Geodetic VLBI correlation in software
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Correlation algorithms for geodetic very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) can now be effectively implemented on parallel computers of modest size. We have undertaken a detailed comparison of the output from a trusted geodetic correlator, one that has supported global geodetic VLBI observations for many years, with the output of a software correlator implemented on a small parallel computing cluster. We show that the correlator outputs agree closely, within expected error bounds, after accounting for the differences in the adopted geometric delay models, and therefore that use of the software correlator is feasible for geodetic VLBI processing, as a first step toward routine geodetic data processing. Recent developments in software correlation for geodesy are discussed, including the possibility of real-time processing options.