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Sensors 2016, 16(2), 186; doi:10.3390/s16020186

Evaluation of Empirical Tropospheric Models Using Satellite-Tracking Tropospheric Wet Delays with Water Vapor Radiometer at Tongji, China

College of Surveying and Geo-Informatics, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Assefa M. Melesse
Received: 26 October 2015 / Revised: 16 January 2016 / Accepted: 27 January 2016 / Published: 2 February 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensors)
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Abstract

An empirical tropospheric delay model, together with a mapping function, is commonly used to correct the tropospheric errors in global navigation satellite system (GNSS) processing. As is well-known, the accuracy of tropospheric delay models relies mainly on the correction efficiency for tropospheric wet delays. In this paper, we evaluate the accuracy of three tropospheric delay models, together with five mapping functions in wet delays calculation. The evaluations are conducted by comparing their slant wet delays with those measured by water vapor radiometer based on its satellite-tracking function (collected data with large liquid water path is removed). For all 15 combinations of three tropospheric models and five mapping functions, their accuracies as a function of elevation are statistically analyzed by using nine-day data in two scenarios, with and without meteorological data. The results show that (1) no matter with or without meteorological data, there is no practical difference between mapping functions, i.e., Chao, Ifadis, Vienna Mapping Function 1 (VMF1), Niell Mapping Function (NMF), and MTT Mapping Function (MTT); (2) without meteorological data, the UNB3 is much better than Saastamoinen and Hopfield models, while the Saastamoinen model performed slightly better than the Hopfield model; (3) with meteorological data, the accuracies of all three tropospheric delay models are improved to be comparable, especially for lower elevations. In addition, the kinematic precise point positioning where no parameter is set up for tropospheric delay modification is conducted to further evaluate the performance of tropospheric delay models in positioning accuracy. It is shown that the UNB3 model is best and can achieve about 10 cm accuracy for the N and E coordinate component while 20 cm accuracy for the U coordinate component no matter the meteorological data is available or not. This accuracy can be obtained by the Saastamoinen model only when meteorological data is available, and degraded to 46 cm for the U component if the meteorological data is not available. View Full-Text
Keywords: tropospheric delay model; mapping function; water vapor radiometer; kinematic precise point positioning tropospheric delay model; mapping function; water vapor radiometer; kinematic precise point positioning
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Wang, M.; Li, B. Evaluation of Empirical Tropospheric Models Using Satellite-Tracking Tropospheric Wet Delays with Water Vapor Radiometer at Tongji, China. Sensors 2016, 16, 186.

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