, Volume 83, Issue 3-4, pp 199-208
Date: 19 Feb 2009

Testing of global pressure/temperature (GPT) model and global mapping function (GMF) in GPS analyses

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Several sources of a priori meteorological data have been compared for their effects on geodetic results from GPS precise point positioning (PPP). The new global pressure and temperature model (GPT), available at the IERS Conventions web site, provides pressure values that have been used to compute a priori hydrostatic (dry) zenith path delay z h estimates. Both the GPT-derived and a simple height-dependent a priori constant z h performed well for low- and mid-latitude stations. However, due to the actual variations not accounted for by the seasonal GPT model pressure values or the a priori constant z h, GPS height solution errors can sometimes exceed 10 mm, particularly in Polar Regions or with elevation cutoff angles less than 10 degrees. Such height errors are nearly perfectly correlated with local pressure variations so that for most stations they partly (and for solutions with 5-degree elevation angle cutoff almost fully) compensate for the atmospheric loading displacements. Consequently, unlike PPP solutions utilizing a numerical weather model (NWM) or locally measured pressure data for a priori z h, the GPT-based PPP height repeatabilities are better for most stations before rather than after correcting for atmospheric loading. At 5 of the 11 studied stations, for which measured local meteorological data were available, the PPP height errors caused by a priori z h interpolated from gridded Vienna Mapping Function-1 (VMF1) data (from a NWM) were less than 0.5 mm. Height errors due to the global mapping function (GMF) are even larger than those caused by the GPT a priori pressure errors. The GMF height errors are mainly due to the hydrostatic mapping and for the solutions with 10-degree elevation cutoff they are about 50% larger than the GPT a priori errors.