The Impact of Microwave Absorber and Radome Geometries on Ground-Based GNSS Measurements of Coordinates and Atmospheric Water Vapour
Journal article, 2011
We have used microwave absorbing material in different geometries around ground-based Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) antennas in order to mitigate multipath effects on the estimates of station coordinates and atmospheric water vapour. The influence of a hemispheric radome - of the same type as in the Swedish GPS network SWEPOS - was also investigated. Two GNSS stations at the Onsala Space Observatory were used forming a 12 m baseline. GPS data from October 2008 to November 2009 were analyzed by the GIPSY/OASIS II software using the Precise Point Positioning (PPP) processing strategy for five different elevation cutoff angles from 5° to 25°. We found that the use of the absorbing material decreases the offset in the estimated vertical component of the baseline from ~27 mm to ~4 mm when the elevation cutoff angle varies from 5° to 20°. The horizontal components are much less affected. The corresponding offset in the estimates of the atmospheric Integrated Water Vapour (IWV) decreases from ~1.6 kg/m^2 to ~0.3 kg/m^2. Changes less than 5 mm in the offsets in the vertical component of the baseline are seen for all five elevation cutoff angle solutions when the antenna was covered by a hemispheric radome. Using the radome affects the IWV estimates less than 0.4 kg/m^2 for all different solutions. IWV comparisons between a Water Vapour Radiometer (WVR) and the GPS data give consistent results.