Mapping GPS Multipath: a Case Study for the Lunar Laser Ranger Timing Antenna at HartRAO

Cilence Munghemezulu, Ludwig Combrinck, Joel Botai, Zinhle Mashaba


Accounting for multipath in Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) is a difficult task and an important one, especially during the pre-investigation phase for the installation of a permanent GNSS station for positioning or timing applications. Sites with a high level of multipath can cause positioning errors or timing errors resulting in the quality of GNSS products (position or timing) becoming degraded by several metres or nanoseconds. We investigate and attempt to map multipath as part of the site investigation for the installation of the timing antenna for lunar laser ranging applications at the Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory (HartRAO). A high-resolution wavelet power spectrum and a standard deviation parameter are used to map multipath in both the time and frequency domain as well as spatial variations on the sky plot. The high standard deviation values on the sky map are attributed to reflections due to shrubs or trees on the site, while smaller standard deviation areas are attributed to bare soil or less vegetated as this would give constant reflection over time provided the ground has constant moisture. We conclude that the site is suitable for installation of the timing antenna and that a mask of 15°-20° elevation angle will be applied to the timing antenna to minimise multipath at lower elevations.

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