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ERTK: extra-wide-lane RTK of triple-frequency GNSS signals

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Triple-frequency signals have thus far been available for all satellites of BeiDou and Galileo systems and for some GPS satellites. The main benefit of triple-frequency signals is their formation of extra-wide-lane (EWL) combinations whose ambiguities can be instantaneously fixed for several 10–100 km baselines. Yet, this benefit has not been fully exploited and only used as a constraint for narrow-lane (NL) ambiguity resolution (AR) in most previous studies. In this study, we comprehensively investigate the real-time kinematic (RTK) capabilities of EWL observations, also referred to as EWL RTK (ERTK). We begin by mathematically expressing the ease of EWL AR and the difficulty of NL AR, respectively, using a numerical demonstration. We then present the mathematical models for ERTK including the ionosphere-ignored, ionosphere-float and ionosphere-smoothed types. The experiments are conducted using a four-station network of real triple-frequency BeiDou data with baseline lengths from 33 to 75 km. The results show that the ionosphere-ignored ERTK achieves real-time solutions with a horizontal accuracy of about 10 cm. Although the ionosphere-float ERTK solutions are very noisy, they can be quickly improved at the centimetre level by further applying the ionosphere-smoothed model. Note that such accurate results are very promising and already satisfy many applications without complicated NL AR. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first comprehensive study to make full use of EWL observations of triple-frequency signals on RTK.

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This work is supported by the National Natural Science Funds of China (41622401, 41574023, 41374031), the State Key Laboratory of Geodesy and Earth’s Dynamics (Institute of Geodesy and Geophysics, CAS) (SKLGED2016-3-1-EZ) and the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2016YFB0501802).

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Correspondence to Bofeng Li.

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Li, B., Li, Z., Zhang, Z. et al. ERTK: extra-wide-lane RTK of triple-frequency GNSS signals. J Geod 91, 1031–1047 (2017).

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