gAGE/UPC is a Research Group of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), in Barcelona, Spain, created in 1987. This university research group has an extensive experience in state of the art Ionospheric Models, Mapping Functions, Electron Density Profiles form RO, Data Analysis, TEC Variability and GNSS performance analysis. Also they have a wide experience in GNSS navigation, having invented the Fast-PPP concept which is technique for High accuracy navigation that relies in an accurate modelling of the ionospheric delays to accelerate the filter convergence.
gAGE/UPC is producing now the more precise Ionospheric Models at global scale based on GPS observations. They have developed a CPF with the capability of separating the different effects on actual GPS signals with accuracies at the level of 1cm. Indeed, the ionospheric model running in the CPF produce ionospheric determinations at the level of 1/2 TECU (8 cm L1 delay) or better, Rovira-García et al (2014). These values are several times more accurate than the IGS GIMs and provide a valuable source of ionospheric determinations to assess the GNSS ionospheric models.
They have introduced the separability hypothesis for the Abel inversion technique, which improves the estimation of the electron density profiles and have conducted several studies on the use of RO data to estimate 3D iono models, having a large experience in data assimilation combining different sources of data (ground receivers, RO, ionosondes).
They have published large number of papers in peer reviewed journals, proving their capability to perform a real time reconstruction of three-dimensional electronic distribution with different approaches (voxel models, improved Abel transform) and data sources.
This group has generated the last Ionosphere Expert Team Scenarios for EGNOS Ionosphere assessment. In the context of these EGNOS ionosphere studies, gAGE/UPC has developed the ionospheric activity index AATR able to identify perturbed ionospheric conditions degrading the SBAS system Performances. This index has been chosen as the metric to characterise the ionosphere operational conditions in the frame of EGNOS activities.
Moreover they are conducting studies on polar and equatorial scintillation for ESA and improving the modelling of short and long term characteristics of ionospheric disturbances during active years of the solar cycle.
This knowledge on ionospheric modelling for GNSS is of great interest in this project in order to consolidate the modelling and to do the validations, and also to see the ionospheric performance effects on GNSS users.