A 4D tomographic ionospheric model to support PPP-RTK

G. Olivares-Pulido*, M. Terkildsen, K. Arsov, P. J.G. Teunissen, A. Khodabandeh, V. Janssen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
41 Downloads (Pure)


Successful implementation of integer ambiguity resolution enabled precise point positioning (aka PPP-RTK) algorithms is inextricably linked to the ability of a user to perform near real-time positioning by quickly and reliably resolving the integer carrier-phase ambiguities. In the PPP-RTK technique, a major barrier to successful ambiguity resolution is the unmodelled impact of the ionosphere. We present a 4D ionospheric tomographic model that computes in real time the ionospheric electron density as a linear combination of basis functions, namely B-splines. The results show that when the ionospheric estimates are provided as atmospheric corrections for a PPP-RTK end-user, the time to fix its horizontal position below 10 cm is around 20 epochs (the sample rate is 30 s) at the 90 % of the cumulative distribution function (CDF), as opposed to the time it takes when no external corrections are provided, which is around 80 epochs at 90 % of the CDF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1673-1683
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Geodesy
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • B-splines
  • GNSS
  • Ionosphere
  • Tomography


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