volume: 42, issue:
The objective of this study was to construct a BeiDou navigation satellite system (BDS)/global positioning system (GPS)-integrated positioning algorithm that meets the accuracy requirement of forest surveys and to analyze its accuracy to provide theoretical and technical support for accurate positioning and navigation in forests. The Quercus variabilis broad-leaved forest in Jiufeng National Forest Park and the Sabina Coniferous forest in Dongsheng Bajia forest farm were selected as the study area. A Sanding T-23 multi-frequency three-constellation receiver and a u-blox NEO-M8T multi-constellation receiving module were used for continuous observation under the forest canopy. Compared with T-23, the u-blox NEO-M8T is much lighter and more flexible in the forest. The BDS/GPS-integrated positioning algorithm for forests was constructed by temporally and spatially unifying the satellite systems and using a reasonable observed value weighting method. Additionally, the algorithm is also written into the RTKLIB software to calculate the three-dimensional (3D) coordinates of the forest observation point in the World Geodetic System 1984 (WGS-84) coordinate system. Finally, the results were compared with the positioning results obtained using GPS alone. The experimental results indicated that, compared with GPS positioning, there were 13–27 visible satellites available for the BDS/GPS-integrated positioning algorithm for forests, far more than the satellites available for the GPS positioning algorithm alone. The Position Dilution of Precision (PDOP) values for the BDS/GPS-integrated positioning ranged from 0.5 to 1.9, lower than those for GPS positioning. The signal noise ratio (SNR) of the BDS/GPS-integrated satellite signals and GPS satellite signals were both in the range of 10–50 dB-Hz. However, because there were more visible satellites for the BDS/GPS-integrated positioning, the signals from the BDS/GPS-integrated satellites were stronger and had a more stable SNR than those from the GPS satellites alone. The results obtained using the BDS/GPS-integrated positioning algorithm for forests had significantly higher theoretical and actual accuracies in the X, Y and Z directions than those obtained using the GPS positioning algorithm. This suggests that the BDS/GPS-integrated positioning algorithm can obtain more accurate positioning results for complex forest environments.