Assessing the performance of multi-GNSS PPP-RTK in the local area

Hongyang Ma, Qile Zhao, Sandra Verhagen, Dimitrios Psychas, Xianglin Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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The benefits of an increased number of global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) in space have been confirmed for the robustness and convergence time of standard precise point positioning (PPP) solutions, as well as improved accuracy when (most of) the ambiguities are fixed. Yet, it is still worthwhile to investigate fast and high-precision GNSS parameter estimation to meet user needs. This contribution focuses on integer ambiguity resolution-enabled Precise Point Positioning (PPP-RTK) in the use of the observations from four global navigation systems, i.e., GPS (Global Positioning System), Galileo (European Global Navigation Satellite System), BDS (Chinese BeiDou Navigation Satellite System), and GLONASS (Global’naya Navigatsionnaya Sputnikova Sistema). An undifferenced and uncombined PPP-RTK model is implemented for which the satellite clock and phase bias corrections are computed from the data processing of a group of stations in a network and then provided to users to help them achieve integer ambiguity resolution on a single receiver by calibrating the satellite phase biases. The dataset is recorded in a local area of the GNSS network of the Netherlands, in which 12 stations are regarded as the reference to generate the corresponding corrections and 21 as the users to assess the performance of the multi-GNSS PPP-RTK in both kinematic and static positioning mode. The results show that the root-mean-square (RMS) errors of the ambiguity float solutions can achieve the same accuracy level of the ambiguity fixed solutions after convergence. The combined GNSS cases, on the contrary, reduce the horizontal RMS of GPS alone with 2 cm level to GPS + Galileo/GPS + Galileo + BDS/GPS + Galileo + BDS + GLONASS with 1 cm level. The convergence time benefits from both multi-GNSS and fixing ambiguities, and the performances of the ambiguity fixed solution are comparable to those of the multi-GNSS ambiguity float solutions. For instance, the convergence time of GPS alone ambiguity fixed solutions to achieve 10 cm three-dimensional (3D) positioning accuracy is 39.5 min, while it is 37 min for GPS + Galileo ambiguity float solutions; moreover, with the same criterion, the convergence time of GE ambiguity fixed solutions is 19 min, which is better than GPS + Galileo + BDS + GLONASS ambiguity float solutions with 28.5 min. The experiments indicate that GPS alone occasionally suffers from a wrong fixing problem; however, this problem does not exist in the combined systems. Finally, integer ambiguity resolution is still necessary for multi-GNSS in the case of fast achieving very-high-accuracy positioning, e.g., sub-centimeter level.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3343
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • GNSS
  • Integer ambiguity resolution
  • PPP
  • Satellite positioning

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