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International Journal of Mining Science and Technology 24 (2014) 207212

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Land deformation monitoring in mining area with PPP-AR

Hu Hong, Gao Jingxiang , Yao Yifei
School of Environmental Science & Spatial Informatics, China University of Mining & Technology, Xuzhou 221116, China
Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Resources and Environmental Information Engineering, Xuzhou 221116, China

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: The mining area deformation monitoring theory and method using precise point positioning (PPP) ambi-
Received 17 September 2013 guity resolution (AR) were studied, and an ambiguity xing model with satellite and receiver combina-
Received in revised form 16 October 2013 tion phase delay (CPD) was proposed for zero-differenced PPP ambiguity xing and its corresponding
Accepted 17 November 2013
formula derivation was given. The data processing results for 1 h at six IGS stations in China show that
Available online 13 February 2014
93% of ambiguities can be xed within 10 min and all ambiguities can be xed within 15 min. After ambi-
guity xing, the positioning accuracy is improved by more than 85% in the E and N directions, with abso-
lute positioning accuracy reaching millimeter level, and it was improved by 70% in the U direction,
Deformation monitoring precise point
reaching centimeter level; the proposed zero-differenced ambiguity xing model can effectively improve
Ambiguity the convergence rate and positioning accuracy in PPP. Data monitoring continuously conducted for half a
Combination phase delay (CPD) year at four CORS stations of Shanxi China Coal Pingshuo Group validated the feasibility of using PPP in
Ionosphere-free combination mining area deformation monitoring.
2014 Published by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of China University of Mining & Technology.

1. Introduction the phase delay error makes the ambiguities lose their integer
characteristic, resulting in relative difculty in ambiguity resolution
Land subsidence and sinking deformation occurring in under- [56]. Ge et al. analyzed this problem and proposed a PPP ambigu-
ground mining may inuence an area of tens to hundreds of kilo- ity resolution strategy, in which regional or global reference
meters, the exploitation-caused sinking may reach more than ten stations are used to calculate inter-satellite single-differenced
meters, and the topographical and hydrological variations arising wide-lane and narrow-lane phase delays and the obtained
therefrom ruin cultivated land, buildings and other infrastructure information is broadcast to the user via network so that the user
to a considerable extent and destroy the space reference in a end can x the ambiguities to get a PPP xed solution, and the
mining area seriously, so deformation disaster is an important experiment demonstrated that, after ambiguity xing, the PPP
disaster source affecting production safety in a mine. With the accuracy can be signicantly improved [5]. To solve such problems
emergence of various new surveying techniques, such as GPS and as some requirement of spatial distribution of reference stations by
InSAR, new methods are provided for mining area deformation inter-satellite single difference, Zhang et al. put forward a zero-
monitoring [12]. And precise point positioning (PPP), as a hot spot differenced phase delay resolution algorithm, with which a good
in current geodetic surveying researches, has also been applied in positioning accuracy was obtained in an example case [78].
mining area deformation monitoring [3]. With the existing methods being considered, it can be known
Traditional PPP uses the combination of pseudo-range and car- that, to obtain a PPP xed solution, wide-lane and narrow-lane
rier observations to form ionosphere-free observations and then to ambiguity phase delays or clock-bias information shall be resolved
obtain a oat solution and it can reach a positioning accuracy at using reference stations rst, and then issued to the user via a
centimeter to millimeter level through long-time observation. given form to realize PPP user end integer ambiguity xing [511].
However, the noise level of pseudo-range observations restricts However, the PPP ambiguity resolution is still at theoretical
the PPP accuracy, so enough long observation time must be en- validation and testing stage at present; therefore, to get a PPP xed
sured in order to obtain a centimeter-level positioning accuracy solution, regional or global reference stations need to be used
[4]. For this reason, many scholars have studied carrier PPP; autonomously to resolve relevant information, which restricts
however, after ionosphere-free combination of the observations, the application and development of PPP to a certain extent. We
theoretically analyzed relevant characteristics of PPP ambiguity,
Corresponding author. Tel.: +86 516 83885785. and proposed a zero-differenced PPP ambiguity xing algorithm
E-mail address: (J. Gao). with combination phase delay using static observation data, and
2095-2686/ 2014 Published by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of China University of Mining & Technology.
208 H. Hu et al. / International Journal of Mining Science and Technology 24 (2014) 207212

validated the algorithm using six International GNSS Service (IGS) 3. Combination phase delay model
stations in China; afterwards, we analyzed the mining area defor-
mation status using four continuous operation reference station 3.1. Wide-lane ambiguity and phase delay
(CORS) stations in the mining area, and validated the feasibility
of using PPP in mining area deformation monitoring. Wide-lane ambiguity xing employs the classical Melbourne
Wbbena combination (MW combination), which eliminates
the inuence of ionosphere and thus is an ideal wide-lane ambigu-
2. PPP ambiguity
ity resolution combination [17]. After the combination, the wide-
lane ambiguity can be expressed as:
Precise point positioning uses the orbit and clock bias products
provided by a single GPS receiver and IGS stations to obtain i i
high-accuracy positioning results under the international terres- ~ i Li  Li  P1 f1 P2 f2
N 4
w 1 2
trial reference Frame (ITRF) coordinate frame; as PPP has a high kw f1 f2
data utilization rate and exible operations and can realize accurate where N ~ i and kw are the oat solution and wavelength of wide-lane
positioning throughout the world without high density reference carrier. The most probable value Niw and the root-mean-square
stations, it has attracted wide attention and has been successfully deviation (RMSD) rNi of wide-lane combination are respectively
applied in such elds as tsunami early warning and precise orbit as follows:
determination since it was proposed [45,1116]. Precise point
positioning uses dual-frequency code pseudo-range P and carrier _ N
Niw Fh ~i i 5
phase L to constitute ionosphere-free combination observations,
and its basic mathematic model was proposed by Zumberge et al. ~ i  Ni 2
N w w
in 1997; as the model basically eliminates the inuence of rNiw 6
ionospheric delay, it is a mathematic model most widely used in n
current precise point positioning, and it can be specically _ denotes the function of mean value and n is the number
where Fhi
expressed as [12]: of epochs.
For wide-lane ambiguity xing, the probability statistical test
f12 f2 i i method is used to obtain [5,18]:
Piif P i  2 2 2 Pi2 qi c  dtr  dts dtrop M iP eiP
2 1
f12  f2 f1  f2 " ! !#
X1 bi j
t  jNiw  N bi j
t jNiw  N
1 Q0 erfc p w
 erfc p w
a 7
t1 2rNi 2rNi
w w

Uiif qi c  dtr  dtis where N b i is the integer to which N i is closest; and a the condence
w w
f12 f22 level, generally taken as 0.1%; if Q0 passes the test, it indicates that
dtrop  k1 Ni1  k2 Ni2 MiU eiU 2 b i is the xed solution of wide-lane combination. It should be
f12  f22 f12  f22 w
noted that the wide-lane ambiguity here is resolved and xed using
where Piif and Uiif are the ionosphere-free combination pseudo- MW combination and its result is affected by the pseudo-range
range and carrier phase observations of satellite i, respectively; f1 observation accuracy and noise, etc.; however, there is no problem
and f2 the carrier frequencies of L1 and L2, respectively; Pi1 and P i2 in xing of wide-lane ambiguity due to its long wavelength. Never-
the pseudo-range observations; k1 and k2 the wavelengths of L1 theless, it can be seen through comparison with Eq. (3) that Eqs.
and L2, respectively; Ni1 and N i2 their corresponding integer ambigu- (4)(7) can only give the xed value of wide-lane ambiguity but
ities; qi the geometric distance between the satellite and the recei- not phase delay part; to obtain wide-lane and L1 phase delay parts
i and x the ionosphere-free combination ambiguity, the phase delay
ver; c the velocity of light; dtr the clock bias of the receiver; dts the
clock bias of the satellite; dtrop the tropospheric delay; MP and MU in Eq. (3) needs further combination:
the sums of the correction terms for correction of the displacement  
f1 i f1 f2
of monitoring station, the phase wind-up, the earth rotation, the ef- F iif k1 Ni pdc 2 Ni 8
f1 f2 1 f1  f22 w
fect of relativity, and the phase centers of satellite and receiver
antennas, etc., of pseudo-range and of carrier phase, respectively; where pdc is the combination phase delay; from Eq. (3), the follow-
and eiP and eiU the noises of pseudo-range and phase observations, ing can be derived:
i f1 f2
In Eq. (2), with the phase delay errors being considered, the pdc Dui1  Dui2 9
ambiguity part F iif can be expressed as: f1  f2 f1  f2
where Dui2 is the L2 carrier phase delay. In other words, the pro-
f2 f2 posed algorithm is in fact to decompose the zero-differenced iono-
F iif 2 1 2 k1 Ni1  2 2 2 k2 N i2
f1  f2 f1  f2 sphere-free combination into two parts, i.e., ambiguity and phase
f1  i  f1 f2 delay, and to resolve them respectively, and then to get a single-sta-
k1 N1 Dui1 2 2
Niw Duiw 3 tion PPP ambiguity xed solution, so it is crucial to obtain the phase
f1 f2 f1  f2
delay after combination, which needs to be accurately estimated.
where N iw is the integer ambiguity of wide-lane combination, and
Dui1 and Duiw the corresponding phase delays of L1 carrier and 3.2. L1 ambiguity and combination phase delay resolution
wide-lane combination. It can be seen that, after ionosphere-free
combination, the integer part of ambiguity loses its integer charac- From Eqs. (3) and (9), we can get that N i1 after combination has
teristic due to the nonseparability of phase delay so that there is a wavelength of only 0.106 m and it has some difference from but
some difculty in xing the wide-lane combination and L1 carrier is equal in value to the traditional L1 carrier ambiguity, so it is still
ambiguities. We will conduct corresponding transform of wide-lane referred to as L1 carrier ambiguity hereinafter. After the wide-lane
and L1 ambiguities and their phase delays, respectively, to solve the ambiguity is accurately xed as N b i , we can obtain from Eqs. (8)
ambiguity xing problem below. and (9) that the oat solution of L1 ambiguity can be expressed as:
H. Hu et al. / International Journal of Mining Science and Technology 24 (2014) 207212 209

b i pdi f1 f2 F i  f2 N
~ i N
N bi 10
Substituting it into Eq. (7), we can get the L1 carrier xed solu-
1 1 c
f1 if
f1  f2 w b i . Thus, we can obtain the estimate pdi of combination phase
tion N 1 c

b i is the xed solution of L1 ambiguity. It can be gotten from delay and its RMSD rpdi as follows respectively:
where N 1

the wavelength of N ~ i after combination that the critical value of i

pdc _ N
Fh bi i
~i  N 12
1 1 1
ambiguity convergence is that the RMSD of the ambiguities shall
be less than 0.1 m. When the oat ambiguities converge, the integer u  2
u ~i b i  pdi
of their mean value shall be taken as the most probable value, and t N1  N 1 c
then we can obtain: rpdic 13
_ N
Ni1 roundFh ~ i i 11 After getting the combination phase delay, we can obtain the
ambiguity xed solution b
F iif of ionosphere-free combination [19]:

0.8 PRN 2 PRN 4 PRN 5 0.8

0.6 PRN 10 PRN 12 PRN 13 0.6
0.4 0.4
CPDs (cycles)

0.2 0.2

CPDs (cycles)
0 0
-0.2 -0.2
-0.4 -0.4
-0.6 -0.6
-0.8 -0.8
-1.0 -1.0
-1.2 -1.2
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 0 10 20 30 40 50 60
Epoch Epoch
(a) Phase delays in 15 minutes (b) Phase delays in 0.5 hours

1.0 1.2
0.4 0.4
CPDs (cycles)

CPDs (cycles)

0 0
-0.2 -0.4
-0.6 -0.8
-1.2 -1.6
0 20 40 60 80 100 120 0 50 100 150 200 250
Epoch Epoch

(c) Phase delays in 1 hour (d) Phase delays in 2 hours

Fig. 1. CPDs of different satellites.

SP 3
solution CPDs Fixed
file Float L 1 fixed
ambiguities ambiguities
Ambig -
Other bias

Wide -lane Troposph -

Observa - M-W
fixed eric delay
tion data combination

Fig. 2. Flow chart of PPP integer ambiguity resolution with CPD model.
210 H. Hu et al. / International Journal of Mining Science and Technology 24 (2014) 207212

70 80 90 100 110 120 130 normal distribution, so they can be accurately estimated using
Eqs. (11)(13). Comparison of combination phase delays resolved
within different time lengths shows that most combination phase
delays of satellite have obvious uctuation as a whole but their
mean values are basically kept unchanged, so it is feasible to
predict phase delay. However, it can be found from Fig. 1bd that
40 BJFS the phase delay estimated from the 2-h continuous data of satellite
No. 2 (PRN 2) has a deviation of about one cycle, which will directly
inuence the overall positioning result and accuracy. It is obviously
WUHN that there is instability with the time, so the resolution needs to be

conducted once every a specied time interval. Moreover, if the
25 time interval for phase delay resolution is relatively short, it
20 certainly will cause increase in data operation load; comparison
of the results resolved in 1 h, 0.5 h and 15 min shows that the value
is basically unchanged, so it is appropriate to estimate phase delay
Fig. 3. Distribution of reference stations. and conduct prediction once every half an hour in order to ensure
the statistical characteristic of combination phase delay.

11 Float E 3.3. PPP xed solution

10 Fixed E
9 Float N After accurately resolving the ionosphere-free combination
Fixed N
8 ambiguity and phase delay, we can use carrier phase observations
Accuracy (cm)

7 to realize precise point positioning; for the satellite clock bias

parameter in Eq. (2), we used the clock bias products provided
by the IGS stations, believed that they were known, and neglected
the inuence of their residual errors. However, different from the
inter-satellite single difference employed, the receiver clock bias
parameter cannot be eliminated, so the position parameters shall
include the receiver clock bias, in addition to receiver position
SHAO BJFS CHAN KUMN WUHN XIAN parameter and tropospheric delay. With the Kalman ltering, we
Station can realize nding a PPP xed solution, and the specic ow chart
is shown in Fig. 2 [20].
Fig. 4. Accuracy comparison between oat and xed solutions at different stations.
In summary, nding a PPP xed solution using zero-differenced
data at a single station can be roughly divided into three steps:
b f1 b i pdi f1 f2 N bi
F iif k1 N 14 1) Calculate a oat solution of PPP ambiguity using the tradi-
f1 f2 1 c
f12  f22 w
tional ionospheric-free model and the dual-frequency carrier
As can be seen from Fig. 1, the maximum oat of combination and pseudo-range observations; due to the accuracy of
phase delay amplitude is close to one cycle, so this is an important ambiguity and pseudo-range observations, the oat solution
correction to PPP ambiguity. For the initial epoch, the positioning generally cannot reach a high accuracy and the convergence
result is mainly affected by pseudo-range observations, the posi- time is relatively long;
tioning accuracy is not high and the convergence rate is too small. 2) Fix the wide-lane ambiguity through MW combination
After the ambiguities are resolved, the CPDs in the initial epoch can using some epochs and resolve the phase delay of wide-lane
be predicted to resolve the ambiguity xed solution; in dynamic combination; substitute the xed ambiguity into Eq. (10) to
subsequent epochs, the resolved combination phase delay can be calculate the xed solution of L1 ambiguity and resolve the
used for prediction to realize high accuracy positioning. Neverthe- combination phase delay; and then conduct prediction for
less, the phase delay after combination has a short wavelength, and the subsequent epochs. In general, the combination phase
its stability and its inuence on positioning results need to be ana- delay is resolved once every half an hour.
lyzed in detail to ensure the accuracy of positioning results. Fig. 1 3) Substitute the resolved phase delay and ambiguity xed
shows the combination phase delays of the observed six satellites, value into the carrier phase observation equation using
which are resolved in 15 min, 0.5 h, 1 h and 2 h. Eqs. (11) and (14), and obtain a PPP xed solution using
It can be seen from Fig. 1 that the phase delays after the Kalman ltering.
combination have obvious uctuation but their values are main-
tained within a certain range for a given satellite (with satellite
No.4, i.e., PRN 4, as an example) and basically conform to the 4. Experiments and validation

4.1. Validation
Table 1
Float and xed positioning accuracies in E, N and U directions. To validate the proposed algorithm, we employed the products
Station Float E Fixed E Float N Fixed N Float U Fixed U and observations provided by IGS, and selected the data acquired
SHAO 7.5 0.4 3.6 0.3 21.2 2.2
at six IGS tracing stations (Fig. 3) in China at a sampling rate of
BJFS 5.8 0.9 5.9 0.2 19.8 12.1 1 time per 30 s in one hour on August 29, 2010. We carried out sta-
CHAN 2.4 0.4 1.5 0.4 8.5 3.7 tic data processing and analysis using the PPP software indepen-
KUMN 5.4 0.9 4.7 0.2 15.6 3.9 dently developed by our research team, and deleted the data
WUHN 10.6 0.8 6.9 0.6 40.2 5.7
from the satellites with observation time less than 20 min in the
XIAN 4.1 0.3 3.0 0.2 11.2 3.6
experiment to increase the result reliability.
H. Hu et al. / International Journal of Mining Science and Technology 24 (2014) 207212 211

In the experiment, based on Eqs. (4)(7), the wide-lane ambigu- meet the accuracy requirements for mining area deformation
ity could generally be xed in ve epochs, the MW combination monitoring.
wavelength was 0.8 m, and the wide-lane combination phase delay
was easy to be resolved and was relatively stable. The wavelength
of L1 ambiguity after combination is relatively short, the carrier 4.2. A case study
observation ambiguity is unknown in the initial epoch and the car-
rier phase observation accounts for a relatively small weight in In the experiment, we employed the data acquired within con-
data processing, so the positioning accuracy is mainly dependent tinuous half a year from December 2012 to June 2013 at four CORS
on the pseudo-range observations; with the inuence of the pseu- stations established by Shanxi China Coal Pingshuo Group to con-
do-range observation accuracy and noise on the state matrix, the L1 duct test and analysis of deformation sinking, and four instruments
ambiguity and combination phase delay can generally converge in had a model number of TRIMBLE(R10) and were distributed on the
more epochs. As shown in Fig. 4, with Shanghai station as an exam- boundary of the mining area.
ple, the precise convergence time is about half an hour. With the Fig. 5 shows the spatial variations at four stations within half a
ambiguity oat solution after convergence taken for calculation, year, respectively; in the gure, the spheres represent station posi-
93% of ambiguities can be xed within 10 epochs, and all ambigu- tions, and the arrows denote tted variation trends. It can be seen
ities can be xed within 15 epochs. After the combination phase from the gure that station AJL3 is the farthest from the mining
delay is estimated and the ionosphere-free combination ambiguity area, so it is the most stable, with horizontal position basically un-
xed value is obtained, prediction is conducted for the initial epoch changed and minor subsidence occurring in the elevation direction.
and corresponding ambiguity xed value is resolved. Deformation occurs in both of the horizontal and elevation direc-
From Fig. 4 and Table 1, it can be seen that, after convergence, tions at stations DLT2, MGJ1 and ZHL4. The sinking at station
the accuracy is 2.410.6 cm in the E direction, 1.56.9 cm in the DLT2 is the most serious with more than 3 dm of total sinking
N direction and 8.540.2 cm in the U direction. After ambiguity x- occurring in half a year and obvious movement occurs in the hor-
ing, the accuracy is 0.30.9 cm in the E direction, 0.20.6 cm in the izontal direction at the station. Station MGJ1 is mainly affected by
N direction and 2.212.1 cm in the U direction. Statistical analysis sinking and the point position at station ZHL4 is lifted due to min-
of the six stations shows that, after ambiguity xing, the accuracy ing in the mining area. It can be seen from the above two experi-
is improved by 89.7% in the E direction, 92.6% in the N direction ments that, after ambiguity xing, the PPP positioning accuracy
and 70% in the U direction, and that the accuracy improvement is high, and the positioning result is reliable, so when used in min-
in the E and N directions reaches an order of magnitude, so the ing area deformation monitoring, the PPP can well reveal the
positioning accuracies at millimeter level in horizontal direction ground movement rules to provide data assurance and support
and at centimeter level in elevation direction can be realized to for production safety in mining areas.

20 300
10 100
U (mm)

U (mm)

0 -100
- 200
- 10
-20 10 60
-10 5 -400 40
-5 -200 20
0 0 0 )
0 ) -20
E( -5 mm E ( m 200 mm
mm 5 N( m ) 400 -40 N(
) 600 -60
10 -10
(a) AJL3 (b) DLT2


100 200

U ( m m)
U (mm)

0 0
-100 200
80 400 40
- 300
-200 40 -80 20
-100 0 -40
0 ) - 20
E( -40 mm E( 0 -40 m)
m m 100 N( mm 40 (m
) 200 ) -60 N
-80 80
(c) MGJ1 (d) ZHL4

Fig. 5. 3D deformation diagrams at CORS stations in mining area.

212 H. Hu et al. / International Journal of Mining Science and Technology 24 (2014) 207212

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