Vol 18, No 10

Weekly inter-technique combination of SLR, VLBI, GPS and DORIS at the solution level

Li-Zhen Lian, Jie-Xian Wang, Cheng-Li Huang, Ming-Hui Xu


Constructing and maintaining a stable terrestrial reference frame (TRF) is one of the key objectives of fundamental astronomy and geodesy. The datum realization for all the global TRF versions, such as ITRF2014 and its predecessor ITRF2008, assumes linear time evolution for transformation parameters and then imposes some conditions on these Helmert transformation parameters. In this paper, we investigate a new approach, which is based on weekly estimation of station positions and Helmert transformation parameters from a combination of the solutions of four space-geodetic techniques, i.e., Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR), Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI), Global Positioning System (GPS) and Doppler Orbitography and Radiopositioning Integrated by Satellite (DORIS). For this study, an interval of one week is chosen because the arc length of the SLR solutions is seven days. The major advantage of this weekly estimated reference frame is that both the non-linear station motions and the non-linear origin motion are implicitly taken into account. In order to study the non-linear behavior of station motions and physical parameters, ITRF2008 is used as a reference. As for datum definition of weekly reference frame, on one hand SLR is the unique technique to realize the origin and determine the scale together with VLBI, and on the other hand the orientation is realized via no net rotation with respect to ITRF2005 on a subset of core stations. Given the fact that without enough collocations an inter-technique combined TRF could not exist, the selection and relative weight of local ties surveyed at co-location sites are critical issues. To get stable results, we first assume that, if there were no events such as equipment changes between the measurement epoch of the local tie and that of the space-geodetic solution, the relative position between the two co-located stations should be invariant and this local tie could be used for computing the inter-technique combined reference frame in those weeks during the stable period of this tie. The resulting time series of both station positions and transformation parameters are studied in detail and are compared with ITRF2008. The residual station positions in the weekly combined reference frame are usually in the range of two millimeters without any periodic characteristic, but the residual station positions, when subtracting the regularized station position in ITRF2008, may reach a magnitude of a few centimeters and seem to have a significant annual signal. The physical parameter series between the weekly reference frame and ITRF2008 also show the obvious existence of an annual signal and reach a magnitude of one centimeter for origin motion and two parts per billion (ppb) for scale.


reference systems — astrometry — methods: data analysis — Earth

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