What is Dual-band GNSS?

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- everything RF

Feb 18, 2019

Dual-band GNSS is the ability of GNSS modules to receive two different GNSS signals at different frequencies from the constellation of satellites. So for example in the case of GPS, the receiver will receive signals in the L1 & L5 bands. In the case of Galileo, the module will receive signals in the E1 & E5a frequency bands. Receiving two separate data points for the location from two separate signals enables the module to provide a more accurate location. Another advantage of dual-band GNSS is the fact that L5/E5a signals are lower in frequency, as a result, they are less prone to multipath interference errors, which are present in areas with a high density of buildings, like urban canyons, and hence provide excellent position accuracy where the L1/E1 signals might fail.

Features of Dual-frequency GNSS:

  • Reduced signal acquisition time.
  • Improved position and time accuracy.
  • Reduction of problems caused by obstructions such as buildings and foliage.
  • Improved spatial distribution of visible satellites, resulting in improved dilution of precision.

Factors that hindered the wider adoption of Dual-frequency GNSS are:

  • Insufficient satellite coverage of the second band L5/E5
  • High chipset prices
  • Space constraints - fitting of these ICS and related antennas into smartphones and other devices