Revisit the calibration errors on experimental slant total electron content (TEC) determined with GPS

Abstract

The calibration errors on experimental slant total electron content (TEC) determined with global positioning system (GPS) observations is revisited. Instead of the analysis of the calibration errors on the carrier phase leveled to code ionospheric observable, we focus on the accuracy analysis of the undifferenced ambiguity-fixed carrier phase ionospheric observable determined from a global distribution of permanent receivers. The results achieved are: (1) using data from an entire month within the last solar cycle maximum, the undifferenced ambiguity-fixed carrier phase ionospheric observable is found to be over one order of magnitude more accurate than the carrier phase leveled to code ionospheric observable and the raw code ionospheric observable. The observation error of the undifferenced ambiguity-fixed carrier phase ionospheric observable ranges from 0.05 to 0.11 total electron content unit (TECU) while that of the carrier phase leveled to code and the raw code ionospheric observable is from 0.65 to 1.65 and 3.14 to 7.48 TECU, respectively. (2) The time-varying receiver differential code bias (DCB), which presents clear day boundary discontinuity and intra-day variability pattern, contributes the most part of the observation error. This contribution is assessed by the short-term stability of the between-receiver DCB, which ranges from 0.06 to 0.17 TECU in a single day. (3) The remaining part of the observation errors presents a sidereal time cycle pattern, indicating the effects of the multipath. Further, the magnitude of the remaining part implies that the code multipath effects are much reduced. (4) The intra-day variation of the between-receiver DCB of the collocated stations suggests that estimating DCBs as a daily constant can have a mis-modeling error of at least several tenths of 1 TECU.

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Acknowledgements

The study is funded by National Key Research and Development Program of China (2016YFB0501902), National Natural Science Foundation of China (41574025, 41574013, 41731069), Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation project (CGL2015-66410-P), The Hong Kong RGC Joint Research Scheme (E-PolyU501/16) and State Key Laboratory of Geo-Information Engineering (SKLGIE2015-M-2-2).

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Correspondence to Tianhe Xu or Adria Rovira-Garcia.

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Nie, W., Xu, T., Rovira-Garcia, A. et al. Revisit the calibration errors on experimental slant total electron content (TEC) determined with GPS. GPS Solut 22, 85 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10291-018-0753-7

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Keywords

  • Ionospheric observable
  • Total electron content
  • Integer ambiguity resolution
  • Receiver DCB