Multi-technique Space Geodesy Analysis Centre at the University of Cape Town



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Ramesh Jaga Govind, University of Cape Town, South Africa,


As a contribution to the construction and continued improvement of International Terrestrial Reference Frame (ITRF) and the related science products, several agencies and universities provide daily and/or weekly technique specific (DORIS, GPS, SLR, VLBI) space geodetic solutions comprising of estimates of geodetic parameters (station coordinates, Earth Orientation parameters, geocentre) from appropriate globally observed data sets to the respective, coordinating technique specific international services (IDS, IGS, ILRS, IVS). In addition, for the satellite techniques, the ephemerides for the multiple satellites used in the computations are also produced.

The individual contributors benefit from the evaluation, combination and comparison of their respective intra-technique solutions through the quality and consistency checks undertaken at the respective combination centres. This process guarantees that the state-of-the-art computation standards are maintained and instils a confidence and certainty in the science output. The inter-technique comparisons provide verification and validation of the overall science output using the measures of common parameters. This provides both the users of science products from space geodetic measurements and decision makers in the broader community a measure of certainty in the products. At the University of Cape Town (UCT), we have embarked on establishing a multi-technique space geodesy analysis centre to contribute daily/weekly solutions to the respective international services for the continued development of the ITRF, Earth Orientation Parameters, satellite ephemerides, geocentre location and estimates of the low degree spherical harmonic coefficients of the Earth’s gravity field. The presentation outlines the activities and development of the analysis centre at UCT; its progress and contribution to the respective international services. The results from both intra and inter technique solutions of common geodetic parameters are compared.

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