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Open Access

Airborne GPS kinematic positioning and its application to oceanographic mapping

Earth, Planets and Space201452:BF03352288

Received: 16 January 2000

Accepted: 14 August 2000

Published: 24 June 2014


Precise, long-range, airborne GPS kinematic positioning requires the use of carrier phase measurements, the data processing of which suffers from the technical challenges of “on-the-fly” ambiguity resolution and cycle slip repair. In this paper the authors describe how the combination of an ‘ambiguity recovery’ technique and a ‘linear bias correction’ method has been used to support oceanographic mapping in Australian waters, together with the augmentation from the Laser Airborne Depth Sounder (LADS) system. Two experiments, carried out on the 4th December 1997 in the Torres Strait between Papua New Guinea and Australia, and on the 20 May 1998 at Lake Argyle in Australia, were analysed. The results indicate that the topography of the water surface can be obtained with sub-decimetre accuracy, with a spatial resolution of a few metres. The main errors are attributable to multipath interference of the GPS signals at the antennas from the aircraft surface.


Ambiguity ResolutionGeoid HeightInteger AmbiguityCycle SlipMultipath Effect