Currently, ultra-rapid orbits play an important role in the high-speed development of global navigation satellite system (GNSS) real-time applications. This contribution focuses on the impact of the fitting arc length of observed orbits and solar radiation pressure (SRP) on the orbit prediction performance for GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and BeiDou. One full year’s precise ephemerides during 2015 were used as fitted observed orbits and then as references to be compared with predicted orbits, together with known earth rotation parameters. The full nine-parameter Empirical Center for Orbit Determination in Europe (CODE) Orbit Model (ECOM) and its reduced version were chosen in our study. The arc lengths of observed fitted orbits that showed the smallest weighted root mean squares (WRMSs) and medians of the orbit differences after a Helmert transformation fell between 40 and 45 h for GPS and GLONASS and between 42 and 48 h for Galileo, while the WRMS values and medians become flat after a 42 h arc length for BeiDou. The stability of the Helmert transformation and SRP parameters also confirmed the similar optimal arc lengths. The range around 42–45 h is suggested to be the optimal arc length interval of the fitted observed orbits for the multi-GNSS joint solution of ultra-rapid orbits.
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