An Extragalactic Reference Frame from DSN VLBI Measurements—1989
Assessment of the impact of recent improvements in Deep Space Network (DSN) instrumentation, as well as of joint data analyses, provide a prognosis for the accuracy level to be expected in future realizations of an inertial radio reference frame. Intercontinental dual-frequency radio interferometric measurements during 68 sessions (including two recent sessions employing Mark III instrumentation) from 1978 to 1989 using NASA’s DSN stations in California, Spain, and Australia give 8900 pairs of delay and delay rate observations. Analysis yields a catalog of positions of 200 extragalactic radio sources north of —45° declination. The resulting source position formal uncertainty distributions peak below 1 milliarcsecond, with three fourths being smaller than 2 mas. Comparison with independent measurements shows some evidence for systematic errors at the milliarcsecond level.
KeywordsVery Long Baseline Interferometry Troposphere Zenith Delay Extragalactic Radio Source Deep Space Network Delay Rate
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