Journal of Geodesy

, Volume 87, Issue 6, pp 579–589 | Cite as

Assessment of correct fixing rate for precise point positioning ambiguity resolution on a global scale

  • Xiaohong Zhang
  • Pan Li
Original Article


Ambiguity resolution (AR) for a single receiver has been a popular topic in Global Positioning System (GPS) recently. Ambiguity-resolution methods for precise point positioning (PPP) have been well documented in recent years, demonstrating that it can improve the accuracy of PPP. However, users are often concerned about the reliability of ambiguity-fixed PPP solution in practical applications. If ambiguities are fixed to wrong integers, large errors would be introduced into position estimates. In this paper, we aim to assess the correct fixing rate (CFR), i.e., number of ambiguities correctly fixing to the total number of ambiguities correctly and incorrectly fixing, for PPP user ambiguity resolution on a global scale. A practical procedure is presented to evaluate the CFR of PPP user ambiguity resolution. GPS data of the first 3 days in each month of 2010 from about 390 IGS stations are used for experiments. Firstly, we use GPS data collected from about 320 IGS stations to estimate global single-differenced (SD) wide-lane and narrow-lane satellite uncalibrated phase delays (UPDs). The quality of UPDs is evaluated. We found that wide-lane UPD estimates have a rather small standard deviation (Std) between 0.003 and 0.004 cycles while most of Std of narrow-lane estimates are from 0.01 to 0.02 cycles. Secondly, many experiments have been conducted to investigate the CFR of integer ambiguity resolution we can achieve under different conditions, including reference station density, observation session length and the ionospheric activity. The results show that the CFR of PPP can exceed 98.0 % with only 1 h of observations for most user stations. No obvious correlation between the CFR and the reference station density is found. Therefore, nearly homogeneous CFR can be achieved in PPP AR for global users. At user end, higher CFR could be achieved with longer observations. The average CFR for 30-min, 1-h, 2-h and 4-h observation is 92.3, 98.2, 99.5 and 99.7 %, respectively. In order to get acceptable CFR, 1 h is a recommended minimum observation time. Furthermore, the CFR of PPP can be affected by diurnal variation and geomagnetic latitude variation in the ionosphere. During one day at the hours when rapid ionospheric variations occur or in low geomagnetic latitude regions where equatorial electron density irregularities are produced relatively frequently, a significant degradation of the CFR is demonstrated.


Correct fixing rate Ambiguity resolution Precise point positioning Uncalibrated phase delays 



The authors gratefully acknowledge IGS and CODE community for providing global GNSS data and products. We also appreciate three anonymous reviewers and the editor for their valuable comments and improvements to this manuscript. This study was supported by the Foundation for Innovative Research Group of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41021061) and National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41074024) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (No. 2012214020207).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Geodesy and GeomaticsWuhan UniversityWuhan People’s Republic of China

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