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A consistent combination of GNSS and SLR with minimum constraints

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An Erratum to this article was published on 26 September 2015


In this article, the realization of a global terrestrial reference system (TRS) based on a consistent combination of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) is studied. Our input data consists of normal equation systems from 17 years (1994–2010) of homogeneously reprocessed GPS, GLONASS and SLR data. This effort used common state of the art reduction models and the same processing software (Bernese GNSS Software) to ensure the highest consistency when combining GNSS and SLR. Residual surface load deformations are modeled with a spherical harmonic approach. The estimated degree-1 surface load coefficients have a strong annual signal for which the GNSS- and SLR-only solutions show very similar results. A combination including these coefficients reduces systematic uncertainties in comparison to the single-technique solution. In particular, uncertainties due to solar radiation pressure modeling in the coefficient time series can be reduced up to 50 % in the GNSS+SLR solution compared to the GNSS-only solution. In contrast to the ITRF2008 realization, no local ties are used to combine the different geodetic techniques. We combine the pole coordinates as global ties and apply minimum constraints to define the geodetic datum. We show that a common origin, scale and orientation can be reliably realized from our combination strategy in comparison to the ITRF2008.

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Since the work is based on data of the common effort of Technische Universität München, University of Bern, ETH Zurich and Technische Universität Dresden, we would like to thank all project partners within the project “Geodätische und geodynamische Nutzung reprozessierter GPS-, GLONASS- und SLR-Daten” and for the financial support the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and the Swiss National Science Foundation. The authors would also like to thank Geoffrey Blewitt and two anonymous reviewers for their comments which helped to improve the manuscript considerably.

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Correspondence to Susanne Glaser.

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Glaser, S., Fritsche, M., Sośnica, K. et al. A consistent combination of GNSS and SLR with minimum constraints. J Geod 89, 1165–1180 (2015).

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