Precise point positioning on the reliable detection of tropospheric model errors

Hongyang Ma*, S. Verhagen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
43 Downloads (Pure)


Precise point positioning (PPP) is one of the well-known applications of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and provides precise positioning solutions using accurate satellite orbit and clock products. The tropospheric delay due to the neutral atmosphere for microwave signals is one of the main sources of measurement error in PPP. As one component of this delay, the hydrostatic delay is usually compensated by using an empirical correction model. However, how to eliminate the effects of the wet delay during a weather event is a challenge because current troposphere models are not capable of considering the complex atmosphere around the receiver during situations such as typhoons, storms, heavy rainfall, et cetera. Thus, how positioning results can be improved if the residual wet delays are taken into account needs to be investigated . In this contribution, a real-time procedure of recursive detection, identification and adaptation (DIA) is applied to detect the model errors which have the same effects on both phase and code observables; e.g., the model error caused by the tropospheric delay. Once the model errors are identified, additional parameters are added to the functional model to account for the measurement residuals. This approach is evaluated with Global Positioning System (GPS) data during two rainfall events in Darwin, Australia, proving the usefulness of compensated residual slant wet delay for positioning results. Comparisons with the standard approach show that the precision of the up component is improved significantly during the periods of the weather events; for the two case studies, 72.46% and 64.41% improvements of root mean squared error (RMS) resulted, and the precision of the horizontal component obtained by the proposed approach is also improved more than 30% compared to the standard approach. The results also show that the identified model errors are concentrated at the beginning of both heavy rainfall processes when the front causes significant spatial and temporal gradients of the integrated water vapor above the receiver.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1634
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • DIA
  • GNSS
  • PPP
  • Tropospheric delay


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