Improving multi-GNSS ultra-rapid orbit determination for real-time precise point positioning

  • Xingxing Li
  • Xinghan Chen
  • Maorong Ge
  • Harald Schuh
Original Article


Currently, with the rapid development of multi-constellation Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), the real-time positioning and navigation are undergoing dramatic changes with potential for a better performance. To provide more precise and reliable ultra-rapid orbits is critical for multi-GNSS real-time positioning, especially for the three merging constellations Beidou, Galileo and QZSS which are still under construction. In this contribution, we present a five-system precise orbit determination (POD) strategy to fully exploit the GPS \(+\) GLONASS \(+\) BDS \(+\) Galileo \(+\) QZSS observations from CDDIS \(+\) IGN \(+\) BKG archives for the realization of hourly five-constellation ultra-rapid orbit update. After adopting the optimized 2-day POD solution (updated every hour), the predicted orbit accuracy can be obviously improved for all the five satellite systems in comparison to the conventional 1-day POD solution (updated every 3 h). The orbit accuracy for the BDS IGSO satellites can be improved by about 80, 45 and 50% in the radial, cross and along directions, respectively, while the corresponding accuracy improvement for the BDS MEO satellites reaches about 50, 20 and 50% in the three directions, respectively. Furthermore, the multi-GNSS real-time precise point positioning (PPP) ambiguity resolution has been performed by using the improved precise satellite orbits. Numerous results indicate that combined GPS \(+\) BDS \(+\) GLONASS \(+\) Galileo (GCRE) kinematic PPP ambiguity resolution (AR) solutions can achieve the shortest time to first fix (TTFF) and highest positioning accuracy in all coordinate components. With the addition of the BDS, GLONASS and Galileo observations to the GPS-only processing, the GCRE PPP AR solution achieves the shortest average TTFF of 11 min with \(7{^{\circ }}\) cutoff elevation, while the TTFF of GPS-only, GR, GE and GC PPP AR solution is 28, 15, 20 and 17 min, respectively. As the cutoff elevation increases, the reliability and accuracy of GPS-only PPP AR solutions decrease dramatically, but there is no evident decrease for the accuracy of GCRE fixed solutions which can still achieve an accuracy of a few centimeters in the east and north components.


Multi-GNSS Hourly ultra-rapid orbit Precise orbit determination Real-time PPP Precise point positioning 



Thanks go to the International GNSS Service (IGS) for providing multi-GNSS data and products. This study was financially supported by China Scholarship Council (CSC, File No. 201606270206) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41774030).


  1. Beutler G, Brockmann E, Gurtner W, Hugentobler U, Mervart L, Rothacher M, Verdun A (1994) Extended orbit modeling techniques at the CODE processing center of the international GPS service for geodynamics (IGS): theory and initial results. Manuscr Geod 19:367–386Google Scholar
  2. Cai C, Gao Y (2013) Modeling and assessment of combined GPS/GLONASS precise point positioning. GPS Solut 17:233–236Google Scholar
  3. Dach R, Schaer S, Hugentobler U (2006) Combined multi-system GNSS analysis for time and frequency transfer. In: Proceedings of the European frequency and time forum, pp 530–537Google Scholar
  4. El-Mowafy A, Deo M, Rizos C (2016) On biases in precise point positioning with multi-constellation and multi-frequency GNSS data. Meas Sci Technol 27(3):035102. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. El-Mowafy A, Deo M, Kubo N (2017) Maintaining real-time precise point positioning during outages of orbit and clock corrections. GPS Solut 21(3):937–947CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Ge M, Gendt G, Rothacher M, Shi C, Liu J (2008) Resolution of GPS carrier-phase ambiguities in precise point positioning with daily observations. J Geod 82(7):389–399CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ge M, Zhang H, Jia X, Song S, Wickert J (2012) What is achievable with the current COMPASS constellation? GPS World November, pp 29–34Google Scholar
  8. Geng J, Shi C (2017) Rapid initialization of real-time PPP by resolving undifferenced GPS and GLONASS ambiguities simultaneously. J Geod 91(4):361–374CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hadas T, Bosy J (2015) IGS RTS precise orbits and clocks verification and quality degradation over time. GPS Solut 19(1):93–105CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Jakowski N, Wilken V, Schlueter S, Stankov SM, Heise S (2005) Ionospheric space weather effects monitored by simultaneous ground and space based GNSS signals. J Atmos Sola Terr Phys 67(12):1074–1084CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Kouba J (2009) A guide to using international GNSS service (IGS) products. Accessed May 2009
  12. Li X, Li X, Yuan Y, Zhang K, Zhang X, Wickert J (2017) Multi-GNSS phase delay estimation and PPP ambiguity resolution: GPS, BDS, GLONASS, Galileo. J Geod 1–30.
  13. Li X, Ge M, Zhang H, Wickert J (2013) A method for improving uncalibrated phase delay estimation and ambiguity-fixing in real-time precise point positioning. J Geod 87(5):405–416CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Li X, Ge M, Dai X, Ren X, Fritsche M, Wickert J, Schuh H (2015) Accuracy and reliability of multi-GNSS real-time precise positioning: GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, and Galileo. J Geod 89(6):607–635CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Liu J, Ge M (2003) PANDA software and its preliminary result of positioning and orbit determination. Wuhan Univ J Nat Sci 8:603–609CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Montenbruck O, Hauschild A, Steigenberger P, Hugentobler U, Teunissen P, Nakamura S (2013) Initial assessment of the COMPASS/BeiDou-2 regional navigation satellite system. GPS Solut 17(2):211–222CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Montenbruck O, Steigenberger P, Prange L, Deng Z, Zhao Q, Perosanz F, Romero I, Noll C, Stürze A, Weber G, Schmid R, MacLeod K, Schaer S (2017) The multi-GNSS experiment (MGEX) of the international GNSS service (IGS)—achievements, prospects and challenges. Adv Sp Res 59:1671–1697CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Prange L, Orliac E, Dach R, Arnold D, Beutler G, Schaer S, Jäggi A (2017) CODE’s five-system orbit and clock solution—the challenges of multi-GNSS data analysis. J Geod 91:345CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Schaer S, Beutler G, Rothacher M, Brockmann E, Wiger A, Wild U (1999) The impact of the atmosphere and other systematic errors on permanent GPS networks. In: Proceedings of president IAG symposium on positioning, Birmingham, UK, 19–24 July 1999, p 406Google Scholar
  20. Schaffrin B, Bock Y (1988) A unified scheme for processing GPS dual-band phase observations. Bull Geod 62:142–160CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Steigenberger P, Hugentobler U, Montenbruck O, Hauschild A (2011) Precise orbit determination of GIOVE-B based on the CONGO network. J Geod 85:357–365CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Shi C, Zhao Q, Hu Z (2013) Precise relative positioning using real tracking data from COMPASS GEO and IGSO satellites. GPS Solut 17(1):103–119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Teunissen P, Odolinski R, Odijk D (2014) Instantaneous BeiDou+GPS RTK positioning with high cut-off elevation angles. J Geod 88(4):335–350. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Wang F, Chen X, Guo F (2015) GPS/GLONASS combined precise point positioning with receiver clock modeling. Sensors 15(7):15478–15493CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Zhang X, Li X, Guo F (2011) Satellite clock estimation at 1 Hz for realtime kinematic PPP applications. GPS Solut 15(4):315–324. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Zhang X, Wu M, Liu W, Li X, Yu S, Lu C, Wickert J (2017) Initial assessment of the COMPASS/BeiDou-3: new-generation navigation signals. J Geod 91(10):1225–1240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Zumberge J, Heflin M, Jefferson D, Watkins M, Webb F (1997) Precise point positioning for the efficient and robust analysis of GPS data from large networks. J Geophys Res 102(B3):5005–5017. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ)PotsdamGermany

Personalised recommendations