Drone-based L1 vs L1/L2 timemarks for PPK?

I’m curious if there is any formal or anecdotal evidence that a L1/L2 receiver is better that an L1 receiver for drone ppk surveys that are within a few km of the base? Does an L1/L2 receiver in this setup provide a significantly higher probability of preventing cycle slips and preventing the dreaded missing time marks? Anyone have any thoughts on this topic?

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Multi-frequency obviously enables more data to move. If you have two frequencies, you can compare the two delays to estimate the ionospheric effect. The larger the difference between the two frequencies, the larger the difference in the delays, which makes the estimation of the effect more accurate. Modern (circa 2016 and later) dual-frequency receivers provide a typical RMS ionosphere error of 0.4m and the typical RMS ionosphere error of single-frequency receivers is 5.0m.

Multi-frequency is much better at maintaining a Fixed RTK solution and if it is lost then it is regained more quickly. I know this is about PPK, but the data is the same and you just have more control over it.

All that said the most important part is not the end accuracy achieved. It’s the efficiency of the system and how much more quickly you can achieve the same results. This is an important factor for an object flying around at 20-30mph.


Hi Peter,

Agree with Michael. Let me sum up the advantages of the multi-band receivers. In comparison to the single-band ones, they can:

  • Work on longer distances from each other

  • Get Fix faster and regain it more quickly

  • Work in more challenging conditions like in urban areas or under light foliage

However, if a single-band receiver has a clear sky view 30 degrees above the horizon, it should get Fix fine and provide accurate PPK results as well.

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