Future SLR station networks in the framework of simulated multi-technique terrestrial reference frames

  • Susanne GlaserEmail author
  • Rolf König
  • Karl Hans Neumayer
  • Kyriakos Balidakis
  • Harald Schuh
Original Article


Currently, the requirements of the Global Geodetic Observing System are not yet met by the latest global terrestrial reference frames (TRF). In this study, we assess potential TRF improvements by future SLR network designs partly already classified as “future stations” by the International Laser Ranging Service. We simulate the space geodetic techniques GPS, SLR, and VLBI within the time span 2008–2014 and evaluate the feasible improvements of the SLR-only and the multi-technique TRFs w.r.t. the current station networks. The station performance of the simulated 14 additional SLR stations is driven by the total cloud coverage from the numerical weather model ERA5. We find that the estimated station positions and velocities as well as the Earth rotation parameters, and the TRF-defining parameters origin and scale improve by 1–4% if a single additional station is added to the current SLR-only network. The solution with all 14 additional stations improves by about 22% in origin and 20% in scale w.r.t. the current SLR-only TRF. Single existing stations were excluded from the network resulting in deteriorations of 2–6%. Multi-technique TRFs improve by new co-located sites due to additional SLR stations by up to 1% for station positions, velocities, and the realization of the orientation.


GGOS ITRF SLR Simulation 



This work has been supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG) under Grant No. SCHU 1103/8-1 (GGOS-SIM, Simulation of the Global Geodetic Observing System) and by the Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft Deutscher Forschungszentren e.V. under Grant No. ZT-0007 (ADVANTAGE, Advanced Technologies for Navigation and Geodesy). The IGS (Dow et al. 2009), the IVS (Schuh and Behrend 2012; Nothnagel et al. 2015), and the ILRS (Pearlman et al. 2002) are acknowledged for providing data used within this study, and ECMWF for making publicly available model level data from ERA5 reanalysis. The authors would like to thank Sven Bauer for the fruitful discussions and three anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments on the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.GFZ German Research Centre for GeosciencesPotsdamGermany
  2. 2.GFZ German Research Centre for GeosciencesOberpfaffenhofenGermany
  3. 3.Institute of Geodesy and Geoinformation ScienceTechnische Universität BerlinBerlinGermany

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