An evaluation of FFT geoid determination techniques and their application to height determination using GPS in Australia.
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A new, high resolution, high precision and accuracy gravimetric geoid of Australia has been produced using updated data, theory and computational methodologies. The fast Fourier transform technique is applied to the computation of the geoid and terrain effects. The long, medium and short wavelength components of the geoid are determined from the OSU91A global geopotential model, 2'x2' (residual gravity anomalies in a 3 degrees cap and 1'x1' digital terrain model (DTM), respectively.Satellite altimeter gravity data have been combined with marine gravity data to improve the coverage of the gravity data, and thus the quality of the geoid. The best gridding procedure for gravity data has been studied and applied to the gravity data gridding. It is found that the gravity field of Australia behaves quite differently. None of the free-air, Bouguer or topographic-isostatic gravity anomalies are consistently the smoothest. The Bouguer anomaly is often rougher than the free-air anomaly and thus should be not used for gravity field gridding. It is also revealed that in some regions the topography often contains longer wavelength features than the gravity anomalies.It is demonstrated that the inclusion of terrain effects is crucial for the determination of an accurate gravimetric geoid. Both the direct and indirect terrain effects need to be taken into account in the precise geoid determination of Australia. The existing AUSGEOID93 could be in error up to 0.7m in terms of the terrain effect only. In addition, a series of formulas have been developed to evaluate the precision of the terrain effects. These formulas allow the effectiveness of the terrain correction and precision requirement for a given DTM to be studied. It is recommended that the newly released 9"x9" DTM could be more effectively used if it is based on 15"x15" grid.It is estimated from comparisons with Global Positioning System (GPS) and Australian Height Datum Data that the absolute accuracy of the new geoid is better than 33cm and the relative precision of the new geoid is better than 10~20cm. This new geoid can support Australian GPS heighting to third-order specifications.
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