Journal of Geodesy

, Volume 92, Issue 6, pp 625–635 | Cite as

Future global SLR network evolution and its impact on the terrestrial reference frame

  • Alexander Kehm
  • Mathis Bloßfeld
  • Erricos C. Pavlis
  • Florian Seitz
Original Article


Satellite laser ranging (SLR) is an important technique that contributes to the determination of terrestrial geodetic reference frames, especially to the realization of the origin and the scale of global networks. One of the major limiting factors of SLR-derived reference frame realizations is the datum accuracy which significantly suffers from the current global SLR station distribution. In this paper, the impact of a potential future development of the SLR network on the estimated datum parameters is investigated. The current status of the SLR network is compared to a simulated potential future network featuring additional stations improving the global network geometry. In addition, possible technical advancements resulting in a higher amount of observations are taken into account as well. As a result, we find that the network improvement causes a decrease in the scatter of the network translation parameters of up to 24%, and up to 20% for the scale, whereas the technological improvement causes a reduction in the scatter of up to 27% for the translations and up to 49% for the scale. The Earth orientation parameters benefit by up to 15% from both effects.


Satellite laser ranging Network evolution Geodetic parameters Simulation study 



The authors want to thank the ILRS for providing the observations of the global geodetic SLR station network. Furthermore, the authors want to thank the German Research Foundation (DFG) for funding this work within the project “DIrect GEocentric Realisation of the American reference frame by combination of geodetic observation TechnIques” (DIGERATI) under grant No. SE 1916/5-1. E.C. Pavlis gratefully acknowledges the support of NASA grant NNX14AN50G.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Technische Universität München, Deutsches Geodätisches Forschungsinstitut (DGFI-TUM)MünchenGermany
  2. 2.Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology, University of Maryland Baltimore County (JCET-UMBC)BaltimoreUSA

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