Ambiguity resolution in precise point positioning with hourly data
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Precise point positioning (PPP) has become a powerful tool for the scientific analysis of Global Positioning System (GPS) measurements. Until recently, ambiguity resolution at a single station in PPP has been considered difficult, due to the receiver- and satellite-dependent uncalibrated hardware delays (UHD). However, recent studies show that if these UHD can be determined accurately in advance within a network of stations, then ambiguity resolution at a single station becomes possible. In this study, the method proposed by Ge et al. J Geod 82(7):389–399, 2007 is adopted with a refinement in which only one single-difference narrow-lane UHD between a pair of satellites is determined within each full pass over a regional network. This study uses the EUREF (European Reference Frame) Permanent Network (EPN) to determine the UHD from Day 245 to 251 in 2007. Then 12 International GNSS Service stations inside the EPN and 15 outside the EPN are used to conduct ambiguity resolution in hourly PPP. It is found that the mean positioning accuracy in all hourly solutions for the stations inside the EPN is improved from (3.8, 1.5, 2.8) centimeters to (0.5, 0.5, 1.4) centimeters for the East, North and Up components, respectively. For the stations outside the EPN, some of which are over 2,000 km away from the nearest EPN stations, the mean positioning accuracy in the East, North and Up directions still achieves (0.6, 0.6, 2.0) centimeters, respectively, when the EPN-based UHD are applied to these stations. These results demonstrate that ambiguity resolution at a single station can significantly improve the positioning accuracy in hourly PPP. Particularly, UHD can be even applied to a station which is up to thousands of kilometers from the UHD-determination network, potentially showing a great advantage over current network-based GPS augmentation systems. Therefore, it is feasible and beneficial for the operators of GPS regional networks and providers of PPP-based online services to provide these UHD estimates as an additional product.
KeywordsAmbiguity resolution Precise point positioning Hourly solution Uncalibrated hardware delay
This research is supported by a scholarship provided to Mr. J. Geng by the University of Nottingham, the Chinese 973 project “Earth Observing Data Spatial Information-Transform Mechanism of Geodetic Knowledge” (No: 2006CB701301) and additional financial support from Prof. T. Marmont and Beacon Energy Ltd. The authors would like to thank Dr. Giorgi at the Technical University of Delft for the Fortran source code of LAMBDA, the developers of the Generic Mapping Tools, and Dr. Paul Collins and one anonymous reviewer for their critical and helpful suggestions, which greatly improved the manuscript. Thanks also go to the EUREF and IGS communities for the provision of GPS data and products.
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