ION Alberta Lunch Meeting – Monday November 25, 2013

Dr. Kees de Jong from Fugro presented New developments in offshore precise GNSS positioning [download here]

Fugro’s mission is to be the world’s leading service provider for the collection and interpretation of data relating to the Earth’s surface and sub-surface, and for associated services and advice in support of infrastructure developments on land, along the coast and on the seabed. Fugro’s activities are carried out across the world, both onshore and offshore, and are primarily aimed at the oil and gas industry, the construction industry and the mining sector. All these activities require precise and reliable positioning, usually in real-time.

Fugro provides a number of GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) services, mainly for use offshore. In the early 2000’s it introduced the differential, carrier based HP service, followed by XP, a GPS only Precise Point Positioning (PPP) service, a few years later. In 2009 G2, based on integrated use of GPS and Glonass, became operational.

Current research at Fugro focuses on including the Chinese BeiDou and European Galileo systems in its PPP services. Once these systems are operational, more than 100 satellites will be available for high precision positioning applications. Another research topic is PPP and Integer Ambiguity Resolution (IAR) to further improve precision and reduce convergence time.

Apart from the GNSS signals themselves, the services also rely on correction signals, broadcast e.g. by geostationary satellites, using frequency bands similar to GNSS.

A lot of Fugro’s activities take place in areas at or near the geomagnetic equator, such as Brazil, West Africa and Southeast Asia. As a result, the GNSS and correction signals are often disturbed or even completely lost, due to e.g. ionospheric scintillations. Using more satellite systems, such as GPS, Glonass, BeiDou and Galileo, may help, but it would also be beneficial to be able to predict when the ionosphere will start behaving badly and which signals will be affected.

In this presentation, we will give an overview of Fugro’s current positioning services and present initial results from including BeiDou and Galileo. Next, we will present PPP IAR results, based on real-time G2 orbits and clocks. Finally, we will give a brief description of the activities related to monitoring and predicting ionospheric scintillations.

Speaker’s Bio
Kees de Jong is R&D manager at Fugro Intersite in the Netherlands, where he is responsible for algorithm and software development for precise offshore GNSS positioning. He is also a Visiting Professor of Practice on integrated positioning at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom. Prior to joining Fugro in 2003, he was an assistant professor at the Department of Geodesy of Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, where he set up an educational program in marine geodesy.