GLONASS fractional-cycle bias estimation across inhomogeneous receivers for PPP ambiguity resolution

Geng, JH, Bock Y.  2016.  GLONASS fractional-cycle bias estimation across inhomogeneous receivers for PPP ambiguity resolution. Journal of Geodesy. 90:379-396.

Date Published:



ambiguity resolution, calibration, Fractional-cycle bias, GLONASS, Inhomogeneous receivers, Precise point positioning, rtk


The key issue to enable precise point positioning with ambiguity resolution (PPP-AR) is to estimate fractional-cycle biases (FCBs), which mainly relate to receiver and satellite hardware biases, over a network of reference stations. While this has been well achieved for GPS, FCB estimation for GLONASS is difficult because (1) satellites do not share the same frequencies as a result of Frequency Division Multiple Access (FDMA) signals; (2) and even worse, pseudorange hardware biases of receivers vary in an irregular manner with manufacturers, antennas, domes, firmware, etc., which especially complicates GLONASS PPP-AR over inhomogeneous receivers. We propose a general approach where external ionosphere products are introduced into GLONASS PPP to estimate precise FCBs that are less impaired by pseudorange hardware biases of diverse receivers to enable PPP-AR. One month of GLONASS data at about 550 European stations were processed. From an exemplary network of 51 inhomogeneous receivers, including four receiver types with various antennas and spanning about 800 km in both longitudinal and latitudinal directions, we found that 92.4 % of all fractional parts of GLONASS wide-lane ambiguities agree well within 0.15 cycles with a standard deviation of 0.09 cycles if global ionosphere maps (GIMs) are introduced, compared to only 51.7 % within 0.15 cycles and a larger standard deviation of 0.22 cycles otherwise. Hourly static GLONASS PPP-AR at 40 test stations can reach position estimates of about 1 and 2 cm in RMS from ground truth for the horizontal and vertical components, respectively, which is comparable to hourly GPS PPP-AR. Integrated GLONASS and GPS PPP-AR can further achieve an RMS of about 0.5 cm in horizontal and 1-2 cm in vertical components. We stress that the performance of GLONASS PPP-AR across inhomogeneous receivers depends on the accuracy of ionosphere products. GIMs have a modest accuracy of only 2-8 TECU (Total Electron Content Unit) in vertical which confines PPP-AR to an approximately km area in Europe. We expect that a regional ionosphere map with a better than 1 TECU accuracy is likely to improve the GLONASS PPP-AR efficiency.