Comparative Evaluation and Analysis of Different Tropospheric Delay Models in Ghana

Samuel Osah, Akwasi Afrifa Acheampong, Isaac Dadzie, Collins Fosu


Tropospheric delay prediction models have become increasingly important in Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) as they play a critical role in GNSS positioning applications. Due to the different atmospheric conditions over the earth regions, tropospheric effect on GNSS signals also differs, influencing the performance of these prediction models. Thus, the choice of a particular prediction model can significantly degrade the positioning accuracy especially when the model does not suit the user’s environs. Therefore, a performance assessment of existing prediction models in various regions for a suitable one is very imperative. This paper evaluates and analyses seven commonly used tropospheric delay models in Ghana in terms of performances in Zenith Tropospheric Delay (ZTD) estimation and baseline positional accuracies using data from six selected Continuously Operating Reference Stations (CORS). The 1˚x1˚ gridded Vienna Mapping Functions 3 (VMF3) ZTD product and coordinates solutions from the CSRS-PPP positioning service were respectively used as references. The results show that the Black model performed better in estimating the ZTD, followed by Askne and Nordius model. The Saastamoinen, Marini and Murray, Niell, Goads and Goodman and Hopfield models respectively performed poorly. However, the result of the baseline solutions did not show much variation in the coordinate difference provided by the use of the prediction models, nonetheless, the Black and Askne and Nordius models continue to dominate the other models. Of all the models evaluated, either Black or Askne and Nordius model is recommended for use to mitigate the ZTD in the study area, however, the choice of the Black model will be more desirable.

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