Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth

Precise point positioning for the efficient and robust analysis of GPS data from large networks


  • J. F. Zumberge,

  • M. B. Heflin,

  • D. C. Jefferson,

  • M. M. Watkins,

  • F. H. Webb


Networks of dozens to hundreds of permanently operating precision Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers are emerging at spatial scales that range from 100 to 103 km. To keep the computational burden associated with the analysis of such data economically feasible, one approach is to first determine precise GPS satellite positions and clock corrections from a globally distributed network of GPS receivers. Then, data from the local network are analyzed by estimating receiver-specific parameters with receiver-specific data; satellite parameters are held fixed at their values determined in the global solution. This “precise point positioning” allows analysis of data from hundreds to thousands of sites every day with 40-Mflop computers, with results comparable in quality to the simultaneous analysis of all data. The reference frames for the global and network solutions can be free of distortion imposed by erroneous fiducial constraints on any sites.