains unchanged for a period T_{1 }of time, said time period T_{1 }being greater than the time period T_{1 }between consecutive-discrete time moments i. 41. A method according to monitoring the signal quality of the selected satellite carrier signal as received by the first navigation receiver (B) and generating a first alarm signal in an active state when the signal quality falls below a respective selected level; and
monitoring the signal quality of first selected satellite carrier signal as received by the second navigation receiver (R) and generating a second alarm signal in an active state when the signal quality falls below a respective selected level; and
wherein the step of generating the error alarm signal further includes the step of generating the error alarm signal in an active state whenever any of the first and second alarm signals are in their active states.
42. A method according to _{1}=1.0 second. 43. A method of floating ambiguity resolution for phase measurements of a plurality n of satellite carrier signals made by a first navigation receiver (B) and a second navigation receiver (R), each satellite carrier signal being transmitted by a satellite and having a wavelength, wherein a baseline vector (x,y,z) relates the position of one receiver to the other receiver, wherein each receiver has a time clock for referencing its measurements and wherein any difference between the time clocks may be represented by an offset q, said method receiving, for a plurality of sequential and discrete moments j, the following inputs:
a vector γ _{j} ^{B }of a plurality of pseudo-ranges measured by the first navigation receiver (B) and corresponding to the plurality of satellite carrier signals, a vector γ _{j} ^{R }of a plurality of pseudo-ranges measured by the second navigation receiver (R) and corresponding to the plurality of satellite carrier signals, a vector D _{j} ^{B }of a plurality of estimated distances between the satellites and the first navigation receiver (B), a vector D _{j} ^{R }of a plurality of estimated distances between the satellites and the second navigation receiver (R), a vector φ _{j} ^{B }of a plurality of full phase measurements of the satellite carrier signals measured by the first navigation receiver (B), a vector φ _{j} ^{R }of a plurality of full phase measurements of the satellite carrier signals measured by the second navigation receiver (R), a geometric Jacobian matrix H _{j} ^{γ }whose matrix elements are representative of the changes in the distances between the satellites and one of the receivers that would be caused by changes in that receiver's position and time clock offset, said method comprising the steps of:
(a) generating, for each discrete time moment j, a vector Δγ
_{j }of a plurality of range residuals of pseudo-range measurements made by the first and second navigation receivers in the form of: Δγ
_{j}=(γ_{j} ^{R}−γ_{j} ^{B})−(D _{j} ^{R} −D _{j} ^{B}); (b) generating, for each discrete time moment j, a vector Δφ
_{j }of a plurality of phase residuals of full phase measurements made by the first and second navigation receivers in the form of: Δφ
_{j}=(φ_{j} ^{R}−φ_{j} ^{B})−Λ^{−1}·(D _{j} ^{R} −D _{j} ^{B}), where Λ
^{−1 }is a diagonal matrix comprising the inverse wavelengths of the satellites; (c) for each discrete time moment j, representing the errors in the measured pseudo-ranges and distances with a vector [Δx, Δy, Δz, c·Δτ]
^{T }of corrections to the baseline vector and the clock offsets of the receivers, and representing the preliminary estimates of the floating ambiguities at each time moment j by a preliminary estimation vector Ñ_{j}; (d) solving, for each discrete time moment j, the following two sets of vector relationships jointly by a least squares method to generate the preliminary estimation vector vector Ñ
_{j}: Δφ
_{j} =Ñ _{j}+Λ^{−1} ·H _{j} ^{γ}·[Δx, Δy, Δz, c·Δτ]^{T }and Δγ_{j} =H _{j} ^{γ}·[Δx, Δy, Δz, c·Δτ]^{T}; (e) generating, for each discrete time moment j after the initial time moment, a main estimation vector {circumflex over (N)}
_{j }as a weighed summation of the preliminary estimation vector Ñ_{j }and the main estimation vector {circumflex over (N)}_{j−1 }generated at the previous time moment (j−1), the main estimation vector {circumflex over (N)}_{1 }at the initial time moment j=1 being set to an initial vector of values. 44. A method according to (f) grouping the vectors Δγ
_{j }and Δφ_{j }into an observation vector μ_{j}=[Δγ_{j}, Δφ_{j}]^{T}; (g) representing estimates for the corrections vector [Δx, Δy, Δz, c·Δτ]
^{T }and for the preliminary estimation vector Ñ_{j }by an estimated state vector Â_{j}=[Δx, Δy, Δz, c·Δτ, Ñ_{j}]^{T}, said estimated state vector Â_{j }being an estimation of a true state vector A_{j }of the least squares method; (h) forming an observation matrix H
_{j} ^{μ }from the geometric Jacobian matrix H_{J} ^{γ}, the matrix Λ^{−1 }of inverse wavelengths, the zero matrix 0, and the identity matrix E, in a form comprising four sub-matrices arranged in two rows and two columns: wherein the two systems of equations are represented as μ
_{j}=H_{j} ^{μ}·A_{j }in the least squares method; (i) generating a phase covariance matrix R
_{j} ^{φ }representative of the accuracy of the measurements of the vector of phase residuals Δφ_{j}; (j) generating a pseudo-range covariance matrix R
_{j} ^{γ }representative of the accuracy of the measurements of the vector of pseudo-range residuals Δγ_{j}; (k) generating an observation covariance matrix R
_{j }from the phase covariance matrix R_{j} ^{φ}, the pseudo-range covariance matrix R_{j} ^{γ}, and the zero matrix 0 in a form comprising four sub-matrices arranged in two rows and two columns: (l) generating the values of the estimated state vector Â
_{j }according to the form: to generate the values of the preliminary estimation vector Ñ
_{j}. 45. A method according to _{j} ^{μ }are exchanged, wherein the sub-vectors Δγ_{j }and Δφ_{j }of the observation vector are exchanged, and wherein the sub-matrices R_{j} ^{φ }and R_{j} ^{γ }of matrix R_{J }are exchanged. 46. A method according to _{j} ^{μ }are exchanged, and wherein the sub-vectors [Δx, Δy, Δz, c·Δτ]^{T }and Ñ_{j }of the estimated state vector Â_{j }are exchanged. 47. A method according to _{j} ^{μ }are exchanged, and wherein the sub-vectors [Δx, Δy, Δz, c·Δτ]^{T }and Ñ_{j }of the estimated state vector Â_{j }are exchanged. 48. A method according to a plurality of first weight coefficients K
_{j,l} ^{φB}, . . . , K_{j,m} ^{φB}, . . . , K_{j,n} ^{φB }representative of the measurement accuracy of the measured phase components of the vector φ_{j} ^{B }measured by the first navigation receiver, a plurality of second weight coefficients K
_{j,l} ^{φR}, . . . , K_{j,m} ^{φR}, . . . , K_{j,n} ^{φR }representative of the measurement accuracy of the measured phase components of the vector φ_{j} ^{R }measured by the second navigation receiver, a plurality of third weight coefficients K
_{j,l} ^{γB}, . . . , K_{j,m} ^{γB}, . . . , K_{j,n} ^{γB }representative of the measurement accuracy of the measured pseudo-range components of the vector γ_{j} ^{B }measured by the first navigation receiver, and a plurality of fourth weight coefficients K
_{j,l} ^{γR}, . . . , K_{j,m} ^{γR}, . . . , K_{j,n} ^{γR }representative of the measurement accuracy of the measured pseudo-range components of the vector γ_{j} ^{R }measured by the second navigation receiver; and wherein said step (i) of generating the phase covariance matrix R
_{j} ^{φ }comprises the steps of generating a plurality of fifth weight coefficients K_{j,l} ^{φ}, . . . K_{j,m} ^{φ}, . . . K_{j,n} ^{φ }from the plurality of first and second weight coefficients, each fifth weight coefficient K_{j,m} ^{φ }(m=1 to m=n) being generated as a first small number when either of the magnitudes of the corresponding first and second weight coefficients K_{j,m} ^{φB }and K_{j,m} ^{φR }is less than a first threshold value, the magnitude of said first small number being less than the first threshold value, each fifth weight coefficient K_{j,m} ^{φ }(m=1 to m=n) being generated according to the relationship: (
K _{j,m} ^{φ})^{−1}=(K _{j,m} ^{φB })^{−1}+(K _{j,m} ^{φR})^{−1 } when each of the magnitudes of the first and second weight coefficients K
_{j,m} ^{φB }and K_{j,m} ^{φR }is greater than the first threshold value, and wherein the matrix R_{j} ^{φ }is generated in the form: wherein said step () of generating the pseudo-range covariance matrix R
_{j} ^{γ }comprises the steps of generating a plurality of sixth weight coefficients K_{j,l} ^{γ}, . . . K_{j,m} ^{γ}, . . . K_{j,n} ^{γ }from the plurality of third and fourth weight coefficients, each sixth weight coefficient K_{j,m} ^{γ }(m=1 to m=n) being generated as a second small number when either of the magnitudes of the corresponding third and fourth weight coefficients K^{γB} _{j,m }and K^{γR} _{j,m }is less than a second threshold value, the magnitude of said second small number being less than the second threshold value, each sixth weight coefficient K_{j,m} ^{γ }(m=1 to m=n) being generated according to the relationship: (K
^{γ} _{j,m})^{−1}=(K^{γB} _{j,m})^{−1}+(K^{γR} _{j,m})^{−1} +when each of the magnitudes of the third and fourth weight coefficients K
^{γB} _{j,m }and K^{γR} _{j,m }is greater than the second threshold value, and wherein the matrix R_{j} ^{γ }is generated in the form: 49. A method according to _{j }comprises the steps of:
(f) generating, at each discrete time moment j, a first ambiguity covariance matrix +E,otlR
^{N} _{j }representative of the errors in the preliminary estimation vector Ñ_{j}; (g) generating, at each discrete time moment j, a second ambiguity covariance matrix R
^{N} _{j }as an initial value for the initial time moment j=1, and in a form equivalent to: for each time moment j after the initial time moment j=1;
(h) generating, at each discrete time moment j, a weighting matrix W
_{j }in a form equivalent to W
_{j}={tilde over (R)}^{N} _{j}·({tilde over (R)}+HUN_{j}+R^{N} _{j−1})^{−1 } ; and (i) generating the main estimation vector {circumflex over (N)}_{j }as a initial value for the initial time moment j=1, and in a form of: {circumflex over (N)} _{j} =W _{j} ·{circumflex over (N)} _{j−1}+(E−W _{j})·Ñ _{j}, for each discrete time moment j after the initial time moment j=1, wherein E is the identity matrix.
50. A method according to ^{N} _{j }is set to an initial value of R^{N} _{1}={tilde over (R)}^{N} _{j }for the initial time moment j=1; 51. A method according to _{j }is assigned a starting value for the initial time moment j=1 of {circumflex over (N)}_{j}=Ñ_{j}. 52. A method according to ^{N} _{j }for each discrete time moment j is generated by process which provides an equivalent result as the steps of:
(j) forming an observation matrix H
_{j} ^{μ }from the geometric Jacobian matrix H_{j} ^{γ}, the matrix Λ^{−1 }of inverse wavelengths, the zero matrix 0, and the identity matrix E in a form comprising four sub-matrices arranged in two rows and two columns: (k) generating a phase covariance matrix R
_{j} ^{φ }representative of the measurement accuracy of the phase observation vector μ_{j} ^{φ}; (l) generating a pseudo-range covariance matrix R
_{j} ^{γ }representative of the measurement accuracy of the pseudo-range observation vector μ_{j} ^{γ}; (m) generating an observation covariance matrix R
_{j }from the phase covariance matrix R_{j} ^{φ}, the pseudo-range covariance matrix R_{j} ^{γ}, and the zero matrix 0, in a form comprising four sub-matrices arranged in two rows and two columns: (o) generating the first ambiguity covariance matrix
53. A method according to _{j }comprises the step of generating the main estimation vector {circumflex over (N)}_{j }in the form: for each time moment j after the initial time moment j=1.
54. A method according to _{j}, {circumflex over (N)}_{j−1 }and Ñ_{j }corresponding to a satellite carrier signal are removed from the vectors if the alarm signal for the corresponding satellite carrier signal is received. 55. A method according to _{J }in the range of 0.1I seconds to 1 second. 56. A method according to _{J }in the range of 0.1 seconds to 1 second. 57. A method according to _{J}=1 second, and wherein said steps (a) through (e) are performed for a period of time T_{S }which is in the range of 8 seconds to 10 seconds. 58. A method according to _{j }comprises the step of generating the main estimation vector {circumflex over (N)}_{j }as an initial value for the initial time moment j=1 and in the form: for each time moment j after the initial time moment j=1, and wherein said method further comprising the steps of:
(f) generating, at each discrete time moment j, a first ambiguity covariance matrix {tilde over (R)}
^{N} _{j }representative of the errors in the preliminary estimation vector Ñ_{j}; (g) generating, for each discrete time moment j, a second ambiguity covariance matrix *
_{j }with an initial value for the initial time moment j=1, and in a form equivalent to: for each time moment j after the initial time moment;
(h) performing steps (a) through (g) for a set of Ks discrete time moments j, and thereafter generating an intermediate estimate vector {circumflex over (N)}*
_{1 }of the floating ambiguity at the end of the first set as {circumflex over (N)}*_{1}={circumflex over (N)}_{Ks}, where vector {circumflex over (N)}_{Ks }is the main estimation vector {circumflex over (N)}_{j }at j=Ks, and further generating a third ambiguity covariance matrix (i) repeating step (h) for a plurality of additional iterations k to generate an additional intermediate estimate vector {circumflex over (N)}*
_{k }as {circumflex over (N)}*_{k}={circumflex over (N)}_{Ks }at each additional iteration, and further to generate an additional third ambiguity covariance matrix at each additional iteration, the index j being reset to a value of j=1 at the start of each additional iteration;
(j) generating, at each iteration k, a fourth ambiguity covariance matrix R
^{Nj }with an initial value for the first iteration, and in a form equivalent to: R
^{N} _{k}=[({haeck over (R)}^{N} _{k})^{−1}+(R^{N} _{k−1})^{−1}]^{−1 } for each additional iteration of step (j);
(k) generating, at each additional iteration k, a weighting matrix W
_{k }in a form equivalent to W
_{k}={haeck over (R)}^{N} _{k}·({haeck over (R)}^{N} _{k−1})^{−1} ; and (l) generating, at each additional iteration k, a refined main estimation vector {circumflex over (N)}
_{k }in a form equivalent to: {circumflex over (N)} _{k} =W _{k} ·{circumflex over (N)} _{k−1}+(E−W _{k})·{circumflex over (N)}* _{k}, wherein E is the identity matrix.
59. A method according to _{j }is assigned a starting value for the initial time moment j=1 of {circumflex over (N)}_{j}=Ñ_{j}. 60. A method according to ^{N} _{j }for each discrete time moment j is generated by process which provides an equivalent result as the steps of:
(m) forming an observation matrix H
_{j} ^{μ }from the geometric Jacobian matrix H_{j} ^{γ}, the matrix Λ^{−1 }of inverse wavelengths, the zero matrix 0, and the identity matrix E in a form comprising four sub-matrices arranged in two rows and two columns: (n) generating a phase covariance matrix R
_{j} ^{φ }representative of the measurement accuracy of the phase observation vector μ_{j} ^{φ}; (o) generating a pseudo-range covariance matrix R
_{j} ^{γ }representative of the measurement accuracy of the pseudo-range observation vector μ_{j} ^{φ}; (r) generating an observation covariance matrix R
_{j }from the phase covariance matrix R_{j} ^{φ}, the pseudo-range covariance matrix R_{j} ^{γ}, and the zero matrix 0, in a form comprising four sub-matrices arranged in two rows and two columns: 62. A method according to ^{N} _{j }is set to the value of R^{N} _{1={haeck over (R)}} ^{N} _{j } for the first iteration.
63. A method according to _{J }which is between 0.1 seconds and 1 second; and
wherein the iterations k in steps (h) through (1) are separated from one another by a time interval T
_{S }which is between 8 seconds and 10 seconds. 64. A method according to _{j }are monitored for the presence of cycle slips;
wherein said method receives an input alarm signal for each component of the phase residual vector Δφ
_{j }indicating if a cycle slip has occurred in its measured phases; and wherein said step (i) further comprises the step of generating the fifth weight coefficient K
_{j,m} ^{φ }for component of the phase residual vector Δφ_{j }as the first small number when the alarm signal for the component is received. 65. A method according to generating, for each discrete time moment j, a set of baseline estimation corrections to the baseline coordinates as the corresponding components of the estimated state vector Â
_{j}; and correcting, for each discrete time moment j, the vector D
_{j} ^{R }of estimated distances between the satellites and the second navigation receiver (R) on the basis of the set of baseline estimation corrections generated at the previous time moment j−1. 66. A method according to correcting, for each discrete time moment j, the geometric Jacobian matrix H
_{j} ^{γ }on the basis of the set of baseline estimation corrections generated at the previous time moment j−1. 67. A method according to claims 43 wherein the first and second receivers arc stationary; and
wherein the same geometric Jacobian matrix H
_{j} ^{γ }is used for a plurality of discrete time moments j. 68. A method according to (f) grouping the vectors Δγ
_{j }and Δφ_{j }into an observation vector μ_{j}=[Δγ_{j}, Δφ_{j}]^{Γ}; (g) representing estimates for the corrections vector [Δx, Δy, Δz, c·Δτ]
^{T }and for the preliminary estimation vector Ñ_{j }by an estimated state vector Â_{j}=[Δx, Δy, Δz, c·Δτ, Ñ_{j}]^{T}, said estimated state vector Â_{j }being an estimation of a true state vector A_{j }of the least squares method; (h) forming an observation matrix H
_{j} ^{μ }from the geometric Jacobian matrix H_{j} ^{γ}, the matrix Λ^{−1 }of inverse wavelengths, the zero matrix 0, and the identity matrix E, in a form comprising four sub-matrices arranged in two rows and two columns: wherein the two systems of equations are represented as μ
_{j}=H_{j} ^{μ}·A_{j }in the least squares method; (i) generating a phase covariance matrix R
_{j} ^{φ }representative of the accuracy of the measurements of the vector of phase residuals Δφ_{j}; (j) generating a pseudo-range covariance matrix R
_{j} ^{γ }representative of the accuracy of the measurements of the vector of pseudo-range residuals Δγ_{j}; (k) generating an observation covariance matrix R
_{j }from the phase covariance matrix R_{j} ^{φ}, the pseudo-range covariance matrix R_{j} ^{γ}, and the zero matrix 0 in a form comprising four sub-matrices arranged in two rows and two columns: (l) generating the values of the estimated state vector Â
_{j }according to the form: Â
_{j}= [(H_{j} ^{μ})^{T }· R_{j} ^{−1 }· H_{j} ^{μ}]^{−1 }· (II_{j} ^{μ})^{T }· R_{j} ^{−1 }· μ_{j}, (m) generating a preliminary augmented estimation vector {tilde over (B)}
_{j }as the components of state vector Â_{j }which comprise the corrections [Δx, Δy, Δz]^{T }to the base line vector and the preliminary estimation vector Ñ_{j }of the floating ambiguities; (n) generating a main augmented estimation vector {circumflex over (B)}
_{j }as a weighed summation of the preliminary augmented estimation vector {tilde over (B)}_{j }and the main augmented estimation vector {circumflex over (B)}_{j−1 }generated at the previous time moment (j−1), the main augmented estimation vector {circumflex over (B)}_{1 }at the initial time moment j=1 being set to an initial vector of values; (o) generating the main estimation vector {circumflex over (N)}
_{j }as the corresponding floating ambiguity components of the main augmented estimation vector {circumflex over (B)}_{j}. 69. A method according to _{j} ^{μ }are exchanged, wherein the sub-vectors Δγ_{j }and Δφ_{j }of the observation vector μ_{j }are exchanged, and wherein the sub-matrices R_{j} ^{φ }and R_{j} ^{γ }of matrix R_{j }are exchanged. 70. A method according to _{j} ^{μ }are exchanged, and wherein the sub-vectors [Δx, Δy, Δz, c·Δτ]^{T }and Ñ_{j }of the estimated state vector Â_{j }are exchanged. 71. A method according to _{j} ^{μ }are exchanged, and wherein the sub-vectors [Δx, Δy, Δz, c·Δτ]^{T }and Ñ_{j }of the estimated state vector Â_{j }are exchanged. 72. A method according to (p) generating, at each discrete time moment j, a first augmented covariance matrix {tilde over (R)}
^{N} _{j }representative of the errors in the preliminary augmented estimation vector {tilde over (B)}_{j}; (q) generating, at each discrete time moment j, a second augmented covariance matrix R
^{N} _{j }as an initial value for the initial time moment j=1, and in a form equivalent to: R
^{N} _{j}=[({tilde over (R^{N} _{j}]^{−1}+(R^{N} _{j−1})^{−1}]^{−1} )}for each time moment j after the initial time moment j=1;
(r) generating, at each discrete time moment j, a weighting matrix W
_{j }in a form equivalent to W
_{j}={tilde over (R)}^{N} _{j}·(+E,R^{N} _{j}+R^{N} _{j−1})^{−1} ; and (s) generating the main augmented estimation vector {circumflex over (B)}
_{j }as a starting value for the initial time moment j=1, and in a form equivalent to: {circumflex over (B)} _{j} =W _{j} ·{circumflex over (B)} _{j−1}+(E−W _{j})·{tilde over (B)} _{j}, for each discrete time moment j after the initial time moment j=1, wherein E is the identity matrix.
73. A method according to ^{N} _{j }for each discrete time moment j is generated by process which provides an equivalent result as the steps of:
(t) forming an observation matrix H
_{j} ^{μ }from the geometric Jacobian matrix H_{j} ^{γ}, the matrix Λ^{−1 }of inverse wavelengths, the zero matrix 0, and the identity matrix E in a form comprising four sub-matrices arranged in two rows and two columns: (u) generating a phase covariance matrix R
_{j} ^{φ }representative of the measurement accuracy of the phase observation vector μ_{j} ^{φ}; (v) generating a pseudo-range covariance matrix R
_{j} ^{γ }representative of the measurement accuracy of the pseudo-range observation vector μ_{j} ^{γ}; (w) generating an observation covariance matrix R
_{j }from the phase covariance matrix R_{j} ^{φ}, the pseudo-range covariance matrix R_{j} ^{γ}, and the zero matrix 0, in a form comprising four sub-matrices arranged in two rows and two columns: 74. A method of floating ambiguity resolution for phase measurements of a plurality n of satellite carrier signals made by a first navigation receiver (B) and a second navigation receiver (R), each satellite carrier signal being transmitted by a satellite and having a wavelength, wherein a baseline vector (x,y,z) relates the position of one receiver to the other receiver, wherein each receiver has a time clock for referencing its measurements and wherein any difference between the time clocks may be represented by an offset q, said method receiving, for a plurality of sequential and discrete moments j, the following inputs:
a vector γ _{j} ^{B }of a plurality of pseudo-ranges measured by the first navigation receiver (B) and corresponding to the plurality of satellite carrier signals, a vector γ _{j} ^{R }of a plurality of pseudo-ranges measured by the second navigation receiver (R) and corresponding to the plurality of satellite carrier signals, a vector D _{j} ^{B }of a plurality of estimated distances between the satellites and the first navigation receiver (B), a vector D _{j} ^{R }of a plurality of estimated distances between the satellites and the second navigation receiver (R), a vector φ _{j} ^{B }of a plurality of full phase measurements of the satellite carrier signals measured by the first navigation receiver (B), a vector φ _{j} ^{R }of a plurality of full phase measurements of the satellite carrier signals measured by the second navigation receiver (R), a geometric Jacobian matrix H _{j} ^{γ }whose matrix elements are representative of the changes in the pseudo-ranges between the satellites and one of the receivers that would be caused by changes in that receiver's position and time clock offset, said method comprising the steps of:
(a) generating, for each discrete time moment j, a pseudo-range observation vector μ
_{j} ^{γ }comprising a plurality of range residuals of pseudo-range measurements made by the first and second navigation receivers in the form of: μ
_{j} ^{γ}=(γ_{j} ^{R}−γ_{j} ^{B})−(D _{j} ^{R} −D _{j} ^{B}); (b) generating, for each discrete time moment j, a phase observation vector μ _{j} ^{φ }comprising a plurality of phase residuals of full phase measurements made by the first and second navigation receivers in the form of: μ _{j} ^{φ}=(φ_{j} ^{R}−φ_{j} ^{B})−Λ^{−1}·(D _{j} ^{R} −D _{j} ^{B}), where Λ ^{−1 }is a diagonal matrix comprising the inverse wavelengths of the satellites; (c) representing, for each discrete time moment j, the errors in the measured pseudo-ranges and distances with a vector [Δx, Δy, Δz, c·Δτ] ^{T }of corrections to the baseline vector and the clock offsets of the receivers, and representing the preliminary estimates of the floating ambiguities at each time moment j by a preliminary estimation vector Ñ_{j}; (d) solving, for each discrete time moment j, the following vector relationship: μ _{j} ^{γ}=H_{j} ^{γ}·[Δx, Δy, Δz, c·Δτ]^{T } by a least squares method to generate an estimate vector A _{j} ^{γ }for the corrections vector [Δx, Δy, Δz, c·Δτ]^{T}; (e) generating, for each discrete time moment j, an estimated phase observation vector {circumflex over (μ)} _{j} ^{φ }by multiplying the estimate vector A_{j} ^{γ }by matrices H_{j} ^{γ }and Λ^{−1 }according to the form: {circumflex over (μ)} _{j} ^{φ}=Λ^{−1} ·H _{j} ^{γ} ·A _{j} ^{γ}; (f) generating, for each discrete time moment j, the preliminary estimation vector Ñ _{j }as the difference between the phase observation vector μ_{j} ^{φ }and the estimated phase observation vector {circumflex over (μ)}_{j} ^{φ }according to the form: Ñ _{j}=μ_{j} ^{φ}−{circumflex over (μ)}_{j} ^{φ}; (g) generating, for each discrete time moment j after the initial time moment, a main estimation vector {circumflex over (N)} _{j }as a weighed summation of the preliminary estimation vector Ñ_{j }and the main estimation vector {circumflex over (N)}_{j−1 }generated at the previous time moment (j−1), the main estimation vector {circumflex over (N)}_{1 }at the initial time moment j=1 being set to an initial vector of values. 75. A method according to (h) generating a pseudo-range covariance matrix R
_{j} ^{γ }representative of the accuracy of the pseudo-range observation vector μ_{j} ^{γ}; and (i) generating the estimate vector A
_{j} ^{γ }according to the form: Â
^{γ} _{j}=[(H^{γ} _{j})^{T}·(R^{γ} _{j})^{−1}·H^{γ} _{j}]^{−1}·(H^{γ} _{j})^{T}·(R^{γ} _{j})^{−1}·μ^{γ} _{j}· 76. A method according to a plurality of first weight coefficients K
^{γB} _{j,l}, . . ., K^{γB} _{j,m}, . . ., K^{γB} _{j,n}representative of the measurement accuracy of the measured pseudo-range components of the vector γ_{j} ^{B }as measured by the first navigation receiver, and a plurality of second weight coefficients K
^{γR} _{j,l}, . . ., K^{γR} _{j,m}, . . ., K^{γR} _{j,n}representative of the measurement accuracy of the measured pseudo-range components of the vector γ_{j} ^{R }as measured by the second navigation receiver; and wherein said step (h) of generating the pseudo-range covariance matrix R
_{j} ^{γ }comprises the steps of generating a plurality of third weight coefficients K_{j,l} ^{γ}, . . . K_{j,m} ^{γ}, . . . K_{j,n} ^{γ }from the plurality of first and second weight coefficients, each third weight coefficient K_{j,m} ^{γ }(m=1 to m=n) being generated as a first small number when either of the magnitudes of the corresponding first and second weight coefficients K^{γB} _{j,m}and K^{γR} _{j,m}is less than a first threshold value, the magnitude of said first small number being less than the first threshold value, each third weight coefficient K_{j,m} ^{γ }(m=1 to m=n) being generated according to the relationship: (K
^{γ} _{j,m})^{−1}=(K^{γB} _{j,m})^{−1}+(K^{γR} _{j,m})^{−1} when each of the magnitudes of the first and second weight coefficients K
^{γB} _{j,m}and K^{γR} _{j,m }is greater than the first threshold value, and wherein the matrix R
_{j} ^{γ }is generated in the form: 77. A method according to _{j }comprises the steps of:
(h) generating, at each discrete time moment j, a first ambiguity covariance matrix
{tilde over (R)}
^{N} _{j }representative of the errors in the preliminary estimation vector Ñ_{j}; (i) generating, at each discrete time moment j, a second ambiguity covariance matrix R
^{N} _{j }as an initial value for the initial time moment j=1, and in a form equivalent to: for each time moment j after the initial time moment j=1;
(j) generating, at each discrete time moment j, a weighting matrix W
_{j }in a form equivalent to W
_{j}={tilde over (R)}^{N} _{j}·({tilde over (R)}^{N} _{j}+R^{N} _{j−1})^{−1} ; and (k) generating the main estimation vector {circumflex over (N)}
_{j }as a starting value for the initial time moment j=1, and in a form equivalent to: {circumflex over (N)} _{j} =W _{j} ·{circumflex over (N)} _{j−1}+(E−W _{j})·Ñ _{j}, for each discrete time moment j after the initial time moment j=1, wherein E is the identity matrix.
78. A method according to ^{N} _{j }is set to an initial value of R^{N} _{1}={tilde over (R)}^{N} _{1 }for the initial time moment j=1; 79. A method according to ^{N} _{j }for each discrete time moment j is generated by process which provides an equivalent result as the steps of:
(l) forming an observation matrix H
_{j} ^{μ }from the geometric Jacobian matrix H_{j} ^{γ}, the matrix Λ^{−1 }of inverse wavelengths, the zero matrix 0, and the identity matrix E in a form comprising four sub-matrices arranged in two rows and two columns: (m) generating a phase covariance matrix R
_{j} ^{φ }representative of the measurement accuracy of the phase observation vector μ_{j} ^{φ}; (n) generating a pseudo-range covariance matrix R
_{j} ^{γ }representative of the measurement accuracy of the pseudo-range observation vector μ_{j} ^{γ}; (o) generating an observation covariance matrix R
_{j }from the phase covariance matrix R_{j} ^{φ}, the pseudo-range covariance matrix R_{j} ^{γ}, and the zero matrix 0, in a form comprising four sub-matrices arranged in two rows and two columns: 80. A method according to ^{N} _{j }for each discrete time moment j is generated by the steps of:
(l) generating a phase covariance matrix R
_{j} ^{φ }representative of the measurement accuracy of the phase observation vector μ_{j} ^{φ}; (m) generating a pseudo-range covariance matrix R
_{j} ^{γ }representative of the measurement accuracy of the pseudo-range observation vector μ_{j} ^{γ}; and (n) generating a first ambiguity covariance matrix {tilde over (R)}
_{j} ^{N }for the preliminary estimation vector Ñ_{j }according to the form: 81. A method according to _{j }comprises the step of generating the main estimation vector {circumflex over (N)}_{j }in the form: for each time moment j after the initial time moment j=1.
82. A method according to _{J }which is in the range of 0.1 seconds to 1 second. 83. A method according to _{J }which is in the range of 0.1 seconds to 1 second. 84. A method according to _{J}=1 second, and wherein said steps (a) through (g) are performed for a period of time T_{S }which is in the range of 8 seconds to 10 seconds. 85. A method according to _{j }comprises the step of generating the main estimation vector {circumflex over (N)}_{j }in the form: for each time moment j after the initial time moment j=1, and wherein said method further comprising the steps of:
(h) generating, at each discrete time moment j, a first ambiguity covariance matrix {tilde over (R)}
_{j} ^{N }representative of the errors in the preliminary estimation vector Ñ_{j}; (i) generating, for each discrete time moment j, a second ambiguity covariance matrix *
_{j }with an initial value for the initial time moment j=1, and in a form equivalent to: for each time moment j after the initial time moment;
(j) performing steps (a) through (i) for a set of Ks discrete time moments j, and thereafter generating an intermediate estimate vector {circumflex over (N)}*
_{1 }of the floating ambiguity at the end of the first set as {circumflex over (N)}*_{1}={circumflex over (N)}_{Ks}, where vector {circumflex over (N)}_{Ks }is the main estimation vector {circumflex over (N)}_{j }at j=Ks, and further generating a third ambiguity covariance matrix {haeck over (R)}^{N} _{j } (k) repeating step (j) for a plurality of additional iterations k to generate an additional intermediate estimate vector {circumflex over (N)}*
_{k }as {circumflex over (N)}*_{k}={circumflex over (N)}_{Ks }at each additional iteration, and further to generate an additional third ambiguity covariance matrix at each additional iteration, the index j being reset to a value of j=1 at the start of each additional iteration;
(l) generating, at each iteration k, a fourth ambiguity covariance matrix R
^{N} _{j }with an initial value for the first iteration, and in a form equivalent to: for each additional iteration of step (j);
(m) generating, at each additional iteration k, a weighting matrix W
_{k }in a form equivalent to W
_{k}={haeck over (R)}^{N} _{k}·({tilde over (R)}^{N} _{k}+R^{N} _{k−1})^{−1} ; and
(n) generating, at each additional iteration k, a refined main estimation vector {circumflex over (N)}
_{k }in a form equivalent to: {circumflex over (N)} _{k} =W _{k} ·{circumflex over (N)} _{k−1}+(E−W _{k})·{circumflex over (N)}* _{k}, wherein E is the identity matrix.
86. A method according to ^{N} _{j }for each discrete time moment j is generated by process which provides an equivalent result as the steps of:
(o) forming an observation matrix H
_{j} ^{μ }from the geometric Jacobian matrix H_{j} ^{γ}, the matrix Λ^{−1 }of inverse wavelengths, the zero matrix 0, and the identity matrix E in a form comprising four sub-matrices arranged in two rows and two columns: (p) generating a phase covariance matrix R
_{j} ^{φ }representative of the measurement accuracy of the phase observation vector μ_{j} ^{φ }; (q) generating a pseudo-range covariance matrix R
_{j} ^{γ }representative of the measurement accuracy of the pseudo-range observation vector μ_{j} ^{γ}; (r) generating an observation covariance matrix R
_{j }from the phase covariance matrix R_{j} ^{φ}, the pseudo-range covariance matrix R_{j} ^{γ}, and the zero matrix 0, in a form comprising four sub-matrices arranged in two rows and two columns: 87. A method according to ^{N} _{j }for each discrete time moment j is generated by the steps of:
(o) generating a phase covariance matrix R
_{j} ^{φ }representative of the measurement accuracy of the phase observation vector μ_{j} ^{φ}; (p) generating a pseudo-range covariance matrix R
_{j} ^{γ }representative of the measurement accuracy of the pseudo-range observation vector μ_{j} ^{γ}; and (q) generating a first ambiguity covariance matrix {tilde over (R)}
^{N} _{j }for the preliminary estimation vector Ñ_{j }according to the form: 89. A method according to ^{N} _{j }is set to the value of R_{1} ^{N}={haeck over (R)}_{1} ^{N }for the first iteration. 90. A method according to _{J }which is between 0.1 seconds and 1 second; and
wherein the iterations k in steps (k) through (n) are separated from one another by a time interval T
_{S }which is between 8 seconds and 10 seconds. 91. A method according to _{j} ^{φ }are monitored for the presence of cycle slips;
wherein said method receives an input alarm signal for each component of the phase observation vector μ
_{j} ^{φ }indicating if a cycle slip has occurred in its measured phases; and wherein said step (h) further comprises the step of generating the third weight coefficient K
_{j,m} ^{φ }for a component of the phase observation vector μ_{j} ^{φ }as the first small number when the alarm signal for the component is received. 92. A method according to correcting, for each discrete time moment j, the vector D
_{j} ^{R }of estimated distances between the satellites and the second navigation receiver (R) on the basis of the components of estimated state vector A_{j−1} ^{γ }generated at the previous time moment j−1 which comprise the corrections to the baseline coordinates. 93. A method according to claim 92 further comprising the step of:
correcting, for each discrete time moment j, the geometric Jacobian matrix H
_{j} ^{γ }on the basis of the components of estimated state vector A_{j−1} ^{γ }generated at the previous time moment j−1 which comprise the corrections to the baseline coordinates. 94. A method according to claims 74 wherein the first and second receivers are stationary; and
wherein the same geometric Jacobian matrix H
_{j} ^{γ }is used for a plurality of discrete time moments j.Description [0001] This application claims the benefit of priority to U.S. patent application Serial No. 60/100,837, filed Sep. 18, 1998, the contents of which is incorporated herein. [0002] The present invention relates to methods of information processing in satellite navigation systems with differential positioning of a mobile user. [0003] Satellite navigation systems, such as GPS (USA) and GLONASS (Russia), are intended for high accuracy self-positioning of different users possessing special navigation receivers. A navigation receiver receives and processes radio signals broadcasted by satellites located within line-of-sight distance. The satellite signals comprise carrier signals which are modulated by pseudo-random binary codes, which are then used to measure the delay relative to local reference clock or oscillator. These measurements enable one to determine the so-called pseudo-ranges between the receiver and the satellites. The pseudo-ranges are different from true ranges (distances) between the receiver and the satellites due to variations in the time scales of the satellites and receiver and various noise sources. To produce these time scales, each satellite has its own on-board atomic clock, and the receiver has its own on-board clock, which usually comprises a quartz crystal. If the number of satellites is large enough (more than four), then the measured pseudo-ranges can be processed to determine the user location (e.g., X, Y, and Z coordinates) and to reconcile the variations in the time scales. Finding the user location by this process is often referred to as solving a navigational problem or task. [0004] The necessity to guarantee the solution of navigational tasks with accuracy better than 10 meters, and the desire to raise the stability and reliability of measurements, have led to the development of the mode of “differential navigation ranging”, also called “differential navigation” (DN). In the DN mode, the task of finding the user position is performed relative to a Base station (Base), the coordinates of which are known with the high accuracy and precision. The Base station has a navigation receiver which receives the signals of the satellites and processes them to generate measurements. The results of these measurements enable one to calculate corrections, which are then transmitted to the user that also uses a navigation receiver. By using these corrections, the user obtains the ability to compensate for the major part of the strongly correlated errors in the measured pseudo-ranges, and to substantially improve the accuracy of his or her positioning. [0005] Usually, the Base station is immobile during measurements. The user may be either immobile or mobile. Later on, we will call such a user “the Rover.” The location coordinates of a moving Rover are continuously changing, and should be referenced to a time scale. [0006] Depending on the navigational tasks to be solved, different modes of operation may be used in the DN mode. They differ in the way in which the measurement results are transmitted from the Base to the Rover. In the Post-processing (PP) mode, these results are transmitted as digital recordings and go to the user after all the measurements have been finished. In the PP mode, the user reconstructs his or her location for definite moments in the past. [0007] Another mode is the Real-Time Processing (RTP) mode, and it provides for the positioning of the Rover receiver just during the measurements. The RTP mode uses a communication link (usually it is a radio communication link), through which all the necessary information is transmitted from the Base to the Rover receiver in digital form. [0008] Further improvement of accuracy of differential navigation may be reached by supplementing the measurements of the pseudoranges with the measurements of the phases of the satellite carrier signals. If one measures the carrier phase of the signal received from a satellite in the Base receiver and compares it with the carrier phase of the same satellite measured in the Rover receiver, one can obtain measurement accuracy to within several percent of the carrier's wavelength, i.e., to within several centimeters. [0009] The practical implementation of those advantages, which might be guaranteed by the measurement of the carrier phases, runs into the problem of there being ambiguities in the phase measurements. [0010] The ambiguities are caused by two factors. First, the difference of distances AD from any satellite to the Base and Rover is usually much greater than the carrier's wavelength A. Therefore, the difference in the phase delays of a carrier signal Δφ=ΔD/λ received by the Base and Rover receivers may substantially exceed one cycle. Second, it is not possible to measure the integer number of cycles in Δφ from the incoming satellite signals; one can only measure the fractional part of Δφ. Therefore, it is necessary to determine the integer part of Δφ, which is called the “ambiguity”. More precisely, we need to determine the set of all such integer parts for all the satellites being tracked, one integer part for each satellite. One has to determine this set along with other unknown values, which include the Rover's coordinates and the variations in the time scales. [0011] In a general way, the task of generating highly-accurate navigation measurements is formulated as follows: it is necessary to determine the state vector of a system, with the vector containing η [0012] Two sets of navigation parameters are measured by the Base and Rover receivers, respectively, and are used to determine the unknown state vector. Each set of parameters includes the pseudo-range of each satellite to the receiver, and the full (complete) phase of each satellite carrier signal. Each pseudo-range is obtained by measuring the time delay of a code modulation signal of the corresponding satellite. The code modulation signal is tracked by a delay-lock loop (DLL) circuit in each satellite tracking channel. The full phase of a satellite's carrier signal is tracked by a phase-lock-loop (PLL) in the corresponding satellite tracking channel. An observation vector is generated as the collection of the measured navigation parameters for specific (definite) moments of time. [0013] The relationship between the state vector and the observation vector is defined by a well-known system of navigation equations. Given an observation vector, the system of equations may be solved to find the state vector if the number of equations equals or exceeds the number of unknowns in the state vector. In the latter case, conventional statistical methods are used to solve the system: the least squares method, the method of dynamic Kalman filtering, and various modifications of these methods. [0014] Practical implementations of these methods in digital form may vary widely. In implementing or developing such a method on a processor, one usually must find a compromise between the accuracy of the results and speed of obtaining results for a given amount of processor capability, while not exceeding a certain amount of loading on the processor. [0015] The most used general scheme comprises the following steps. The measured values of the pseudo-ranges and full phases at specific (definite) moments of time, along with an indication of the satellites to which these measurements belong to and the time moments of the measurements, are transmitted from the Base to the Rover (such as through the communication link or as recordings). Corresponding values are measured in the Rover receiver. The processing includes the determination of the single differences of the pseudo-ranges and full phases between the Base and Rover measurements for each satellite. The strongly correlated errors are compensated (i.e., substantially cancelled) in the single differences. Then, the residuals of the single differences are calculated by subtraction of calculated values from the measured results. The processing of residuals allows one to linearize the initial system of navigation equations (sometimes several subsequent iterations are necessary for that), which makes possible the use of the well developed body of mathematics for solving systems of linear equations. The components of the state vector, with the n ambiguities included, are found as a result of the solution. But the calculated values of the ambiguities are not necessarily integer numbers, and are often floating point numbers. Because of this, they are called “float ambiguities”, or “floating ambiguities”, at this stage of the solution. To find true values of the integer ambiguities one uses the procedure of rounding off the float ambiguity vector to the nearest set of integers. This process is called ‘the ambiguity resolution’. Only after the ambiguity resolution has been done is it possible to determine the true values of residuals and then, by solving the system of equation again, to find the coordinate values for the baseline connecting the Base and Rover, and consequently to determine the exact coordinates of Rover and the correction to its clock drift. [0016] The described general scheme of computations is presented in more detail in the literature on satellite navigation. This presentation is the most complete in English in the book by Bradford W. Parkinson and James J. Spilker Jr., [0017] The particular problems connected to the processing of the navigation information are considered in many articles, manuals and patents. Here we will dwell only on some of these problems which directly concern the subjects of the present inventions. [0018] The first problem concerns the task of aligning (or synchronizing) the Base and Rover measurements to the same moment of time. This is a necessary condition for good compensation in the single differences of strongly correlated errors which change with time. The task of aligning can be solved by two ways: the first way, which is called the mode of “matched observation processing”, delays the use of the Rover measurements until the corresponding Base measurements are received. This mode is poorly suited for Rovers in speedy motion, for which the positioning at definite, precisely fixed moments of time is required. The second way, which is called the mode of “low latency position processing”, extrapolates the Base measurements forward in time up to the moment of reception of the corresponding Rover measurements. This mode is better suited to the task of generating accurate Rover coordinate at time moments which are arbitrarily chosen by a user or an application program at the Rover location. [0019] In existing systems, different extrapolation methods are used, starting from the elementary linear prediction, which sometimes is sufficient for small prediction times (about several seconds). For longer prediction times (such as between 30 s and 60 s) it is recommended to take into account the statistic characteristics of the processes to be predicted, which mainly depend on the presence of selective access (in the system GPS), and on fluctuations of reference generators on board the satellites and the Base receiver. For such cases, one uses the extrapolation with the help of the Kalman filter. One of the possible variants of such an extrapolation unit is described in the article by J. Neumann, et al., entitled “Test Results from a New 2 cm Real Time Kinematics GPS Positioning System,” [0020] Another problem arising during the solution of a navigation problem using the phase measurements is caused by the possible appearance of cycle slips in the PLL circuits which are tracking the satellite carrier signals. After a cycle slip occurs, the PLL circuit transits to a new point of steady balance, after which it goes on with tracking the satellite carrier signal. As a result of a cycle slip, an abnormal error equal to several integer number of semi-cycles (half-cycles) is introduced into the full phase measurements. Such an error may make computed position coordinates completely worthless. Sometimes it is possible to detect the appearance of a cycle slip by directly observing the rate of change of the full phase. During a cycle slip, this rate usually jumps in value, and this provides an opportunity to detect the slip. In some cases, it is possible to detect a cycle slip from implicit symptoms and signs. For example, a cycle slip is often accompanied with a deep fading of the signal amplitude, and the occurrence of the slip can be detected by detecting the fading of the signal. However, such a method of cycle slip detection does not have sufficient reliability. The characteristics of the slip process, as well as the reasons causing it, are very variable. There exist ‘slow’ slips where the rate of the phase change differs only slightly from the usual rate of phase change due to the Rover's movement, and correspondingly, the cycle slip often cannot be detected by this symptom. The amplitude fading does not always coincide with the cycle slip appearance either. When measurements from a large number of satellite channels are used, it is possible to identify the channels for which the measurement results strongly differ from predictions made on the basis of data from other channels, and thereby to detect the slip. However, a substantial increase in the volume of calculations might be necessary to determine which set of channels have generated bad measurements. In addition, the sufficient amount of redundancy is often lacking. If the slip is nevertheless detected, it is necessary to make a decision on how to react to the slip. Thus, for example, if the number of active satellite channels is large enough, it is possible to exclude the channel for which the cycle slip is detected from further consideration. One may also act differently: having waited until the completion of the slip, one can resolve the ambiguity of phase measurements anew, with the affected channel included. For that it would be necessary to spend some time during which the generation of highly-accurate coordinates would stop, which is sometimes extremely undesirable. [0021] The correction for the cycle slip immediately after its completion would be the best solution; but to do so, one has to measure the sign and value of the cycle slip. One of the methods to correct the phase slip was proposed by Isomura in U.S. Pat. No. 5,502,641. The following steps were proposed in that method: [0022] 1. Recording the time moment at which a satellite carrier signal first disappears, and determining the rate of change in the carrier's full phase during the time period just before the disappearance; this rate of change is called the “initial rate of change”; [0023] 2. Recording the time moment at which the satellite carrier signal reappears and determining the rate of change in the carrier's full phase just after the reappearance; this rate of change is called the “final rate of change”; [0024] 3. Calculating a predicted value of the full phase at the time moment of its reappearance based on the initial and final values of the rate of change, and on the measured value of the full phase before the signal disappearance; [0025] 4. Comparing the predicted value with the value of the full phase measured accumulated by the tracking channel at the time of the signal's reappearance. If these values differ by more than a semi-cycle (half-cycle), one may assume that a cycle slip took place and take the corresponding correction. [0026] We must note the fact that this method would give satisfactory results only in cases when the Rover does not change its velocity during the disappearance of the satellite carrier signal. We also point out that when a satellite signal is blocked from the receiver's antenna, the satellite signal can be reflected off of a nearby object or the ground and reach the antenna by a different path as a reflected signal. If this occurs, cycle slips may occur because of the difference in path lengths, and the Isomura method may not detect the slips because the method may not see the disappearance of the direct satellite signal. A second invention of the present application is directed to apparatuses and methods of cycle-slip detection which are based on a set of specific symptoms of the cycle slip, and therefore have higher reliability for Rover's making fast maneuvers. [0027] A third problem relating to the solution of a navigation problem using the phase measurements concerns the ambiguity resolution stage. As it was already noted, the first part of this stage comprises the step of obtaining sufficiently accurate estimates of the float ambiguities. Typical computational methods for this task provide for the gradual accumulation of information that depends on the number and locations of the satellites, and correspondingly, the accuracy of estimation of the float ambiguities increases with time due to the smoothing of fluctuations in the measurements, and due to the geometry change in the satellite constellation. [0028] A substantial number of works have been published that considered computational procedures for obtaining the float ambiguity estimations with sufficient accuracy in the shortest possible time. The computational speed of the processor used imposes the natural limitations here. That is why one tries to lower the loading on the processor, sometimes even to the detriment of accuracy. [0029] Several of the publications use computations based upon Kalman filtering. The previously-mentioned article by J. B. Neumann, et al., (ION GPS-96) describes a Kalman filter method which simultaneously estimates the coordinates of the baseline and the floating ambiguities. The estimations are generated with delay after the corresponding measurements of the Base station have been received by the Rover. In the article entitled “Instant RTK cm with Low Cost GPS+GLONASS™ C/A Recievers” by D. Kozlov and M. Tkachenko, in [0030] The present application discloses three general invention areas (methods and apparatuses therefor), each of which pertains to the navigation parameters (pseudo-range and full phase) with the object of determining the baseline coordinates in the system of differential satellite navigation with greater and more reliable accuracy. The three inventions are preferably used together, but may be used separately, if desired. As a basis for practicing the inventions, the navigation parameters are measured by a receiver situated at a Base station (also called the reference station), and by a Rover receiver, which is usually mobile. The coordinates of the Base receiver are known exactly. The coordinates of the Rover receiver are estimated relative to Base receiver. The coordinates of the Base receiver are typically transmitted to the Rover through the communication links. However, post-processing of the measurements by the inventions may be performed at a subsequent time, either at the Rover location or the Base location, or another location. The processing processor and the user of navigation information are both typically situated at the Rover receiver. However, this is not necessarily the case if one wishes to use the inventions in a post-processing mode. The first invention relates to the extrapolation of measurements from the Base station, the second invention relates to the detection and correction of cycle slips in the PLL circuits of one or both of the Base and Rover receivers, and the third invention relates to the computation of the floating ambiguity estimates. These inventions enable one to improve the accuracy, reliability and efficacy of the determination of relative position using differential navigation measurements. [0031] Each of the inventions relates to one of a number of general stages that are used to generate accurate baseline coordinates to the Rover by differential navigation. The three general stages implemented by the three inventions of this application are intermediate stages in the overall process of computing the coordinates of the baseline. The subsequent processing stages comprise the integer ambiguity resolution stage, the stage of computing the baseline coordinates, and the stage of correcting the time scale. These subsequent stages are implemented according to well-known methods described in the literature. A detailed description of these well-known methods in this application is not needed for one of ordinary skill in the art to make and use the present inventions. [0032] The first invention related to extrapolation takes into account abnormal and anomalous errors in the measurements of the navigation parameters made by the Base receiver and computes the predicted values for the Rover receiver only on the basis of reliable measurements from the Base receiver. [0033] The second invention related to cycle slip detection and correction is based upon the system of the measurement of cycle mismatch in a multi-loop tracking system which tracks the Rover movement with the signals from several of the visible satellites. The channel where the cycle slip took place is detected from the mismatch value, and the corresponding correction is introduced. The method provides for switching off channels with the abnormal or anomalous errors, which prevents their influence upon the measurement results. [0034] The third invention related to estimations of the floating ambiguities comprises recurrent procedures which are based upon the joint processing by a least-squares method of the set of code and phase measurements in all satellite channels. The third invention provides the gradual smoothing of errors of those components of the state vector which remain constant, and achieves the necessary accuracy in a relatively short time and at a tolerable processor load. [0035] Some embodiments of these inventions also employ the joint tracking loops for jointly tracking the phases of the satellite carrier signals which are described in our co-pending patent application Ser. No. 09/330,221, filed Jun. 10, 1999, entitled “The Joint Tracking of the Carrier Phases of the Signals Received from Different Satellites”, assigned to the assignee of the present application and incorporated herein by reference, and claiming priority to the earlier provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/091,004, filed Jun. 10, 1998, incorporated herein by reference. As a brief summary, the joint tracking loops generate correction signals to many or all of the PPL circuits which account for events which affect the tracking the PLL circuits in a common manner. These are called “common events.” Such common events include the drift in the receiver's clock and the movement of the receiver's position. When the satellite signal tracked by a PLL circuit is temporarily blocked, the correction signal for that PLL circuit enables the PLL circuit to adjust its phase to account for the phase changes caused by common events that occur during the blockage. As a result, the number of cycle slips that could occur during a blockage of the satellite signal is reduced. While the use of the joint tracking loops provides many benefits, is it not necessary for one to make, use, and practice the inventions disclosed in this application. [0036]FIG. 1 shows a schematic diagram of the registers and the main units of the extrapolation methods and apparatuses according to the first invention of the present application; [0037]FIG. 2 shows the general block schematic diagram of the cycle-slip detection and correction methods and apparatuses according to the second invention of the present application; [0038]FIG. 3 shows a graph of the nonlinear characteristic of a first output from the cycle-slip correction unit according to the second invention of the present application; [0039]FIG. 4 shows a graph of the nonlinear characteristic of a second output of the cycle-slip correction unit according to the second invention of the present application; [0040]FIG. 5 shows a flow diagram of an exemplary method of generating the blocking signal according to the second invention; [0041]FIG. 6 is a time graph showing the residual of the single phase difference in the channel No. 8 measured with the simulation model: curve (a) shows the residual without the cycle slip correction (Δφ [0042]FIG. 7 is a time graph showing the residual of the single phase difference in the channel No. 8 on an enlarged scale (the fragment ‘A’ of the plot in FIG. 6): curve (a) shows the residual without the slip correction (Δφ [0043]FIG. 8 is a time graph showing the residual of the single phase difference in the channel No. 7 determined with the aid of a simulation model: curve (a) ) shows the residual without the slip correction (Δφ [0044]FIG. 9 is a time graph showing the form of the cycle slip correction in the channel No. 7 according to the second invention. [0045]FIGS. 10A and 10B are small signal models of the individual loop of the cycle-slip correction and detection methods and apparatus according to the present invention. [0046]FIG. 11 is a small signal model of the common loops of the cycle-slip correction and detection methods and apparatus according to the present invention. [0047]FIG. 12 is a schematic diagram of an exemplary processor for implementing the floating ambiguity resolution according to the present invention. [0048] Tutorial on the Structure of the Satellite Signals and Coherent Navigation Receivers. [0049] Before describing the inventions of the present application, we briefly describe the structure of the satellite signals and of a typical receiver suitable for differential navigation applications. [0050] Each of the satellites radiates signals in two frequency bands: the L [0051] The approximate distance between a satellite and a receiver is equal to the speed of light c multiplied by the transmission time it takes the satellite signal to reach the receiver. This approximate distance is called the pseudorange γ, and it can be corrected for certain errors to find a corrected distance D between the satellite and the receiver. There is a pseudorage between each visible satellite and the receiver. The transmission time from satellite to receiver is measured with the aid of clocks in the receiver and the satellite, and with the aid of several time scales (i.e., timing marks) present within the received satellite signal. The clocks in the satellites and the receiver are set to substantially the same time, but it is assumed that the receiver clock has a time offset τ because the receiver clock is based upon a quartz-crystal whereas each satellite clock is based upon a more accurate atomic reference clock. The receiver has the orbital patterns of the satellites stored in a memory, and it can determine the orbital position of the satellites based on the time of its clock. The receiver reads the timing marks on the satellite's signal, and compares them against it own clock to determine the transmission time from satellite to receiver. The satellite's low-frequency (50 Hz) information signal provides the least precise timing information, the C/A-code signal provides the next most precise timing information, and the P-code signal provides the most precise timing information. The pseudorange is determined from the low-frequency information signal and the C/A-code signal for civilian users and some military users, and is determined from the low-frequency information signal and the P-code signal for most military users. Accurate use of the P-code signal requires knowledge of a certain code signal which is only known to military users. Precision better than that provided by the P-code signal can be obtained by measuring the phase of the satellite carrier signal in a differential navigation mode using two receivers. [0052] A typical receiver for differential navigation applications has a frequency down-conversion unit and several individual tracking channels of the coherent type. The down-conversion unit provides down-converted versions of the satellite signals to the channels, with the down-converted signals having frequencies generally in the range of 10 MHz to 20 MHz. Each channel tracks a selected one of the satellite signals. Each tracking channel measures the delay of one PR-code signal within the satellite signal (e.g., C/A-code or P-code signal), and also the phase of the down-converter version of the satellite's carrier signal. A typical tracking channel comprises a Delay-Lock Loop (DLL) circuit for tracking the delay of the PR-code, a Phase-Lock Loop (PLL) circuit for tracking the phase of the satellite's carrier signal, and three correlators which generate the input signals for the DLL and PLL circuits. Each correlator multiplies the combined collection of the down-converted satellite signals with a reference carrier signal from the PLL circuit and with a reference code signal from the DLL circuit, and then accumulates (or integrates) the resulting multiplication products over set time intervals ΔT [0053] The DLL circuit in each channel generates two or more reference code signals which are different from one another (such as by form and/or by phase shift). Each reference code is based upon the PR-code signal of the satellite being tracked, and each reference code signal has a range of high correlation with the satellite code signal being tracked. Also, for GPS satellite signals, each of the channel's reference code signals has substantially no correlation with the code signals of other satellites. This enables a receiver channel to select and isolate one of the down-converted GPS satellite signals from the collection of down-converted GPS satellite signals provided by the down-convert unit. In the GLN system, the same C/A-code is used, but each satellite has a different carrier frequency, which enables a receiver channel to distinguish the satellites from one another. [0054] The reference carrier signal from the PLL circuit is coherently generated by a controlled oscillator of the PLL circuit, and its frequency and phase is controlled to correspond to the frequency and phase of the down-converted carrier signal for the satellite being tracked by the channel. We denote the frequency of the reference carrier signal as ƒ [0055] The first correlator generates the “in-phase” correlation signal I(i·ΔT [0056] The second correlator of the tracking channel generates the quadrature correlation signal Q(i·ΔT [0057] The third correlator generates the main correlation signal dI(i·ΔT [0058] The phase-lock loop (PLL) circuit is used to adjust the frequency (ƒ [0059] Where arctan(*) is the arctangent function (also called the “inverse tangent” function), and where Sgn(*) is the sign function, which has an output value of +1 when its input is zero or positive, and an output value or −1 when its input is negative. Each of these forms contains correlation function Q(i·ΔT [0060] The phase-error signal Ep from the PLL's discriminator is provided to a loop filter of the PLL circuit which determines the pass band and the servo-system type of the PLL circuit. The output of the PLL filter provides the control signal of the PLL circuit, and is provided to the generator of the reference carrier signal, where it is used to adjust the frequency (ƒ [0061] The relationship of the PLL's phase-error signal Ep(φ) and the phase shift φ is substantially linear in a limited range of phase shifts φ nearby the point of steady balance for the PLL circuit, which is Ep=0. When large shifts are present, which can occur under the effect of large noise spikes or other strong disturbances, the PLL circuit can move to another point of steady balance which is an integer number of phase half-cycles away from the previous point of steady balance (±n*π, n=1, 2, 3, . . . ). This event is known as the “cycle slip effect,” and it impedes navigational measurements using the phase of the satellite's carrier signal. [0062] The above-described satellite signal structure and coherent receiver structure are well known to the art and do not form a part of the present inventions. [0063] Tutorial on the Navigation Parameters. [0064] Because of the time offset τ and other error effects, the pseudorange γ between a satellite and a receiver is usually not the actual distance between the satellite and the receiver. By looking at the pseudoranges of four or more satellites, there are well-known methods of estimating the time offset τ of the receiver and of accounting for some of the error effects to generate the computed distance D between the satellites and the receiver. The receiver's position may then be computed. However, because of various sources of noise and the relatively low resolution of the pseudo-random code signal, the true distances (i.e. true ranges), and receiver's position coordinates will not be exactly known, and will ha, C errors. [0065] In theory, more precise values for the receiver's position and clock offset could be obtained by measuring the number of carrier cycles that occur between each satellite and the receiver. The phase of the carrier of the satellite signal as transmitted by a satellite can be expressed as:
[0066] where Φ [0067] where c is the speed of light, and where τ φ [0068] Notice that the terms Φ [0069] However, the task of measuring carrier phase is not as easy at it appears. In practice, we must use non-ideal receivers to measure the phases φ [0070] As previously mentioned, the reference oscillator (e.g., NCO) of the PLL circuit tracks the frequency of a selected one of the down-converted satellite signals. As a result, it inherently tracks the Doppler-shift frequency of the satellite's carrier signal. Before being provided to the PLL circuit, the carrier signal is down-converted from the GHz range by a local oscillator having a frequency ƒ φ [0071] where ƒ [0072] We will now like to relate the change in phase of the satellite signal φ φ [0073] Now, let us create a reference phase in the receiver which is of the form: φ [0074] where we start the reference phase at time t φ [0075] Now, let us move the satellite to its normal orbital position, which will be a distance D φ [0076] The signal received by the antenna is down-converted with a local oscillator, which has a phase of: [0077] φ [0078] where ƒ [0079] Because the PLL circuit does not know which carrier cycle it first locks onto, the PLL phase φ [0080] We have thus related the change in phase of the satellite signal φ Φ [0081] Using the relation ƒ φ [0082] where φ′=Φ [0083] φ [0084] Thus, our Doppler phase observable φ [0085] We will now write equation (15) for the base and rover stations, adding superscripts “B” and “R” for the base and rover stations, and subscript “m” to indicate the m-th satellite signal and the m-th tracking channel. [0086] For the differential navigation mode, the difference of these phases is formed: φ [0087] Using N φ [0088] The values for φ′ [0089] Our Inventions Relating to Differential Navigation. [0090] Real time processing (RTP) in the differential navigation mode determines the baseline vector using the results of the pseudo-range and full phase measurements from satellites of the GPS and/or GLN systems. In a real time processing application, the computation of the baseline vector is made in the rover equipment that receives pseudo-range and full phase measurements obtained in the base equipment through the communication link. [0091] The RTP methods and apparatuses include four main units: the extrapolating unit for the base measurements, the cycle slip detection and correction unit, the ambiguity resolution unit, and the unit of computation of the baseline vector. In addition to these main units, there are several auxiliary units that generate vectors and matrices for the operation of the main units. [0092] The present application discloses three inventions for the first three of the four main units, respectively, which enables one to improve the quality of the operation of the first three units. The accuracy and reliability of the baseline determination, especially under conditions where the rover is moving, is improve as a result. While our three inventions are preferably used together, they may be used separately. [0093] In the previous tutorial discussion, we used the symbol “t [0094] A. The extrapolating unit for Base measurements. [0095] In the differential navigation mode of operation, both of the Base and Rover receivers generate navigation parameters at specific moments T [0096] The extrapolating unit is necessary in the cases when the base-rover communication link has a limited carrying capacity (i.e., limited bandwidth, or data rate) and, as a consequence, has a limited speed of transmission. As a result, the sequential series of frames containing information and navigation parameters measured in the Base receiver arrive at the Rover equipment with an interval ΔT [0097] The purpose of the extrapolating unit is to use the information parameters from the Base receiver which have been received in previous data frames and to generated extrapolated values for the navigation parameters from time moments which are between the time moment of the last fully-received Base frame and the time moment of the next fully-received Base frame. The extrapolated values are generated periodically at shorter time intervals T [0098] General principles of extrapolation are well known to the art. Yet in the case under consideration one has to take into account some specific problems. First of all, it is necessary to take into account that the base-rover communication link often operates in an environment where there are strong additive and modulating interference signals. As a result, the conditions arise for the reception to be blocked or corrupted for limited intervals of time. Such intervals are usually detected in the receiver channel of the connection link by measuring signal-to-noise ratio and determining when it is below an admissible threshold. Other ways of detecting errors in the transmitted information parameters, such as those based upon the use of special codes and checksum codes, may also be used. [0099] As a second problem, the measurements of navigation parameters in some channels of the base receiver may also turn out to be missing or inaccurate during some time intervals. This may happen, for example, if a local object near the Base station directs a strong reflected signal to the antenna of the Base receiver or if the object blocks the direct satellite signal from the antenna. [0100] Interference events, such as interference signals and blockages of signal reception by intervening objects, can cause inaccurate and inauthentic measurements of the navigation parameters. Indicators of interference events can help prevent the use of inaccurate and inauthentic measurements. Such an indicator may comprise, for example, an “amplitude indicator” which measures the signal-to-noise ratio in a satellite channel. An interference indicator may also comprise an “Angle indicator”, which indicates the presence of large peaks in the output Ep of a PLL discriminator. [0101] An exemplary amplitude indicator for the m-th tracking channel may use the in-phase and quadrature phase correlation signals, denoted herein as I [0102] where Z [0103] An exemplary angle indicator may use the output Ep of the PLL discriminator of the m-th tracking channel to generate signal G [0104] Another exemplary indicator, which is suitable for coherent channels, generates indicator signal G [0105] which provides an indicator signal which is related to the signal power level of the satellite input signal, and also to the PLL's tracking phase error. This form of signal G [0106] Indicator signal G [0107] Indicator signal G [0108] where “i·ΔT [0109] In this example, signal G [0110] where β [0111] A second alarm signal S [0112] For reliable implementations of differential navigation, one or both of the indicator signals G [0113] As we indicated in the Summary of Invention section, some embodiments of our inventions use receivers which employ joint tracking loops (our co-pending patent application Ser. No.09/330,221). These loops, which are separate from the individual PPL circuits, are for jointly tracking changes to the satellite carrier phases which are caused by comment events. In a typical embodiment, there are three common loops for tracking changes in the position coordinates of the receiver's antenna, one loop for each coordinate, and there is one common loop for tracking the drift in the receiver's time clock. The four common tracking loops use the PLL phase discriminator signals Ep [0114] Exemplary Composition of the Information Parameters of a Base Frame [0115] The following values are among information parameters which are transmitted through the communication link from the base receiver to the rover receiver for each m-th satellite channel at each k-th frame: [0116] the full phase φ [0117] the pseudorange γ [0118] the time moment t [0119] a weight coefficient K [0120] The full phase φ φ [0121] or may be constructed in the form which includes the phase offsets of the base receiver: φ [0122] In either case, we will use the convention practice and have the base receiver correct its clock so that the base time T [0123] The weight coefficient K [0124] when ξ [0125] Other expressions for the determination of K [0126] The procedure of the extrapolation unit operation [0127] The information parameters from several (Mr) successive frames (k=1,2 . . . Mr) for each satellite channel, as received by the base receiver, are written to a memory unit [0128] In a preferred implementation, the navigation parameters are encoded by an error-correcting method before being transmitted over the communication link by the base station. In the rover receiver, the encoded parameters are decoded by a decoding method in receiving unit [0129] The purpose of the extrapolation unit is to extrapolate the full phase φ [0130] A binary quality estimation (satisfactory/unsatisfactory) is made by assessment unit [0131] the signal-to-noise ratio (snr [0132] an error is detected in a received digital word representing an information parameter which cannot be corrected by the decoding methods used in the communication link (ν [0133] a checksum error is detected in the frame (or sub-frame); or [0134] the weight coefficient of the frame is equal to zero (K [0135] Assessment unit [0136] While all of these conditions are tested in preferred embodiments, less preferred embodiments may test fewer of the conditions. Then a true group comprising n [0137] The extrapolating function parameters are computed from the selected group (as determined by discriminator unit [0138] The observation matrix H [0139] The covariance measurement matrix R [0140] According to the least-squares method, the extrapolation function parameters (in the A [0141] where φ [0142] where γ [0143] After the determination of the extrapolating function parameters, the extrapolation is performed by a generator unit φ [0144] and we may generate the extrapolation of the pseudo-range measurements as: γ [0145] When a new frame is received and stored in the register, all of the above steps are repeated by the units [0146] As indicated above, the extrapolation is made independently for each satellite channel, so the above steps are performed for the full phase and pseudo-range of each satellite received by the Base receiver. [0147] Through their work, the inventors have found that the following values are most suitable for use in navigation receivers of GPS and GLN systems: [0148] A frame duration of ΔT [0149] B. The cycle slip detection and correction unit [0150] Characteristics and symptoms of a cycle slip. [0151] As described in the above tutorial section on the structure of coherent navigation receivers, a cycle slip is the process of a PLL circuit transitioning (or changing) from one point of steady balance to another point of steady balance (also called herein as a “steady balance point”). The cycle slip is characterized by two main parameters: the value (e.g., the number of cycles or sometimes half-cycles) and the duration of the cycle slip. [0152] The value of a cycle slip is random, but is always equal to a multiple of the phase interval (α) between two neighboring steady balance points of the PLL circuit. This interval depends upon the type of PLL circuit used. The typical value of α for receivers of navigation systems is α=0.5 cycles if the phase is measured in cycles, or α=π if the phase is measured in radians. In this case, the slip value may be equal to ±m/2 cycles (where m=1, 2 . . . ). [0153] The duration of a cycle slip is also random. The minimum duration is determined by the time lag (i.e., sluggishness) of the PLL circuit, and the maximum duration depends upon the reason which caused the cycle slip, and it may reach several seconds. [0154] A loss in PLL tracking, which is different from a cycle slip, can be viewed as a very long cycle slip if the PLL circuit does not need to undergo the re-acquisition process after the PLL tracking loss has ended. In those cases where the re-acquisition process is used to re-establish PLL tracking, the initial loss in PLL tracking cannot be viewed as a cycle slip. [0155] Sometimes it is possible to detect a cycle slip in an individual channel by observing the rate of change in the phase of the PLL's controlled oscillator (e.g., NCO), and noting time intervals when this rate grows substantially. Yet such a detection is very unreliable, especially in the case of the rover receiver, as its velocity may change in a rather wide range. [0156] The occurrence of a cycle slip is often connected with the shading (blockage) of the signal by a local object. At the disappearance of the signal, the feedback loop of the PLL circuit is usually opened, but the noise potential remaining on the PLL dynamic filter integrator continues to change the reference oscillator phase; and at the reappearance of the signal, the PLL may lock onto a new steady balance point. In this case, the duration of the cycle slip practically coincides with the duration of the blockage, and the cycle slip value is random and depends on the energetic potential and the characteristics of the PLL circuit. A cycle slip caused by a blockage is usually detected with sufficient reliability for all its duration by the amplitude and angle indicators of the affected channel, as we have described above. However, the situation is more complicated when the receiver functions in the presence of reflected signals. The reflected signal may be received also during the blockage of the direct signal. In this case, if the reflected signal is strong enough, the indicators usually produce only short pulses in the beginning and at the end of the cycle slip. During the major part of the blockage of the direct signal, the reflected signal acts as a substitute for the direct signal, and the receiver indicators cannot detect the cycle slip. At some values of the amplitude and phase of the reflected signal, the short pulses from the indictors at the beginning and at the end of the cycle slip may remain unnoticed against a noisy background, although the probability of that occurring is not very high given the average energetic potential of the signal. [0157] Also possible are occurrences of short-time cycle slips due to strong impulse noise or interference, violent shocks to the antenna or the quartz crystal in the main signal oscillator, or even an occasional large spike in the receiver's intrinsic noise. [0158] All of the cycle slip detection methods for a single channel, taken separately, are one way or another connected with (i.e., rely upon) the observation of the cycle slip process itself. After the slip has ended and the PLL circuit has locked onto a new steady balance point, it is impossible to detect the cycle slip in the affected tracking channel. In the majority of cases, it is also impossible to determine the cycle slip value in the affected channel, and consequently it is impossible to correct it. [0159] As a rule, many satellite tracking channels operate simultaneously in a navigation receiver, and some redundancy exists. Using the redundancy, one can detect a tracking channel whose measurements differ strongly from those of another, and can consider that this difference is most probably the consequence of a cycle slip. By this way, it is possible to detect the cycle slip also after its completion. The existence of redundancy allows, in principle, one to estimate the slip value and to apply a correction after its completion. Yet, this method taken in itself is not sufficiently reliable either, especially if cycle slips occur in several channels simultaneously, or if the rover moves randomly and quickly enough, or if the energetic potential in some channels is not very high. [0160] The second invention of the present application relates to methods and apparatuses to detect and simultaneously correct cycle slips based upon the use of the many characteristics and specific symptoms of cycle slips. The methods and apparatuses enable one to notice the occurrence of a cycle slip with high probability, and to exclude from the navigation processing tasks, during the entire duration of the cycle slip, the measurements of the navigation parameters from the channels where the slips were detected. After the completion of the cycle slip, it is possible to estimate the value and sign of the cycle slip, and to apply the corresponding correction. [0161] Input values for the cycle slip detection and correction unit [0162] The cycle slip detection and correction units (apparatuses) and methods of this invention use, as input data, a set of residuals Δφ [0163] The residual of single phase differences Δφ Δφ [0164] where λ [0165] For real-time processing applications, the full phase φ φ φ [0166] or may be constructed in the form which includes the phase offsets of the base receiver: φ φ [0167] In either case, we will use the convention practice and have the base receiver correct its clock so that the base time T [0168] For each satellite signal, indicated herein generally as the m-th satellite signal, we define a weight factor K [0169] The weight coefficient K [0170] If either of the weight coefficients K [0171] The single phase difference residuals of all of the operating channels may be grouped together as a vector which we call the phase residual vector Δφ [0172] The structure of the common inertial tracking loop [0173] The general block schematic diagram of an exemplary apparatus and method of cycle-slip detection and correction for the rover receiver is shown at [0174] The detection and correction apparatus and method for each channel receive the phase residual Δφ [0175] A summation node δφ [0176] The mismatch δφ φ [0177] where α is the distance (interval) in cycles between two neighboring points of steady balance of PLL circuit. The value α is a constant (fixed) parameter and is determined by the characteristics of the PLL discriminator. If a PLL discriminator with the transformation characteristic of the form arctan(Q/I) is used, then a 0.5. [0178] The nonlinear transfer function of φ [0179] From φ ψ [0180] The dependence of ψ [0181] The corrected mismatches for all n channels may be grouped together as a vector ψ [0182] There are a number of spatial coordinate systems which may be used to specify the positions of the base receiver, the rover receiver, and the satellites. The selection affects the specifics of how the observation matrix H α β [0183] where x [0184] The fourth column of the H [0185] The covariance observation matrix R [0186] The state vector A [0187] Where G [0188] In common tracking system [0189] We will now describe the processing of these four component signals through the four feedback loops. Starting at the beginning point, the four obtained components of the state vector A [0190] Our research shows that in the case where the dynamics of the rover's movement approximate those of an ordinary car, the transfer functions K [0191] where the asterisk star “*” symbol is a place holder for “x”, “y” “z” or “q”, where K [0192] As the next step, the vector of dynamic estimates V
[0193] Each component of the obtained vector V [0194] Each component V [0195] If a cycle slip begins in one or more of the channels, but with a sufficiently high number of channels functioning normally without cycle slips, then the cycle-slips in this small number of channels do not appreciable affect the vectors A Δφ [0196] and the task of generating Δφ [0197] After the cycle slip has been completed, the value of the correction φ [0198] Individual circuits [0199] The common tracking loops, with properly chosen parameters, tracks quite well the perturbations common for all the channels, specifically, those connected with the rover movement and the drift in the rover's reference generator. Yet individual systematic variations of the phase residual Δφ [0200] To prevent a substantial increase in the mismatch and the occurrence of a false correction, an individual loop [0201] The corrected mismatch ψ [0202] Each individual loop [0203] Each individual loop tracks the drift in its corresponding mismatch δφ [0204] The following three ways may be used to eliminate this danger. [0205] The first way is based upon the fact that the rate of drift in a phase residual Δφ [0206] The second way of preventing the individual loop from inadvertently correcting a cycle slip is a modification of the first way. In the modification, switch SW [0207] The third way of preventing the individual loop from inadvertently correcting a cycle slip is based upon the fact that the rate of drift due to a systematic cause is almost constant over a rather large interval of time (up to 10-15 minutes). Therefore, the rate of the drift may be measured and stored in memory right at the beginning of the measurement, and then used for the compensation of the drift. To store the rate of the drift in an individual circuit, a memory unit comprising an accumulator I [0208] After the ambiguity resolution, the rover coordinates are defined more accurately, and it is necessary to switch on switch SW [0209] The main drawback of the second way is due to its strong sensitivity to the reflected signals having a Doppler frequency shift. Such reflections can arise from the rover movement. The multipath error in the measured phases due to the movement will vary, and the rate of its variation will bring an error into the rate of drift stored in the individual circuit. This may result in an erroneous correction. Therefore it is best to use the second way when the switching on of switch SW [0210] Signal of blocking/interlocking [0211] Whenever the operation of a channel is disturbed, such as by a cycle slip, it is advisable to disconnect the corrected mismatch signal ψ [0212] At the occurrence of the signal of blocking (S [0213] The disconnected channel ceases to influence the generation of the estimates Δ{circumflex over (φ)} [0214] To prevent this correction from being distorted because of the influence of individual loop [0215] The blocking signal S [0216] Another condition which indicates that the channel has likely been disturbed is when the magnitude of the corrected mismatch ψ [0217] When all the alarm signals are deactivated, and when the magnitude of the corrected mismatch (|ψ [0218] This above-described methodology for deactivating the blocking signal S [0219] At processing block [0220] Compromises are made in the selection of values of the threshold Π [0221] A too large of a delay T [0222] Exclusion of measurements of the channel from the further processing (signal “Observation missing”). [0223] The navigation measurements from any channel in which cycle slip occurs should not be used for the resolution of ambiguity or the calculation of the baseline vector until the cycle slip ends and is corrected. The previously-described disconnection of a channel from common tracking system [0224] In order to determine when the navigation measurements of a channel should be excluded from the ambiguity resolution or the baseline computation because of a cycle slip, we may generate an alarm signal called the “observations missing” signal S [0225] The observation missing signal S [0226] (1) the slow acting alarm signal S2m [0227] of the channel is activated [0228] (2) the base measurements are missing (S [0229] (3) whenever the correction φ [0230] The fast acting alarm signal S [0231] Features of the cycle slip detection and correction apparatus and method in the post-processing (PP) mode. [0232] In the PP mode, there is no communication link operating, and the ambiguity resolution and the baseline calculation are performed after the termination of measurements at the rover and base stations. The information and navigation parameters of the base and rover receivers are recorded at periodic intervals at their respective locations, and the recorded parameters are assembled together at one location and processed to resolve the ambiguity and calculate the baseline vector. The time interval between recorded parameters is usually between 0.05 seconds and 1 second, and usually considerably exceeds the clock rate at which the PLL circuits are operated at, which is usually between 0.001 and 0.020 seconds. At such large periods between recorded parameters, the extrapolation of measurements for a moving rover with the required accuracy is practically impossible. In addition, the common tracking system of the cycle-slip detection and correction unit cannot track the rover movement with the required accuracy, and in a number of cases cannot track the phase drift of the rover's reference generator. For these reasons, the use of the our apparatuses and methods for the detection and correction of cycle slips in the PP mode is preferably limited to the case where the base and rover receivers are motionless and where highly-stable reference generators are used in the receivers. The required stability can be readily achieved in the receivers by using the joint tracking loops disclosed in our co-pending patent application Ser. No. 09/330,221. filed Jun. 10, 1999, entitled “The Joint Tracking of the Carrier Phases of the Signals Received from Different Satellites”, which was previously described above, and which is incorporated herein by reference. [0233] Thus, in the above case, our apparatuses and methods of detection and correction of cycle slips can be used in the PP mode with the following changes: [0234] 1. Residuals Δφ [0235] 2. Each loop of the common tracking system has an astaticism of the second order (type 2 servo system) and an equivalent noise band which is considerably smaller than the frame clock frequency, i.e., from 4.0 Hz to 0.2 Hz depending on the chosen frame clock frequency. [0236] Model experiments which demonstrate the operation of the system of detection and correction of cycle slips [0237] The operation of the apparatuses and methods of detection and correction of cycle slips according to the second invention of this application can be clearly illustrated with the help of a simulation model. The model simulated the operation of two receivers (Base and Rover), tracking simultaneously 8 satellites (n=8). In each satellite channel of the Base and Rover receivers, there is a PLL circuit which tracks the corresponding satellite carrier and a slave DLL circuit which tracks the C/A-code (GPS) of the satellite. (The DLL circuit is a slave unit in this case because it receives a Doppler-shift correction signal generated by the PLL circuit). Each receiver has 4 joint tracking loops as disclosed in our previously-mentioned co-pending patent application Ser. No. 09/330,221, three of which track the rover displacement along three coordinates, and one tracks the phase of the reference generator. The adjustment frequency of the joint tracking loops is set in the range of 100 Hz to 200 Hz. and the joint tracking loops have an astaticism of the 3-rd order (type 3 servo system) and an equivalent noise band of about 20 Hz. The channel DLLs have an astaticism of the 1-st order (type 1 servo system), have an equivalent noise band of about 1 Hz, and use strobed reference code signals. The channel PLLs have an astaticism of the 2-nd order (type 2 servo system). an equivalent noise band in the range of 2 Hz up to 5 Hz, and a typical discriminator with the characteristic of the form arctan(Q/I). The outputs of the channel PLLs which are provided to the joint tracking loops are blocked by respective alarm signals S [0238] In the model, rover movements with accelerations of up to 1.5 g are simulated. The acceleration affects the rover position as well as the frequency shift of the rover's reference generator (a quartz oscillator is modeled). In addition, a systematic frequency drift of up to 5 Hz to 10 Hz in the generator's oscillator due to instability is simulated, and random fluctuations in the oscillator due to vibrations in the band of up to 2 kHz with full dispersion of up to 100 g [0239] As a general rule, the blockage results in the cycle slip of the PLL circuit, which ends with the establishment of the PLL circuit at a new steady balance point, after which the tracking of the satellite carrier signal resumes. Typical results from the simulation are shown in the graphs of FIGS. [0240] As the result of the blockage in channel No. 8, a cycle slip with a duration of about 6 seconds and a value of 20.5 cycles occurred. In the plots of FIGS. 6, 7, and [0241] In curve (a) of the plot of FIG. 6, we have shown the single phase difference residual Δφ [0242] In curve (a) of the plot of FIG. 8, we have shown the single phase difference residual Δφ [0243] Use of different coordinate systems. [0244] As is known in the global positioning art, there are a number of spatial coordinate systems for representing the position of an object in three dimensions. The most commonly used coordinate systems are the Cartesian system, Earth-centered Earth-fixed (ECEF) system, geodesic system, and topocentric system. Some of these systems are variants of the Cartesian system. Once the coordinate system is selected for the receiver, the mathematical expression for computing the distance D [0245] C. Ambiguity resolution unit. [0246] The ambiguity resolution task comprises the following three main parts: [0247] 1. Generation of the floating ambiguity estimations. [0248] 2. Generation of the integer ambiguities. [0249] 3. Formation of a signal of integer ambiguities resolution. [0250] The third invention of the present application pertains to the first part, that of generating the floating ambiguity estimates. The second and third parts may be accomplished by apparatuses and methods well known in the art. The apparatuses and methods of our third invention use as an input data: [0251] a) the pseudo-ranges and full phase measurements obtained in the Base and Rover receivers; [0252] b) the satellites coordinates (which are highly predictable can be readily determined from the GPS time and information provided in the 50 Hz low-frequency information signal by methods well known to the art); [0253] c) the estimated coordinates of the Base and Rover stations (as measured at their antennas); and [0254] d) the weight coefficients characterizing the accuracy of the measurements. [0255] According to the input data, a vector of observations and a covariance matrix of measurements are formed. After that a state vector is generated, components of which are floating ambiguities, the number of which is equal to the number of satellites. On the basis of the floating ambiguity values, a search of the integer ambiguities is performed with use of a least squares method which is modified for integer estimations. [0256] Improvement of the floating ambiguity estimations takes place step-by-step, and the probability of correct ambiguity resolution increases step-by-step as information is accumulated. Finishing of this process is registered by appearance of the signal of integer ambiguities resolution, which indicates that ambiguity resolution was performed sufficiently safely. After that, the integer ambiguities together with other input data are used for accurate determination of the base line vector. The tasks of determining the integer ambiguities and of generating the signal of integer ambiguities resolution are known to the art and do not form part of our third invention. These tasks, therefore, are not described in greater detail. [0257] All computations in the floating ambiguity resolution unit are performed with clock interval T [0258] In our third invention, recurrent processing procedures for obtaining the floating ambiguity estimations, based on the method of least squares, are used. The procedures are suitable both for the RTP mode and for the PP mode under movable Rover, where the Rover coordinates may be random and independent in adjacent clock moments. For statistic measurements, when it is known that Rover is immovable, procedures enabling one to decrease processor load and increase measurements accuracy are provided. [0259] A common feature of the proposed procedures of our third invention is that for every clock (j-th) time moment (t [0260] In the discussion of this invention, we will be working mostly with vector forms of the information parameters, thus we have omitted the use of satellite index m for the most part. [0261] C.1. The first recurrent procedure for determining the float ambiguity estimations. [0262] We start this discussion with rewriting equation (18), which has the integer ambiguities N φ [0263] where Λ φ [0264] Our approach comprises solving the above equations to find an estimation for vector N. However, we cannot readily find measured values for vectors τ (φ [0265] We will use the pseudo-ranges to find the vector H (γ [0266] This will be done through use of the least squares method, and the formation of observation vectors, state vectors, and observation matrices, as described below in greater detail. Once the estimation of vector N is found, it will be accumulated and processed to find accurate estimates for the floating ambiguities. [0267] Generation of the vector of observations. [0268] In our first general recurrent (i.e., iterative) procedure, a vector of observations μ Δγ [0269] with [0270] γ [0271] where γ [0272] D [0273] The next n components of the observation vector μ Δφ [0274] where [0275] φ [0276] φ [0277] Λ [0278] The full phase vectors φ φ φ [0279] or may be constructed in the form which includes the phase offsets of the base receiver: φ φ [0280] In either case, we will use the convention practice and have the base receiver correct its clock so that the base time T [0281] Generation of the measurements covariance matrix. [0282] Measurements covariance matrix R [0283] The weight coefficients (K [0284] Thus, for example, for the n-th channel (K [0285] where K K [0286] when ξ K [0287] where Z [0288] Weight coefficients k K [0289] when ξ K [0290] where Z [0291] When the magnitudes of either of weight coefficients K [0292] The elements of the covariance matrix R [0293] Determination of the state vector estimation. [0294] The state vector A [0295] 2n equations (according to the number of components of the observation vector)) may be used to determine the state vector A [0296] Since the vector of observations μ μ [0297] where the observation matrix H [0298] Matrix H [0299] The first part, the left upper corner of this matrix (the first four columns by the first n rows), is occupied by the observation matrix H [α [0300] where α [0301] The second part of matrix H [0302] For the n-th channel, the corresponding row appears like this: [α [0303] where λ [0304] The third part, the right upper corner (the last n columns by the first n rows) is occupied by zeroes. [0305] The fourth part, the right lower corner (the last n rows by the last n columns) is occupied by the elements relating to the floating ambiguities. This part represents the identity matrix E with dimensions of n×n. [0306] The method of least squares gives an estimation Â [0307] (here and further upper index T means matrix transposition, upper index −1 means matrix inversion). [0308] Determination of the float ambiguity vector estimation. [0309] From the obtained estimation vector Â [0310] As the next step, a main estimation vector {circumflex over (N)} [0311] Exemplary procedures for performing the weighted summation. [0312] The weighted summation of the preliminary estimation vector Ñ _{j }for the estimation vector Â_{j }of the state vector as follows:
_{j}=[(H _{j} ^{μ})^{T} ·R _{j} ^{−1} ·H _{j} ^{μ}]^{−1}.
[0313] We then generate a covariance matrix {tilde over (r)} _{j }only that part which relates to the floating ambiguity (e.g., the sub-matrix comprising the last n rows and last n columns of matrix _{j}). The weighted summation is performed with taking into account the obtained covariance matrixes and main estimation Ñ_{j }is found as follows:
W [0314] is the weight matrix, R [0315] is the covariance matrix for the main estimation vector {circumflex over (N)} [0316] As the weighted summation is generated through successive time moments, information at the current time is accumulated with information at previous time moments, and as a result the components of the main estimation vector {circumflex over (N)} [0317] A second exemplary method for generating the weighted summation is simplified, and is suitable for small observation intervals T [0318] In the simplified weighted summation, the vector components corresponding to those channels which should be excluded from further processing according to the signal “Observation missing” are excluded from vectors {circumflex over (N)} [0319] An exemplary third method combines the first and second methods. Over an integer number Ks of time moments t [0320] where Ks is greater than one, where adjacent time moments l are separated by the interval ΔT _{l }is determined by the following recurrent procedure:
[0321] where for l=1. The covariance matrix is generated from the covariance matrix _{j}=(H_{j} ^{T}·R_{j} ^{−1}·H_{j})^{−1 }described above by selecting from the covariance matrix _{j }only that part which relates to the floating ambiguity (e.g., the sub-matrix comprising the last n row and last n columns of matrix _{j}). At the end of the Ks-th time moment, the desired covariance matrix {haeck over (R)}^{N} _{k }is generated as:
[0322] The weighted summation according to the first method is performed on the intermediate estimation vectors {circumflex over (N)}* [0323] etc., to generate the main estimation vectors {circumflex over (N)} [0324] The third method enables one to combine advantages of the second simplified method (which does not require frequent inversions of non-diagonal matrixes having large dimensionality) and the first main method which does not limit the observation time. It is apparent that in the third method the floating ambiguity estimations and, hence, the accurate estimations of the base vector will be provided with the longer time interval of ΔT [0325] It may be appreciated that equivalent results in the solution process are obtained by exchanging the block matrix rows of the observation matrix H [0326] Features of the first recurrent procedure at kinematic and static operating modes. [0327] We use the term “the kinematic mode” to describe the operating mode where the Rover is moving, and its coordinates between adjacent clock moments is considered to be random and independent. In such a movement model, it is impossible to predict the Rover position for the j-th time moment, knowing its position at previous time moments. Therefore the Rover coordinates are determined at every moment again and are not improved in the long run by the use of accumulation. [0328] We use the term “the static mode” to describe the operating mode where the Rover is immovable, and its coordinates are constant but unknown and are subject to determination. The coordinates of the immovable Rover are improved in the long run as information is accumulated. The above described first recurrent procedure is applicable to both the static and kinematic modes, since it provides for gradual accumulation of information about only the floating ambiguity estimations, which are constant in both modes. However, if it is known that the mode is static, it is possible to improve results at the expense of performing an additional accumulation of information about the Rover coordinates. This can be done by modifying the first recurrent procedure as we describe below, the essence of which comprises the expansion of the components of vector Ñ [0329] In the static mode, a vector {tilde over (B)} _{j }related to the coordinate increments as well as the components related to the floating ambiguities. The modified process is finished by extracting the main estimation of the floating ambiguity vector from the augmented estimation vector {circumflex over (B)}_{j}.
[0330] Under such change of the first recurrent procedure, the accuracy of floating ambiguity increases more rapidly in time, and the time necessary for obtaining a reliable ambiguity resolution is reduced. [0331] Another difference of the static and kinematic modes relates to the method of generating the observations vector μ [0332] In the static mode, the Rover coordinates are constant, but have unknown accuracy at the beginning of the observation. Therefore, for initial range determination, the prior values of the Rover's coordinates are used, which are known, as a rule, with a large error. This error rapidly decreases when pseudo-range measurements are introduced into the processing. In fact, already after several clock intervals T [0333] In the kinematic mode, the Rover coordinates change, therefore the estimated range vector D [0334] C2. The second recurrent procedure for determining the float ambiguity estimations. [0335] In our second general recurrent procedure for determining the float ambiguities, two separate vectors of observations are formed: a pseudo-range observations vector μ [0336] The observations vector μ [0337] Determination of the state vector estimation according to the pseudo-range measurements. [0338] State vector A [0339] n equations (according to the components number in vector of observations μ [0340] The linearized system of equations is expressed as μ [0341] where the observations matrix H [0342] The method of least squares gives an estimation of the 4component state vector in the form of: [0343] Determination of the estimation of the float ambiguity vector. [0344] The obtained estimation state vector Â {circumflex over (μ)} [0345] where H [0346] It is then possible to determine a preliminary estimation vector Ñ [0347] The main estimation vector {circumflex over (N)} [0348] As well as in the first recurrent procedure, the weighted summation may be performed by any of the three methods which were described above. However, the form of the covariance matrix {tilde over (R [0349] A second, and less preferred way of generating covariance matrix {tilde over (R _{j}=[(H_{j} ^{μ})^{T}·R_{j} ^{−1}·H_{j} ^{μ}]^{−1}, and we then generate covariance matrix {tilde over (R^{N} _{j }by selecting from matrix _{j }only that part which relates to the floating ambiguities. )})}
[0350] In the second recurrent procedure (as well as in the first), in the kinematic mode, the estimated range vector D [0351] H [0352]FIG. 12 shows an exemplary schematic diagram of a general processing unit [0353] While the present inventions have been particularly described with respect to the illustrated embodiments, it will be appreciated that various alterations, modifications and adaptations may be made based on the present disclosure, and are intended to be within the scope of the present invention. While the inventions have been described in connection with what is presently considered to be the most practical and preferred embodiments it is to be understood that the present inventions are not limited to the disclosed embodiments but, on the contrary, is intended to cover various modifications and equivalent arrangements included within the scope of the appended claims. Referenced by
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