Evaluation of Zenith Tropospheric Delay Derived from Ray-Traced VMF3 Product over the West African Region Using GNSS Observations

The growing demand for Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) technology has necessitated the establishment of a vast and ever-growing network of International GNSS Service (IGS) tracking stations worldwide. &e IGS provides highly accurate and highly reliable daily time-series Zenith Tropospheric Delay (ZTD) products using data from the member sites towards the use of GNSS for precise geodetic, climatological, and meteorological applications. However, if for reasons like poor internet connectivity, equipment failure, and power outages, the IGS station is inaccessible or malfunctioning, and gaps are created in the data archive resulting in degrading the quality of the ZTD and precipitable water vapour (PWV) estimation. To address this challenge as a means of providing an alternative data source to improve the continuous availability of ZTD data and as a backup data in the event that the IGS site data are missing or unavailable in West Africa, this paper compares the sitewise operational Vienna Mapping Functions 3 (VMF3) ZTD product with the IGS final ZTD product over five IGS stations in West Africa. Eight different statistical evaluation metrics, such as the mean bias (MB), mean absolute error (MAE), root mean squared error (RMSE), Pearson correlation coefficient (r), coefficient of determination (r 2 ), refined index of agreement (IAr), Nash–Sutcliffe coefficient of efficiency (NSE), and the fraction of prediction within a factor of two (FAC2), are employed to determine the degree of agreement between the VMF3 and IGS tropospheric products. &e results show that the VMF3-ZTD product performed excellently and matches very well with the IGS final ZTD product with an average MB, MAE, RMSE, r, r 2 , NSE, IAr, and FAC2 of 0.38 cm, 0.87 cm, 1.11 cm, 0.988, 0.976, 0.967, 0.992, and 1.00 (100%), respectively. &is result is an indication that the VMF3-ZTD product is accurate enough to be used as an alternative source of ZTD data to augment the IGS final ZTD product for positioning and meteorological applications in West Africa.
This is an article published in Advances in Meteorology Volume 2021, Article ID 8836806, 14 pages; https://doi.org/10.1155/2021/8836806
Advances in Meteorology Volume 2021, Article ID 8836806, 14 pages; https://doi.org/10.1155/2021/8836806