Estimation of Station Heights with GPS
Many different effects are contributing to the fact that station heights may be determined less accurately by GPS than horizontal positions. Reviewing the topic of GPS height determination, we will first consider the circumstance, that we have to estimate receiver clock corrections (or form differences between satellites), and its impact on GPS height estimates and look at the correlation of the height with troposphere and receiver clock parameters. Before discussing individual error sources, the classification of biases into two major groups will help to gain an overview of which type of errors are problematic for the height component. We then discuss in some details the major error sources, that degrade the height estimates, namely, tropospheric refraction, reference frame, geocenter and orbit errors, site displacements due to ocean and atmospheric loading, antenna phase center variations, and multipath.
Illustrative examples will be given and processing strategies will be recommended to overcome or reduce the impact of these biases.
KeywordsGPS height determination tropospheric refraction antenna phase centers multipath
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