Original Article

GPS Solutions

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 219-228

First online:

Automated GPS processing for global total electron content data

  • William RideoutAffiliated withMIT Haystack Observatory, Atmospheric Sciences
  • , Anthea CosterAffiliated withMIT Haystack Observatory, Atmospheric Sciences Email author 

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A software package known as MIT Automated Processing of GPS (MAPGPS) has been developed to automate the processing of GPS data into global total electron density (TEC) maps. The goal of the MAPGPS software is to produce reliable TEC data automatically, although not yet in real time. Observations are used from all available GPS receivers during all geomagnetic conditions where data has been successfully collected. In this paper, the architecture of the MAPGPS software is described. Particular attention is given to the algorithms used to estimate the individual receiver biases. One of the largest sources of error in estimating TEC from GPS data is the determination of these unknown receiver biases. The MAPGPS approach to solving the receiver bias problem uses three different methods: minimum scalloping, least squares, and zero-TEC. These methods are described in detail, along with their relative performance characteristics. A brief comparison of the JPL and MAPGPS receiver biases is presented, and a possible remaining error source in the receiver bias estimation is discussed. Finally, the Madrigal database, which allows Web access to the MAPGPS TEC data and maps, is described.