Archive for September 23rd, 2009

Navigation Error Predictions – Part 3

September 23rd, 2009 | Category: Navigation Accuracy

I know, it's been a long time coming.  Last February, I wrote a Nog on predicting GPS navigation errors in the long-term - over days and weeks.  In this Nog, I'll cover predicting short term navigation errors, which is a little more tricky believe it or not.  This is because for long-term errors, we can use statistics to predict the general behavior of GPS clocks and ephemeris, distilling that down into a statistical position error prediction.  That type of prediction results in an error covariance, an error ellipsoid around the true position.  For the short term (several hours), we have access to the latest clock and ephemeris errors and by using them we can create a predicted error vector, which is a better thing to have.  The difference between an error ellipsoid and an error vector can be explained by example.  Suppose you lose your car keys.  Having an error ellipsoid may tell you that they are in your house somewhere, not too bad of a search, but you have to search the entire house.  If you have an error vector, it would tell you that they are under last weeks mail in the kitchen junk drawer - much better information! A lot less searching.  In the navigation world, and error ellipsoid tells you the treasure is in the general area, but an error vector points to the giant X on the map.

So, now that we have a basic understanding of the types of errors, let's look at how we might use the data we already have (in a PAF file) to predict error vectors for several hours.  If you're not sure how a PAF file leads to a navigation error assessment, be sure to catch up with these Nogs.

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