Improving GNSS PPP-RTK through global forecast system zenith wet delay augmentation

Rui Gao, Zhizhao Liu, Robert Odolinski, Baocheng Zhang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


The precise point positioning real-time kinematic (PPP-RTK) is a high-precision global navigation satellite system (GNSS) positioning technique that combines the advantages of wide-area coverage in precise point positioning (PPP) and of rapid convergence in real-time kinematic (RTK). However, the PPP-RTK convergence is still limited by the precision of slant ionospheric delays and tropospheric zenith wet delay (ZWD), which affects the PPP-RTK network parameters estimation and user positioning performance. The present study aims to construct a PPP-RTK model augmented with a priori ZWD values derived from the global forecast system (GFS) product (a global numerical weather prediction (NWP) model) to improve the PPP-RTK performance. This study gives a priori ZWD values and conversion based on the GFS products, and the full-rank GFS-augmented undifferenced and uncombined (UDUC) PPP-RTK network model is derived. To verify the performance of GFS-augmented UDUC PPP-RTK, a comprehensive evaluation using 10-day GNSS observation data from three different GNSS station networks in the United States (US), Australia, and Europe is conducted. The results show that with the GFS ZWD a priori information, PPP-RTK performance significantly improves at the initial filtering stage, but this advantage gradually decays over time. Based on 10-day positioning results for all user stations, the GFS ZWD-augmented PPP-RTK approach reduces the average convergence time by 46% from 10.0 to 5.4 min, the three-dimensional root-mean-square (3D-RMS) error by 5.7% from 3.5 to 3.3 cm, and the time to first fix (TTFF) value by 35.8% from 6.7 to 4.3 min, all when compared to the traditional PPP-RTK without GFS ZWD constraints.

Original languageEnglish
Article number66
JournalGPS Solutions
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024


  • GPS
  • Numerical weather prediction (NWP)
  • Positioning performance
  • Tropospheric delay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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