GPS Solutions

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 343–350 | Cite as

Kinematic precise point positioning at remote marine platforms

  • J. Geng
  • F. N. Teferle
  • X. Meng
  • A. H. Dodson
Original Article


Precise kinematic differential positioning using the global positioning system (GPS) at a marine platform usually requires a relatively short distance (e.g. <500 km) to a land-based reference station. As an alternative, precise point positioning (PPP) is normally considered free from this limiting requirement. However, due to the prerequisite of network-based satellite products, PPP at a remote marine platform may still be affected by its distance to the reference network. Hence, this paper investigates this scenario by configuring rings of reference stations with different radii centered on a to-be-positioned marine platform. Particularly, we applied ambiguity resolution at a single station to PPP by estimating uncalibrated phase delays (UPDs). We used three rings of reference stations centered on a vessel, with radii of roughly 900, 2,000 and 3,600 km, to determine satellite clocks and UPDs independently. For comparison, we also performed differential positioning based on a single reference station with baseline lengths of about 400, 1,700 and 2,800 km. We demonstrate that, despite the increasing ring-network radius to a few 1,000 km, the overall change in accuracy of the satellite clocks that are used at the vessel is smaller than 0.02 ns, and the RMS values of differences between the three sets of narrow-lane UPD estimates are around 0.05 cycles only. Moreover, the kinematic positioning accuracy of PPP is affected by the increasing ring-network radius, but can still achieve several centimeters after ambiguity resolution when the vessel is over a few 1,000 km away from the ring network, showing better performance than that of differential positioning. Therefore, we propose that ambiguity-fixed PPP can be used at remote marine platforms that support precise oceanographic and geophysical applications in open oceans.


Precise point positioning Ambiguity resolution Kinematic Marine Open oceans 



The authors would like to thank the IGS community for data provision and Dr. Weiming Tang at Wuhan University for providing the vessel-borne data. Thanks also go to Wuhan University for the provision of PANDA software as collaborative research and development. Two anonymous reviewers are acknowledged for their valuable comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Geng
    • 1
  • F. N. Teferle
    • 1
  • X. Meng
    • 1
  • A. H. Dodson
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Engineering Surveying and Space GeodesyThe University of NottinghamNottinghamUK

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