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Announcing the Availability of GNSS RINEX 3 Format Files from UNAVCO and White Paper on UNAVCO Plans for GNSS Formats and Preprocessing Tools

Announcing the Availability of GNSS RINEX 3 Format Files from UNAVCO and White Paper on UNAVCO Plans for GNSS Formats and Preprocessing Tools

UNAVCO has initiated a pilot project for providing community investigators with sample RINEX 3 format files. RINEX 3 is a standard format pioneered by the International GNSS Service (IGS) to provide clarity and flexibility for encoding observables from the newer GNSS constellations including Galileo, Beidou/Compass, QZSS, IRNSS, and SBAS, in addition to GPS and GLONASS. RINEX 3 is currently in version 3.03 release and is described in documentation available from the IGS at ftp://igs.org/pub/data/format/rinex303.pdf. The IGS also provides RINEX 3 format files for over 130 stations.

For this pilot project, UNAVCO is initially providing daily standard rate (typically 15-s sample interval) files with observables and ephemerides from four stations (BARO Barrow, Alaska; MCMD, McMurdo, Antarctica; RDLT, Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic; and RDSD, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic). Note that BARO and MCMD RINEX 3 files currently contain GPS and GLONASS constellations only due to receiver configuration. RDLT and RDSD RINEX files currently contain GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and Beidou/Compass observables. UNAVCO will be adding to the set of stations available in RINEX 3 in the future, including stations enabled for GNSS.

The access for RINEX 3 files is through anonymous ftp at:

  • ftp://data-out.unavco.org/pub/rinex3/obs/<year>/<day-of-year>/ (for files containing GNSS observables)
  • ftp://data-out.unavco.org/pub/rinex3/nav/<year>/<day-of-year>/ (for files containing ephemerides).

We are following the file naming conventions described in the RINEX 3 documentation from the IGS.

To provide the RINEX 3 for the stations mentioned above, UNAVCO is relying on onboard translation available from the Trimble receivers at those stations. In the near future, as UNAVCO fields the Septentrio PolaRx5 receiver at selected stations, we plan to use Septentrio-provided translation tools for SBF-formatted files to RINEX 3 format.

The availability of Quality Control (QC) for the RINEX 3 format is a work in progress. For the present, QC is available from this location:

The files in this location are built from the RINEX 3 observables files via RINEX 3 to RINEX 2.11 translation with GFZRNX software from the GFZ Potsdam, followed by using UNAVCO’s TEQC software for the QC step. In the future we plan to provide QC using the GNUT/Anubis software from the University of Pecny, Czech Republic, which operates directly on RINEX 3 format files, in addition to the QC just described.

UNAVCO continues to distribute archived data as RINEX 2.11 and will do so for the foreseeable future, as this remains the principal RINEX format utilized by UNAVCO community investigators.

There is additional information on UNAVCO plans for formats and tools related to GNSS in the white paper UNAVCO Geodetic Data Services Plan for GNSS Modernization – Data Formats and Preprocessing Tools.

Comments are welcome and may be directed to dataunavco.org.

Last modified: Friday, 25-Mar-2016 22:08:50 UTC


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