FIG Peer Review Journal


A comparison of survey-grade GNSS receivers by means of observation and coordinate domain approaches; traditional vs low-budget (11320)

Ola Øvstedal, Johan Tobias Arnell, Isak Foss Ingebrigtsen, Simen Walbækken Tangen and Bjørn-Eirik Roald (Norway)
Dr. Ola Øvstedal
Associate Professor
Department of Geomatics
Faculty of Science and Technology
Norwegian University of Life Sciences
Corresponding author Dr. Ola Øvstedal (email: ola.ovstedal[at]

[ abstract ] [ paper ] [ handouts ]

Published on the web 2022-05-16
Received 2022-01-07 / Accepted 2022-04-22
This paper is one of selection of papers published for the FIG Congress 2022 in Warsaw, Poland in Warsaw, Poland and has undergone the FIG Peer Review Process.

FIG Congress 2022 in Warsaw, Poland
ISBN n/a ISSN 2308-3441


In recent years, several low-cost GNSS receivers have entered the marked. The specifications of some of these low-cost receivers seem to match the specifications of more expensive receivers from traditional manufactures. In the present work, we compared a low-cost GNSS receiver to a traditional state-of-the-art GNSS receiver. The combined effect of multipath and noise on code observations and the ability to maintain lock on carrier phase observations have both been evaluated using a geometry-free observation domain approach. Based on kinematic measurements of a reference trajectory, we have compared the two receivers’ capability when used in network Real Time Kinematic (RTK) mode and in Precise Point Positioning (PPP) based on post-processing. The low-cost receiver supplies dual-frequency observations to only 75% of all GPS-satellites due to lacking P(Y)-code tracking capabilities (as of autumn 2021). Also, the low-cost receiver experienced significantly more cycle-slips than the traditional receiver. We did however verify that many of the apparent cycle slips in carrier phase observations from the low-cost receiver were not due loss of lock of the GNSS-signal but rather a recording/storage issue. The low-cost receiver did not perform as well as the traditional receiver in kinematic PPP using GPS and GLONASS only. When used in kinematic network RTK using GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and BeiDou, there were only small differences between the two receivers.
Keywords: GNSS/GPS; Positioning; Low cost technology; GNSS; low-cost receiver; raw GNSS data; kinematic GNSS