- zenith tropospheric delay
- real-time precise point positioning
Tropospheric delay is one of the major factors affecting the accuracy of electromagnetic distance measurements. To provide wide-area real-time high precision zenith tropospheric delay (ZTD), the temporal and spatial variations of ZTD with altitude were analyzed on the bases of the latest meteorological reanalysis product (ERA-Interim) provided by the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). An inverse scale height model at given locations taking latitude, longitude and day of year as inputs was then developed and used to convert real-time ZTD at GPS stations in Crustal Movement Observation Network of China (CMONOC) from station height to mean sea level (MSL). The real-time ZTD grid product (RtZTD) over China was then generated with a time interval of 5 min. Compared with ZTD estimated in post-processing mode, the bias and error RMS of ZTD at test GPS stations derived from RtZTD are 0.39 and 1.56 cm, which is significantly more accurate than commonly used empirical models. In addition, simulated real-time kinematic Precise Point Positioning (PPP) tests show that using RtZTD could accelerate the BDS-PPP convergence time by up to 32% and 65% in the horizontal and vertical components (set coordinate error thresholds to 0.4 m), respectively. For GPS-PPP, the convergence time using RtZTD can be accelerated by up to 29% in the vertical component (0.2 m).