GPS Solutions

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 219–228 | Cite as

Automated GPS processing for global total electron content data

  • William Rideout
  • Anthea CosterEmail author
Original Article


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.


Total Electron Content Elevation Angle International GNSS Service Vertical Total Electron Content Total Electron Content Data 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors would like to thank Dr. Marlene Colerico for her help with the figures and other members of the MIT Haystack Observatory staff for their support. The authors would also like to thank the reviewers for their careful readings. Their suggestions significantly improved the content of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MIT Haystack Observatory, Atmospheric SciencesWestfordUSA

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