The receiver delay has a significant impact on global navigation satellite system (GNSS) time measurement. This article comprehensively analyzes the difficulty, composition, principle, and calculation of GNSS receiver delay. A universal method, based on clock-steering characterization, is proposed to absolutely calibrate all types of receivers. We use a hardware simulator to design several experiments to test the performance of GNSS receiver delay for different receiver types, radio frequency (RF) signals, operation status and time-to-phase (TtP). At first, through the receivers of Novatel and Septentrio, the channel delay of Septentrio is 2 ns far lower than 65 ns for Novatel, and for the inter-frequency bias of GLONASS L1, Septentrio tends to increase within 10 ns compared with decreasing of Novatel within 5 ns. Secondly, a representative receiver of UniNav-BDS (BeiDou) is chosen to test the influence of Ttp which may be ignored by users. Under continuous operation, the receiver delay shows a monotone reduction of 10 ns as TtP increased by 10 ns. However, under on-off operation, the receiver delay represents periodic variation. Through a zero-baseline comparison, we verifies the relation between receiver delay and TtP. At last, the article analyzes instrument errors and measurement errors in the experiment, and the combined uncertainty of absolute calibration is calculated with 1.36 ns.
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