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Two-epoch centimeter-level PPP-RTK without external atmospheric corrections using best integer-equivariant estimation

Brack, Andreas; Männel, Benjamin; Schuh , Harald

Ambiguity resolution enabled precise point positioning (PPP-AR or PPP-RTK) without atmospheric corrections requires the user to estimate tropospheric and ionospheric delay parameters. The presence of the unconstrained ionosphere parameters impedes fast and reliable ambiguity resolution, so a time-to-first-fix of around 30 min for GPS-only solutions is generally reported, which can, to some extent, be reduced when combining multiple GNSS. In this contribution, we investigate the capabilities of almost instantaneous PPP-RTK, using only a few observation epochs at a sampling interval of 30 s, with the ionosphere-float model. The considered key elements are (a) the MSE-optimal best integer-equivariant estimator, (b) a combination of dual-frequency GPS, Galileo, BDS, and QZSS, (c) an area with good visibility of BDS and QZSS, and (d) a proper weighting of the PPP-RTK corrections. We provide a formal and simulation-based analysis of kinematic and static PPP-RTK with perfect, i.e., deterministic, clock and bias corrections as well as corrections computed from only a single reference station. The results indicate that, on average, one can expect centimeter-level positioning results with just slightly more than two epochs already with single-station corrections. This is confirmed with real four-system GNSS data, for which the availability of two-epoch centimeter-level horizontal positioning results is 99.7% during an exemplary day.
Published in: GPS Solutions, 10.1007/s10291-022-01341-0, Springer Nature