Earth rotation variations observed by VLBI and the Wettzell “G” ring laser during the CONT17 campaign

Böhm, Sigrid; Schartner, Matthias; Gebauer, André; Klügel, Thomas; Schreiber, Ulrich; Schüler, Torben

The VLBI (Very Long Baseline Interferometry) technique can provide the full set of parameters needed for the transformation between celestial and terrestrial reference frames with high accuracy. Yet it has some limitations regarding temporal resolution and continuity, and the accuracy of the resulting Earth Orientation Parameters (EOP) varies depending on the network geometry. In this work we explore the benefit of combining VLBI observations with the measurements of the large ring laser gyroscope “G” in Wettzell for deriving highly resolved ERP (Earth Rotation Parameters, i.e. polar motion and universal time variations, δUT1).

We examine the observations collected by two simultaneously operating VLBI networks during the 15 d of the CONT17 campaign. These two networks, of 14 globally distributed telescopes each, were designed for the estimation of Earth rotation variations, for which reason the resulting hourly ERP are appointed as benchmark in this investigation. To evaluate the advantage of a VLBI and ring laser combined solution, we create degraded versions of the original networks, containing only six stations. The ERP derived from those sparse networks and from the VLBI sparse plus ring laser solutions are then compared in terms of differences to the reference values. It should certainly be considered that these are relative numbers, since they are also determined by the number and selection of the stations remaining in the sparse networks.

The root mean square of the difference to the benchmark is reduced by 24 % in case of δUT1 from one network. The polar motion yp component from the same network moves 14 % closer to the reference value due to the inclusion of the ring laser data. The impact on xp and on all ERP from the other network ranges between 2 % and 9 %.

The research again confirms the feasibility and also the potential gain of a combined evaluation of VLBI and ring laser observations, but the full capacity of such a sensor fusion will emerge once the ring laser gyroscopes reach a level of accuracy similar to VLBI.

Zitieren

Zitierform:

Böhm, Sigrid / Schartner, Matthias / Gebauer, André / et al: Earth rotation variations observed by VLBI and the Wettzell “G” ring laser during the CONT17 campaign. 2019. Copernicus Publications.

Rechte

Rechteinhaber: Sigrid Böhm et al.

Nutzung und Vervielfältigung:

Export