THE UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY Analysis of NGS CORS Network for GPS RTK Performance Using External NOAA Tropospheric Corrections Integrated with a Multiple Reference Station Approach

Abstract

For high-accuracy GPS geodetic applications, the time-variable tropospheric propagation delay errors remain as a major factor limiting GPS RTK positioning accuracy. This thesis evaluates the additional improvement in position accuracy achieved by using the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) real-time tropospheric corrections within a multiple reference station network approach; this was compared with results from using a Modified Hopfield tropospheric model, for six scenarios in three geographical regions covered by the U.S. National Geodetic Survey (NGS) Continuous Reference Stations (CORS) network, for baseline lengths of 60~150km. Testing was done on relatively humid days, and for each frequency (L1 & L2) and linear combination (wide-lane, ionospheric-free, geometry-free); the results demonstrated the effectiveness of the network approach in reducing the measurement errors for all observations. Overall test performances showed average 15 % and 19 % improvement, with the Modified Hopfield model, and with the NOAA corrections, respectively. The ionospheric-free linear combination, a measure of tropospheric and orbital errors, showe

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