IGS08: the IGS realization of ITRF2008
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On April 17, 2011, the International GNSS Service (IGS) stopped using the IGS05 reference frame and adopted a new one, called IGS08, as the basis of its products. The latter was derived from the latest release of the International Terrestrial Reference Frame (ITRF2008). However, the simultaneous adoption of a new set of antenna phase center calibrations by the IGS required slight adaptations of ITRF2008 positions for 65 of the 232 IGS08 stations. The impact of the switch from IGS05 to IGS08 on GNSS station coordinates was twofold: in addition to a global transformation due to the frame change from ITRF2005 to ITRF2008, many station coordinates underwent small shifts due to antenna calibration updates, which need to be accounted for in any comparison or alignment of an IGS05-consistent solution to IGS08. Because the heterogeneous distribution of the IGS08 network makes it sub-optimal for the alignment of global frames, a smaller well-distributed sub-network was additionally designed and designated as the IGS08 core network. Only 2 months after their implementation, both the full IGS08 network and the IGS08 core network already strongly suffer from the loss of many reference stations. To avoid a future crisis situation, updates of IGS08 will certainly have to be considered before the next ITRF release.
KeywordsIGS GNSS ITRF Terrestrial reference frame Tracking network Phase center calibration
We would like to thank T. van Dam (University of Luxembourg) who supplied the loading deformation model used in this study. All IGS ACs are specially acknowledged for their fundamental contribution to the elaboration of IGS08 and igs08.atx. The IGS station operators are also thanked for their commitment to providing invaluable data.
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