, Volume 86, Issue 11, pp 991-1003
Date: 03 Apr 2012

Zero-difference GPS ambiguity resolution at CNES–CLS IGS Analysis Center

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Abstract

CNES (Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales) and CLS (Collecte Localisation Satellites) became an International GNSS Service (IGS) Analysis Center (AC) the 20th of May 2010. Since 2009, we are using the integer ambiguity fixing at the zero-difference level strategy in our software package (GINS/Dynamo) as an alternative to classical differential approaches. This method played a key role among all the improvements in the GPS processing we made during this period. This paper provides to the users the theoretical background, the strategies and the models used to compute the products (GPS orbits and clocks, weekly station coordinate estimates and Earth orientation parameters) that are submitted weekly to the IGS. The practical realization of the two-step, ambiguity-fixing scheme (wide-lane and narrow-lane) is described in detail. The ambiguity fixing improved our orbit overlaps from 6 to 3 cm WRMS in the tangential and normal directions. Since 2008, our products have been also regularly compared to the IGS final solutions by the IGS Analysis Center Coordinator. The joint effects of ambiguity fixing and dynamical model changes (satellite solar radiation pressure and albedo force) improved the consistency with IGS orbits from 35 to 18 mm 3D-WRMS. Our innovative strategy also gives additional powerful properties to the GPS satellite phase clock solutions. Single receiver (zero-difference) ambiguity resolution becomes possible. An overview of the applications is given.