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Impact of different NWM-derived mapping functions on VLBI and GPS analysis
Citation key escidoc:3471899
Author Nikolaidou, Thalia and Balidakis, K. and Nievinski, Felipe and Santos, Marcelo and Schuh, H.
Year 2018
DOI 10.1186/s40623-018-0865-x
Journal Earth Planets and Space
Volume 70
Abstract In recent years, numerical weather models have shown the potential to provide a good representation of the electrically neutral atmosphere. This fact has been exploited for the modeling of space geodetic observations. The Vienna Mapping Functions 1 (VMF1) are the NWM-based model recommended by the latest IERS Conventions. The VMF1 are being produced 6 hourly based on the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts operational model. UNB-VMF1 provide meteorological parameters aiding neutral atmosphere modeling for VLBI and GNSS, based on the same concept but utilizing the Canadian Meteorological Centre model. This study presents comparisons between the VMF1 and the UNB-VMF1 in both delay and position domains, using global networks of VLBI and GPS stations. It is shown that the zenith delays agree better than 3.5 mm (hydrostatic) and 20 mm (wet) which implies an equivalent predicted height error of less than 2 mm. In the position domain and VLBI analysis, comparison of the weighted root-mean-square error (wrms) of the height component showed a maximum difference of 1.7 mm. For 48\% of the stations, the use of VMF1 reduced the height wrms of the stations by 2.6\% on average compared to a respective reduction of 1.7\% for 41\% of the stations employing the UNB-VMF1. For the subset of VLBI stations participating in a large number of sessions, neither mapping function outranked the other. GPS analysis using Precise Point Positioning had a sub-mm respective difference, while the wrms of the individual solutions had a maximum value of 12 mm for the 1-year-long analysis. A clear advantage of one NWM over the other was not shown, and the statistics proved that the two mapping functions yield equal results in geodetic analysis.
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