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Benefits of combining GPS and GLONASS for measuring ocean tide loading displacement

Lookup NU author(s): Majid Abbaszadeh, Professor Peter ClarkeORCiD, Dr Nigel Penna



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


GPS has been used to estimate ocean tide loading (OTL) height displacement amplitudes to accuracies of within 0.5 mm at the M2 frequency, but such estimation has been problematic at luni-solar K2 and K1 frequencies because they coincide with the GPS orbital period and revisit period, leading to repeating multipath and satellite orbit errors. We therefore investigate the potential of using the GLONASS constellation (with orbital period 11.26 h and true site revisit period of 8 sidereal days distinct from K2 and K1) for OTL displacement estimation, analysing 3–7 years of GPS and GLONASS data from 49 globally distributed stations. Using the PANDA software in kinematic precise point positioning mode with float ambiguities, we demonstrate that GLONASS can estimate OTL height displacement at the M2, N2, O1 and Q1 lunar frequencies with similar accuracy to GPS: 95th percentile agreements of 0.6–1.3 mm between estimated and FES2014b ocean tide model displacements. At the K2 and K1 luni-solar frequencies, 95th percentile agreements between GPS estimates and model values of 3.9–4.4 mm improved to 2.0–2.8 mm using GLONASS-only solutions. A combined GPS+GLONASS float solution improves accuracy of the lunar OTL constituents and P1 (but not significantly for K1 or K2) compared with a single-constellation solution and results in hourly-to-weekly spectral noise very similar to a GPS ambiguity-fixed solution, but without needing uncalibrated phase delay information. GLONASS estimates are more accurate at higher compared with lower latitudes because of improved satellite visibility, although this can be countered by using a lower elevation cut-off angle.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Abbaszadeh M, Clarke PJ, Penna NT

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Geodesy

Year: 2020

Volume: 94

Online publication date: 08/07/2020

Acceptance date: 15/06/2020

Date deposited: 16/06/2020

ISSN (print): 0949-7714

ISSN (electronic): 1432-1394

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/s00190-020-01393-5


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Funder referenceFunder name
Doctoral Training Award from Newcastle University
NE/R010234/1Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)