Combination of Earth Orientation Parameters and Terrestrial Frame at the Observation Level
A rigorous approach to simultaneously determine both a terrestrial reference frame (TRF) materialized by station coordinates and Earth Orientation Parameters (EOP) is now currently applied on a routine basis in a coordinated project of the Groupe de Recherches de Géodésie Spatiale (GRGS). To date, various techniques allow the determination of all or a part of the Earth Orientation Parameters: Laser Ranging to the Moon (LLR) and to dedicated artificial satellites (SLR), Very Large Baseline Interferometry on extra-galactic sources (VLBI), Global Positioning System (GPS) and more recently DORIS introduced in the IERS activities in 1995. Observations of the different astro-geodetic techniques are separately processed at different analysis centres using unique software package GINS DYNAMO, developed and maintained at GRGS. The datum-free normal equation matrices weekly derived from the analyses of the different techniques are then stacked to derive solutions of station coordinates and Earth Orientation Parameters (EOP). Two approaches are made: the first one consists to accumulate normal equations (NEQs) derived from intra-technique single run solution in a single run combined solution; the second one leads to weekly combinations of NEQs. Results are made available at the IERS site (ftp iers1.bkg.bund.de) in the form of SINEX files. The strength of the method is the use of a set of identical up-to-date models and standards in unique software for all techniques. In addition the solution benefits from mutual constraints brought by the various techniques; in particular UT1 and nutation offsets series derived from VLBI are densified and complemented by respectively LOD and nutation rates estimated by GPS. The analyses we have performed over the first four months of the year 2006 are still preliminary; they show that the accuracy and stability of the EOP solution are very sensitive to a number of critical parameters mostly linked to the terrestrial reference frame realization, the way that minimum constraints are applied and the quality of local ties. We present thereafter the procedures which were applied, recent analyses and the latest results obtained.
KeywordsEarth rotation terrestrial reference frames robust combination
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