GPS Solutions

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 219–231 | Cite as

Quality assessment of GPS reprocessed terrestrial reference frame

  • Xavier Collilieux
  • Laurent Métivier
  • Zuheir Altamimi
  • Tonie van Dam
  • Jim Ray
Original Article


The International GNSS Service (IGS) contributes to the construction of the International Terrestrial Reference Frame (ITRF) by submitting time series of station positions and Earth Rotation Parameters (ERP). For the first time, its submission to the ITRF2008 construction is based on a combination of entirely reprocessed GPS solutions delivered by 11 Analysis Centers (ACs). We analyze the IGS submission and four of the individual AC contributions in terms of the GNSS frame origin and scale, station position repeatability and time series seasonal variations. We show here that the GPS Terrestrial Reference Frame (TRF) origin is consistent with Satellite laser Ranging (SLR) at the centimeter level with a drift lower than 1 mm/year. Although the scale drift compared to Very Long baseline Interferometry (VLBI) and SLR mean scale is smaller than 0.4 mm/year, we think that it would be premature to use that information in the ITRF scale definition due to its strong dependence on the GPS satellite and ground antenna phase center variations. The new position time series also show a better repeatability compared to past IGS combined products and their annual variations are shown to be more consistent with loading models. The comparison of GPS station positions and velocities to those of VLBI via local ties in co-located sites demonstrates that the IGS reprocessed solution submitted to the ITRF2008 is more reliable and precise than any of the past submissions. However, we show that some of the remaining inconsistencies between GPS and VLBI positioning may be caused by uncalibrated GNSS radomes.


GNSS Terrestrial reference frames Loading Geocenter motion Systematic errors 



This work was partly funded by the CNES through a TOSCA grant. Figures 1 and 2 have been made with the General Mapping Tool (GMT) software available at under the GNU General Public License. Corrections made by Alfred Leick and the two anonymous reviewers are acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xavier Collilieux
    • 1
  • Laurent Métivier
    • 1
  • Zuheir Altamimi
    • 1
  • Tonie van Dam
    • 2
  • Jim Ray
    • 3
  1. 1.IGN/LAREG and GRGSMarne La Vallée Cedex 2France
  2. 2.University of LuxembourgLuxembourgLuxembourg
  3. 3.NOAA National Geodetic SurveySilver SpringUSA

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