Utilizing global positioning system (GPS) to determine the precise kinematic orbits for the twin satellites of the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) plays a very important role in the earth’s gravitational and other scientific fields. However, the orbit quality is highly depended on the geometry of observed GPS satellites. In this study, we propose a kinematic orbit determination method for improving the GRACE orbit quality especially when the geometry of observed GPS satellites is weak, where an appropriate random walk clock constraint between adjacent epochs is recommended according to the stability of on-board GPS receiver clocks. GRACE data over one month were adopted in the experimental validation. Results show that the proposed method could improve the root mean square (RMS) by 20–40% in radial component and 5–20% in along and cross components. For those epochs with position dilution of precision (PDOP) larger than 4, the orbits were improved by 50–70% in radial component and 17–50% in along and cross components. Meanwhile, the Allan deviation of clock estimates in the proposed method was much closer to the reported Allan deviation of GRACE on-board oscillator. All the results confirmed the improvement of the proposed method.
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