Rapid response quality control service for the laser ranging tracking network

  • Toshimichi Otsubo
  • Horst Müller
  • Erricos C. Pavlis
  • Mark H. Torrence
  • Daniela Thaller
  • Vladimir D. Glotov
  • Xiaoya Wang
  • Krzysztof Sośnica
  • Ulrich Meyer
  • Matthew J. Wilkinson
Original Article


Quality control systems for satellite laser ranging (SLR) observations have been developed at a number of analysis institutes worldwide, using various software packages of precise orbit determination and data analysis. Satellite laser range observations, primarily from the two LAGEOS satellites but also from other satellites in low-Earth orbits and up to GNSS altitude, are being processed on a sub-daily to weekly basis. The generated quality control reports are widely used to detect various kinds of problems and quickly provide anomalous information to laser ranging stations. They have been effective in shortening the time to return to normal operations when anomalous data are detected and in quantifying the performance of laser ranging stations. Consequently, a rapid feedback loop has now been incorporated in the modern SLR operation.


Satellite laser ranging Precise orbit determination Quality control Data anomaly detection 



The quality control analyses are indebted not just to the authors of this paper but to a number of researchers at the analysis institutes, such as Ms. M. Kobayashi of Hitotsubashi University, Mr. C. Schwatke of DGFI-TUM, Dr. M. Kuzmicz-Cieslak of JCET, Dr. G. M. Appleby of NERC SGF, Mr. R. Zajdel of WUELS, Dr. A. Maier and Dr. T. Schildknecht of AIUB and many others. T. Otsubo acknowledges the support of JSPS KAKENHI, Grant Numbers 26400449 and 18K11632. E. C. Pavlis acknowledges the support of NASA Grant NNX15AT34A. The quality control services are made up of continuous and intensive collaboration with the ILRS tracking stations and also with the ILRS Operation Centers and Data Centers. The quality control analyses in early days were led by Dr. R. Eanes of Center for Space Research, University of Texas, and Dr. R. Noomen of Delft University of Technology. Finally, we would like to point out that the international collaboration in this field could not be achieved at this level without Prof. W. Gurtner, AIUB, who sadly passed away in 2009.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Toshimichi Otsubo
    • 1
  • Horst Müller
    • 2
  • Erricos C. Pavlis
    • 3
  • Mark H. Torrence
    • 4
  • Daniela Thaller
    • 5
  • Vladimir D. Glotov
    • 6
  • Xiaoya Wang
    • 7
  • Krzysztof Sośnica
    • 8
  • Ulrich Meyer
    • 9
  • Matthew J. Wilkinson
    • 10
  1. 1.Geoscience LaboratoryHitotsubashi UniversityKunitachiJapan
  2. 2.Deutsches Geodätisches Forschungsinsitut Technische Universität MünchenMunichGermany
  3. 3.Joint Center for Earth Systems TechnologyBaltimoreUSA
  4. 4.Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies IncGreenbeltUSA
  5. 5.Bundesamt für Kartographie und GeodäsieFrankfurt am MainGermany
  6. 6.Central Research Institute of Machine BuildingKorolyovRussia
  7. 7.Shanghai Astromomical ObservatoryShanghaiChina
  8. 8.Institute of Geodesy and GeoinformaticsWroclaw University of Environmental and Life SciencesWrocławPoland
  9. 9.Astronomical InstituteUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland
  10. 10.NERC Space Geodesy Facility Herstmonceux CastleHailshamUK

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