Journal of Geodesy

, Volume 89, Issue 9, pp 911–924 | Cite as

Optimized scheduling of VLBI UT1 intensive sessions for twin telescopes employing impact factor analysis

Original Article


Daily Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) intensive measurements make an important contribution to the regular monitoring of Earth rotation variations. Since these variations are quite rapid, their knowledge is important for navigation with global navigation satellite system and for investigations in Earth sciences. Unfortunately, the precision of VLBI intensive observations is 2–3 times worse than the precision of regular 24h-VLBI measurements with networks of 5–10 radio telescopes. The major advancement of research in this paper is the improvement of VLBI intensive results by (a) using twin telescopes instead of single telescopes and (b) applying an entirely new scheduling concept for the individual observations. Preparatory investigations of standardintensive sessions suggest that the impact factors of the observations are well suited for the identification of the most influential observations which are needed for the determination of certain parameters within the entire design of a VLBI session. Based on this experience, the scheduling method is designed for optimizing the observations’ geometry for a given network of radio telescopes and a predefined set of parameters to be estimated. The configuration of at least two twin telescopes, or one twin and two single telescopes, offers the possibility of building pairwise sub-nets that observe two different sources simultaneously. In addition to an optimized observing plan, a special parametrization for twin telescopes leads to an improved determination of Earth rotation variations, as it is shown by simulated observations. In general, an improvement of about 50 % in the formal errors can be realized using twin radio telescopes. This result is only due to geometric improvements as higher slew rates of the twin telescopes are not taken into account.


Very Long Baseline Interferometry Twin radio telescopes Intensives Scheduling 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Geodesy and GeoinformationUniversity of BonnBonnGermany

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