Performance of regional atmospheric error models for NRTK in GPSnet and the implementation of a NRTK system

Wu, S 2009, Performance of regional atmospheric error models for NRTK in GPSnet and the implementation of a NRTK system, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Mathematical and Geospatial Sciences, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Performance of regional atmospheric error models for NRTK in GPSnet and the implementation of a NRTK system
Author(s) Wu, S
Year 2009
Abstract Many high-accuracy regional GPS continuously operating reference (CORS) networks have been established globally. These networks are used to facilitate better positioning services, such as high accuracy real-time positioning. GPSnet is the first state-wide CORS network in Australia. In order to maximize the benefits of the expensive CORS geospatial infrastructure, the state of Victoria in collaboration with three universities (RMIT University, the University of NSW and the University of Melbourne) embarked on research into regional atmospheric error modelling for Network-based RTK (NRTK) via an Australian Research Council project in early 2005.

The core of the NRTK technique is the modelling of the spatially-correlated errors. The accuracy of the regional error model is a determining factor for the performance of NRTK positioning. In this research, a number of error models are examined and comprehensively analysed. Among them, the following three models are tested: 1) the Linear Interpolation Method (LIM); 2) the Distance-Based interpolation method (DIM); and 3) the Low-order surface model (LSM).

The accuracy of the three models is evaluated using three different observation sessions and a variety of network configurations of GPSnet. Results show that the LIM and DIM can be used to significantly reduce the double-differenced (DD) residuals (up to 60% improvement), and the LIM is slightly better than the DIM (most at mm level). However the DD residuals with the LSM corrections are, in some cases, not only much worse than that of the LIM and DIM but also even must greater/worse than the DD residuals without any corrections applied at all. This indicates that there are no advantages by using the LSM for the error modelling for NRTK in GPSnet, even though it is the most commonly used method by researchers.

The performance difference of the LIM for different GPSnet configurations is also tested. Results show that in most cases, the performance difference mainly caused by the number of reference stations used is not significant. This implies that more redundant reference stations may not contribute much to the accuracy improvement of the LIM. However, it may mitigate the station specific errors (if any).

The magnitude of the temporal variations of both the tropospheric and ionospheric effects in GPSnet observations is also investigated. Test results suggest that the frequency of generating and transmitting the tropospheric corrections should not be significantly different from that for the ionospehric corrections. Thus 1Hz frequency (i.e. once every second) is recommended for the generation and transmission for both types of the atmospheric corrections for NRTK in GPSnet.

The algorithms of the NRTK software package used are examined and extensive analyses are conducted. The performance and limitation of the NRTK system in terms of network ambiguity resolution are assessed. The methodology for generating virtual reference station (VRS) observations in the system is presented. The validation of the algorithms for the generated VRS observations is undertaken.

It is expected that this research is significant for both the selection of regional error models and the implementation of the NRTK technique in GPSnet or in the Victorian region.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Mathematical and Geospatial Sciences
Keyword(s) GPS (Navigational system)
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