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Homogeneous reprocessing of GPS, GLONASS and SLR observations


The International GNSS Service (IGS) provides operational products for the GPS and GLONASS constellation. Homogeneously processed time series of parameters from the IGS are only available for GPS. Reprocessed GLONASS series are provided only by individual Analysis Centers (i. e. CODE and ESA), making it difficult to fully include the GLONASS system into a rigorous GNSS analysis. In view of the increasing number of active GLONASS satellites and a steadily growing number of GPS+GLONASS-tracking stations available over the past few years, Technische Universität Dresden, Technische Universität München, Universität Bern and Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich performed a combined reprocessing of GPS and GLONASS observations. Also, SLR observations to GPS and GLONASS are included in this reprocessing effort. Here, we show only SLR results from a GNSS orbit validation. In total, 18 years of data (1994–2011) have been processed from altogether 340 GNSS and 70 SLR stations. The use of GLONASS observations in addition to GPS has no impact on the estimated linear terrestrial reference frame parameters. However, daily station positions show an RMS reduction of 0.3 mm on average for the height component when additional GLONASS observations can be used for the time series determination. Analyzing satellite orbit overlaps, the rigorous combination of GPS and GLONASS neither improves nor degrades the GPS orbit precision. For GLONASS, however, the quality of the microwave-derived GLONASS orbits improves due to the combination. These findings are confirmed using independent SLR observations for a GNSS orbit validation. In comparison to previous studies, mean SLR biases for satellites GPS-35 and GPS-36 could be reduced in magnitude from \(-35\) and \(-38\) mm to \(-12\) and \(-13\) mm, respectively. Our results show that remaining SLR biases depend on the satellite type and the use of coated or uncoated retro-reflectors. For Earth rotation parameters, the increasing number of GLONASS satellites and tracking stations over the past few years leads to differences between GPS-only and GPS+GLONASS combined solutions which are most pronounced in the pole rate estimates with maximum 0.2 mas/day in magnitude. At the same time, the difference between GLONASS-only and combined solutions decreases. Derived GNSS orbits are used to estimate combined GPS+GLONASS satellite clocks, with first results presented in this paper. Phase observation residuals from a precise point positioning are at the level of 2 mm and particularly reveal poorly modeled yaw maneuver periods.

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    Fig. 7

    Comparison of final three-dimensional satellite positions. Root mean square (RMS, top) and scale difference (bottom) of a seven-parameter similarity transformation. GPS satellite positions are compared to IGS repro-1 (IG1), IGS operational (IGS) and CODE reprocessing (COD-repro) products. GLONASS satellite positions are compared to the CODE reprocessing products. RMS values of COD-repro are shifted by 5 and 10 cm, respectively


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The IGS and ILRS are acknowledged for providing the high-quality GNSS and SLR data. The authors would like to thank the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft for the financial support within the project “Geodätische und geodynamische Nutzung reprozessierter GPS-, GLONASS- und SLR-Daten” (DFG Projects DI 473/39-1 and HU 1558/1-1, SNF Projects 200021E-131228 and 200021E-129032). The comments of the anonymous reviewers were highly appreciated.

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Correspondence to Mathias Fritsche.

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Fritsche, M., Sośnica, K., Rodríguez-Solano, C.J. et al. Homogeneous reprocessing of GPS, GLONASS and SLR observations. J Geod 88, 625–642 (2014).

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  • GPS
  • SLR
  • Multi-GNSS processing
  • GNSS satellite clocks