Journal of Geodesy

, Volume 80, Issue 3, pp 150–162 | Cite as

Uncertainty in GPS Networks due to Remaining Systematic Errors: The Interval Approach

  • S. SchönEmail author
  • H. Kutterer
Original Article


A realistic assessment of the total uncertainty budget of Global Positioning System (GPS) observations and its adequate mathematical treatment is a basic requirement for all analysis and interpretation of GPS-derived point positions, in particular GPS heights, and their respective changes. This implies not only the random variability but also the remaining systematic errors. At present in geodesy, the main focus is on stochastic approaches in which errors are modeled by means of random variables. Here, an alternative approach based on interval mathematics is presented. It allows us to model and to quantify the impact of remaining systematic errors in GPS carrier-phase observations on the final results using deterministic error bands. In this paper, emphasis is given to the derivation of the observation intervals based on influence parameters and to the study of the complex linear transfer of this type of uncertainty to estimated point positions yielding zonotopes. From the presented simulation studies of GPS baselines, it turns out that the uncertainty due to remaining systematic effects dominates the total uncertainty budget for baselines longer than 200 km.


GPS Systematic errors Interval mathematics Imprecision Zonotopes Troposphere 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Engineering Geodesy and Measurements SystemsGraz University of TechnologyGrazAustria
  2. 2.Geodetic InstituteUniversität HannoverHannoverGermany

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