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A Global Terrestrial Reference Frame from simulated VLBI and SLR data in view of GGOS


In this study, we assess the impact of two combination strategies, namely local ties (LT) and global ties (GT), on the datum realization of Global Terrestrial Reference Frames in view of the Global Geodetic Observing System requiring 1 mm-accuracy. Simulated Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) and Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) data over a 7 year time span was used. The LT results show that the geodetic datum can be best transferred if the precision of the LT is at least 1 mm. Investigating different numbers of LT, the lack of co-located sites on the southern hemisphere is evidenced by differences of 9 mm in translation and rotation compared to the solution using all available LT. For the GT, the combination applying all Earth rotation parameters (ERP), such as pole coordinates and UT1-UTC, indicates that the rotation around the Z axis cannot be adequately transferred from VLBI to SLR within the combination. Applying exclusively the pole coordinates as GT, we show that the datum can be transferred with mm-accuracy within the combination. Furthermore, adding artificial stations in Tahiti and Nigeria to the current VLBI network results in an improvement in station positions by 13 and 12%, respectively, and in ERP by 17 and 11%, respectively. Extending to every day VLBI observations leads to 65% better ERP estimates compared to usual twice-weekly VLBI observations.

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The German Research Foundation (DFG) is acknowledged for the financial support within the project “GGOS-SIM” (SCHU 1103/8-1) and the IVS (Schuh and Behrend 2012; Nothnagel et al. 2015) and the ILRS (Pearlman et al. 2002) for providing the data used within this study. We are grateful for the valuable comments of three anonymous reviewers who helped to improve the manuscript considerably.

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Correspondence to Susanne Glaser.

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Glaser, S., König, R., Ampatzidis, D. et al. A Global Terrestrial Reference Frame from simulated VLBI and SLR data in view of GGOS. J Geod 91, 723–733 (2017).

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  • Terrestrial reference frame
  • GGOS
  • Inter-technique combination
  • Local ties
  • Global ties
  • VLBI
  • SLR