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Remote Sens. 2018, 10(9), 1493; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10091493

Potential of Cost-Efficient Single Frequency GNSS Receivers for Water Vapor Monitoring

1
Faculty of Civil Engineering, TU Delft, 2628 CN Delft, The Netherlands
2
GReD—Geomatics Research & Development srl, 22074 Lomazzo (CO), Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 August 2018 / Revised: 12 September 2018 / Accepted: 13 September 2018 / Published: 18 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Precipitation)
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Abstract

Dual-frequency Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSSs) enable the estimation of Zenith Tropospheric Delay (ZTD) which can be converted to Precipitable Water Vapor (PWV). The density of existing GNSS monitoring networks is insufficient to capture small-scale water vapor variations that are especially important for extreme weather forecasting. A densification with geodetic-grade dual-frequency receivers is not economically feasible. Cost-efficient single-frequency receivers offer a possible alternative. This paper studies the feasibility of using low-cost receivers to increase the density of GNSS networks for retrieval of PWV. We processed one year of GNSS data from an IGS station and two co-located single-frequency stations. Additionally, in another experiment, the Radio Frequency (RF) signal from a geodetic-grade dual-frequency antenna was split to a geodetic receiver and two low-cost receivers. To process the single-frequency observations in Precise Point Positioning (PPP) mode, we apply the Satellite-specific Epoch-differenced Ionospheric Delay (SEID) model using two different reference network configurations of 50–80 km and 200–300 km mean station distances, respectively. Our research setup can distinguish between the antenna, ionospheric interpolation, and software-related impacts on the quality of PWV retrievals. The study shows that single-frequency GNSS receivers can achieve a quality similar to that of geodetic receivers in terms of RMSE for ZTD estimations. We demonstrate that modeling of the ionosphere and the antenna type are the main sources influencing the ZTD precision. View Full-Text
Keywords: GNSS meteorology; GPS; Zenith Tropospheric Delay; precipitable water vapor; SEID; single frequency GNSS; Precise Point Positioning; low-cost receivers; goGPS GNSS meteorology; GPS; Zenith Tropospheric Delay; precipitable water vapor; SEID; single frequency GNSS; Precise Point Positioning; low-cost receivers; goGPS
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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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Krietemeyer, A.; Ten Veldhuis, M.-C.; Van der Marel, H.; Realini, E.; Van de Giesen, N. Potential of Cost-Efficient Single Frequency GNSS Receivers for Water Vapor Monitoring. Remote Sens. 2018, 10, 1493.

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