Apparent clock variations of the Block IIF-1 (SVN62) GPS satellite

Oliver Montenbruck, Urs Hugentobler, Rolf Dach, Peter Steigenberger, A. Hauschild

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

188 Scopus citations


The Block IIF satellites feature a new generation of high-quality rubidium clocks for time and frequency keeping and are the first GPS satellites transmitting operational navigation signals on three distinct frequencies. We investigate apparent clock offset variations for the Block IIF-1 (SVN62) spacecraft that have been identified in L1/L2 clock solutions as well as the L1/L5-minus-L1/L2 clock difference. With peak-to-peak amplitudes of 10-40 cm, these variations are of relevance for future precision point positioning applications and ionospheric analyses. A proper characterization and understanding is required to fully benefit from the quality of the new signals and clocks. The analysis covers a period of 8 months following the routine payload activation and is based on GPS orbit and clock products generated by the CODE analysis center of the International GNSS Service (IGS) as well as triple-frequency observations collected with the CONGO network. Based on a harmonic analysis, empirical models are presented that describe the sub-daily variation of the clock offset and the inter-frequency clock difference. These contribute to a better clock predictability at timescales of several hours and enable a consistent use of L1/L2 clock products in L1/L5-based positioning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-313
Number of pages11
JournalGPS Solutions
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2012


  • Allan variance
  • Block IIF
  • GPS L5
  • Rubidium clock
  • SVN62


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