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International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS)Service International de la Rotation de la Terre

et des Systèmes de Référence

IERSAnnual Report


Verlag des Bundesamts für Kartographie und GeodäsieFrankfurt am Main 2009

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IERS Annual Report 2007

Edited by Wolfgang R. Dick and Bernd Richter

International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems ServiceCentral BureauBundesamt für Kartographie und GeodäsieRichard-Strauss-Allee 1160598 Frankfurt am MainGermanyphone: ++49-69-6333-273/261/250fax: ++49-69-6333-425e-mail: [emailprotected]:

ISSN: 1029-0060 (print version)ISBN: 978-3-89888-917-9 (print version)

An online version of this document is available at:

Druckerei: Bonifatius GmbH, Paderborn

© Verlag des Bundesamts für Kartographie und Geodäsie, Frankfurt am Main, 2009

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1 Foreword.............................................................................................................................

2 The IERS

2.1 Structure.......................................................................................................................2.2 Directing Board...........................................................................................................2.3 Associate Members....................................................................................................

3 Reports of IERS components

3.1 Directing Board............................................................................................................3.2 Central Bureau.............................................................................................................3.3 Analysis Coordinator...................................................................................................

3.4 Technique Centres3.4.1 International GNSS Service (IGS).....................................................................3.4.2 International Laser Ranging Service (ILRS)..................................................3.4.3 International VLBI Service (IVS).....................................................................3.4.4 International DORIS Service (IDS).................................................................

3.5 Product Centres3.5.1 Earth Orientation Centre.................................................................................3.5.2 Rapid Service/Prediction Centre...................................................................3.5.3 Conventions Centre.........................................................................................3.5.4 ICRS Centre.....................................................................................................3.5.5 ITRS Centre......................................................................................................3.5.6 Global Geophysical Fluids Centre.................................................................

Special Bureau for the Atmosphere...............................................................Special Bureau for the Oceans......................................................................Special Bureau for Tides................................................................................Special Bureau for Hydrology.........................................................................Special Bureau for Mantle..............................................................................Special Bureau for the Core...........................................................................Special Bureau for Gravity/Geocenter...........................................................Special Bureau for Loading............................................................................

Table of Contents







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Table of Contents

4 IERS Annual Report 2007

3.6 Combination Centres3.6.1 ITRS Combination Centres Deutsches Geodätisches Forschungsinstitut (DGFI)................... Institut Géographique National (IGN)..............................................

3.6.2 Combination Research Centres3.6.2.1 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI) –

Centro di Geodesia Spaziale.......................................................... Astronomical Institute, Academy of Sciences of the

Czech Republic, and Department of Geodesy,Czech Technical University, Prague......................................... Deutsches Geodätisches Forschungsinstitut (DGFI)................... Forsvarets forskningsinstitutt (FFI)................................................. Institute of Geodesy and Geoinformation of the

University of Bonn (IGGB)............................................................... GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam (GFZ)..................................... Groupe de Recherches de Géodésie Spatiale (GRGS)............. Institut Géographique National (IGN)............................................. Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).....................................................

3.7 IERS Working Groups3.7.1 Working Group on Site Survey and Co-location................................................3.7.2 Working Group on Combination....................................................................3.7.3 Working Group on Prediction.........................................................................3.7.4 IERS/IVS Working Group for the Second Realization of the ICRF.............

4 IERS Workshops4.1 IERS Workshop on Conventions...............................................................................4.2 GGOS Unified Analysis Workshop...........................................................................


1 Terms of Reference..........................................................................................................2 Contact addresses of the IERS Directing Board..................................................3 Contact addresses of the IERS components.......................................................4 Electronic access to IERS products, publications and components....................5 Acronyms.............................................................................................................








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1 Foreword

IERS Annual Report 2007 5

1 ForewordThe IERS Annual Report for 2007 shows the difficult balance be-tween continuity and change that is necessary for the IERS tocontinue to meet its responsibilities. The EOP data embodied inthe IERS now goes back more than a century but to make suchdata accessible in the current network-connected world requiresfurther machine-readable metadata, as is being done by the IERSCentral Bureau for all IERS products. A careful description of mod-els given in the IERS Conventions is essential for proper analysisand interpretation but models must be continually refined and ex-tended to encourage and to use better observations from the Tech-nique Centers. The IERS Workshop on Conventions provided a fo-rum and direction on how to move forward. The Earth OrientationCentre developed a strategy for maintaining consistency of EOP 05C4 and ITRF 2005 while the Rapid Service / Prediction Centre up-dated the system of Bulletin A to be consistent with EOP 05 C04.Having released ITRF 2005 the ITRS Centre provided users accessthrough its web site while the ICRS Centre along with the IERS/IVSWorking Group for the Second Realization of the ICRF began analy-sis expected to culminate in the adoption of a new ICRF by the IAUin 2009.

The Technique Centers all worked at improving their operationsand analysis. Significant events included a transition of AnalysisCoordinator and the beginning of uniform reprocessing by the IGS,the start of “daily” EOP products by the ILRS, the first test fringeswith the VLBI 2010 system by the IVS, and a 40% improvement indata latency in the IDS.

In the broader perspective the activities of the IERS in 2007 shouldbe seen as prelude and preparation for major efforts toward updat-ing the ITRF and ICRF leading eventually to greater integration ofanalysis of IERS products. This goal demands considerably morework on consistent modeling, parameterization, and combination.

Chopo MaChair, IERS Directing Board

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2 The IERS

6 IERS Annual Report 2007

From 2007 to 2009, the IERS had the following components. Fortheir functions see the Terms of Reference (Appendix 1), for ad-dresses and electronic access see Appendices 3 and 4. Dates aregiven for changes between 2007 and 2009.

Markus Rothacher

Director: Bernd Richter

International GNSS Service (IGS)IGS Representatives to the IERS Directing Board:Gerd Gendt (until 31 December 2007),Angelyn W. Moore (until January 2008),Jim Ray (from 1 January to 31 December 2008),Steven Fisher (since 1 January 2009)IERS Representative to the IGS Governing Board: Claude Boucher

International Laser Ranging Service (ILRS)ILRS Representatives to the IERS Directing Board:Jürgen Müller, Erricos C. PavlisIERS Representative to the ILRS Directing Board: Bob E. Schutz

International VLBI Service (IVS)IVS Representatives to the IERS Directing Board:Chopo Ma, Axel Nothnagel (until 30 April 2009), Rüdiger Haas(since 1 May 2009)IERS Representative to the IVS Directing Board: Chopo Ma

International DORIS Service (IDS)IDS representatives to the IERS:Hervé fa*gard (until June 2009), Frank G. LemoineIERS Representative to the IDS Governing Board:Ron Noomen

Earth Orientation CentrePrimary scientist and representative to the IERS Directing Board:Daniel Gambis

Rapid Service/Prediction CentrePrimary scientist and representative to the IERS DirectingBoard: William H. Wooden (until August 2009), Brian J. Luzum(since September 2009)

2 The IERS2.1 Structure

Analysis Coordinator

Central Bureau

Technique Centres

Product Centres

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2.1 Structure

IERS Annual Report 2007 7

Conventions CentrePrimary scientists: Brian J. Luzum, Gérard PetitRepresentative to the IERS Directing Board:Brian J. Luzum (since 1 January 2007)

ICRS CentrePrimary scientists: Ralph A. Gaume, Jean SouchayCurrent representative to the IERS Directing Board:Ralph A. Gaume (until 31 December 2008),Jean Souchay (since 1 January 2009)

ITRS CentrePrimary scientist and representative to the IERS Directing Board:Zuheir Altamimi

Global Geophysical Fluids CentreHead and representative to the IERS Directing Board:Tonie van Dam

Special Bureau for the AtmosphereChair: David A. Salstein

Special Bureau for the OceansChair: Richard S. Gross

Special Bureau for TidesChair: Richard D. Ray

Special Bureau for HydrologyChair: Jianli Chen

Special Bureau for the MantleErik R. Ivins

Special Bureau for the CoreChair: Tim van Hoolst

Special Bureau for Gravity/GeocenterChair: Michael M. Watkins

Special Bureau for LoadingChair: Hans-Peter PlagVice-chair: Tonie van Dam

Deutsches Geodätisches Forschungsinstitut (DGFI)Primary scientist: Hermann Drewes

Combination CentresITRS Combination Centres

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8 IERS Annual Report 2007

Institut Géographique National (IGN)Primary scientist: Zuheir Altamimi

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan)Primary scientist: Remi Ferland

CRC representative to the IERS Directing Board:N.N.

Agenzia Spaziale Italiana/Centro di Geodesia Spaziale (CGS)Primary scientist: Giuseppe Bianco

Astronomical Institute, Academy of Sciences of the CzechRepublic, and Department of Geodesy, Czech TechnicalUniversity, PraguePrimary scientist: Jan Vondrák

Deutsches Geodätisches Forschungsinstitut (DGFI)Primary scientist: Detlef Angermann

Forsvarets forskningsinstitutt (FFI, Norwegian DefenceResearch Establishment)Primary scientist: Per Helge Andersen

GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam (GFZ)Primary scientist: Markus Rothacher

Institute of Geodesy and Geoinformation of the Universityof Bonn (IGGB)Primary scientist: Axel Nothnagel

Groupe de Recherches de Géodésie Spatiale (GRGS)Primary scientist: Richard Biancale

Institut Géographique National (IGN)Primary scientist: Zuheir Altamimi

Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)Primary scientist: Richard S. Gross

Working Group on Site Survey and Co-locationChair: Gary Johnston (until 31 December 2008),Pierguido Sarti (since 1 January 2009)

Working Group on Combination(until 31 December 2008)Chair: Markus Rothacher

Combination Research Centres(until 31 December 2008)

Working Groups

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2.1 Structure

IERS Annual Report 2007 9

Working Group on PredictionChair: William H. Wooden (until August 2009),Brian J. Luzum (since September 2009)

IERS/IVS Working Group on the Second Realization of theICRF(established in January 2007)Chair: Chopo Ma

Working Group on Combination at the Observation Level(established in October 2009)Chair: Richard Biancale

(Status as of October 2009)

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2 The IERS

10 IERS Annual Report 2007


D i r e c t i n g B o a r d


Central Bureau

Product Centres

Combination Research CentresGlobal Geophysical

Fluids Centre



Earth Orientation Centre

ITRS Centre

ICRS Centre

Conventions Centre

Rapid Service /Prediction Centre

SB Atmosphere

Analysis Coordinator



ITRS Combination Centres

DGFI, Germany

IGN, France

NRCan, Canada

SB Oceans

SB Tides

SB Hydrology

SB Mantle

SB Core

SB Gravity/Geocentre

SB Loading

Combination at Obs. Level

DGFI, Germany

GIUB, Germany

GFZ, Germany


ASI/CGS, Italy

AICAS, Czech Rep.

GRGS, France

IGN, France

Technique Centres(external services)

Site Survey & Co-location


2nd Realization of the ICRF

Working Groups

FFI, Norway

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2.2 Directing Board

IERS Annual Report 2007 11

2.2 Directing Board

In 2007 to 2009, the IERS Directing Board had the following members (for addresses see Appendix 2):

Chair Chopo Ma

Analysis Coordinator Markus Rothacher

Product Centres Representatives

Earth Orientation Centre Daniel Gambis

Rapid Service/Prediction Centre William Wooden (until August 2009),Brian J. Luzum (since September 2009)

Conventions Centre Brian J. Luzum (since 1 January 2007)

ICRS Centre Ralph A. Gaume (until 31 December 2008),Jean Souchay (since 1 January 2009)

ITRS Centre Zuheir Altamimi

Global Geophysical Fluids Centre Tonie van Dam

Central Bureau Bernd Richter

Combination Research Centres N.N.(until 31 December 2008)

Technique Centers Representatives

IGS Gerd Gendt (until 31 December 2007),Angelyn W. Moore (until January 2008),Jim Ray (from 1 January to 31 December 2008),Steven Fisher (since 1 January 2009)

ILRS Jürgen Müller,Erricos C. Pavlis

IVS Chopo Ma,Axel Nothnagel (until 30 April 2009),Rüdiger Haas (since 1 May 2009)

IDS Hervé fa*gard (until June 2009),Frank Lemoine

Union Representatives

IAU Nicole Capitaine (until July 2009),Aleksander Brzezinski (since August 2009)

IAG / IUGG Clark R. Wilson

fa*gS (until 31 December 2008) Nicole Capitaine

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12 IERS Annual Report 2007

2.3 Associate MembersAndersen, Ole BaltazarArias, Elisa FelicitasBehrend, DirkBiancale, RichardBoucher, ClaudeBruyninx, CarineCapitaine, NicoleCarter, William E.Chao, Benjamin F.Chen, JianliDow, John M.Drewes, Hermannfa*gard, HervéFeissel-Vernier, MartineFerland, RemiGaume, Ralph A.Gendt, GerdGross, Richard S.Gurtner, WernerHerring, ThomasIvins, Erik R.Kolaczek, BarbaraMcCarthy, Dennis D.Melbourne, William G.Moore, Angelyn W.

Neilan, Ruth E.Noomen, RonNothnagel, AxelPearlman, Michael R.Petit, GérardPlag, Hans-PeterPugh, DavidRay, JimRay, Richard D.Reigber, ChristophSalstein, DavidSarti, PierguidoSchuh, HaraldSchutz, Bob E.Shelus, Peter J.Van Hoolst, TimVeillet, ChristianVondrák, JanWatkins, Michael M.Weber, RobertWillis, PascalWooden, William H.Yatskiv, Yaroslav S.Yokoyama, KoichiZhu, Sheng Yuan

Ex officio Associate Members:IAG General Secretary: Hermann DrewesIAU General Secretary: Ian F. CorbettIUGG General Secretary: Jo Ann JoselynPresident of IAG Commission 1: Zuheir AltamimiPresident of IAG Subcommission 1.1: Markus RothacherPresident of IAG Subcommission 1.2: Claude BoucherPresident of IAG Subcommission 1.4: Harald SchuhPresident of IAG Commission 3: Michael BevisPresident of IAG Subcommission 3.1: Gerhard JentzschPresident of IAG Subcommission 3.2: Markku PoutanenPresident of IAG Subcommission 3.3: Aleksander BrzezinskiPresident of IAU Commission 8: Dafydd Wyn EvansPresident of IAU Commission 19: Harald SchuhPresident of IAU Commission 31: Richard N. ManchesterHead of IAU Division I: Dennis D. McCarthy

(Status as of October 2009)

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3.1 Directing Board

IERS Annual Report 2007 13

3 Reports of IERS components3.1 Directing Board

Meeting No. 44


The IERS Directing Board (DB) met twice in the course of the year2007. Summaries of these meetings are given below.

April 15, 2007, Technical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

The agenda was adopted with a slightly changed order of items andthe Minutes of the IERS Directing Board meeting # 43 were ap-proved.

The Chair, Chopo Ma, reported about his participation in the GGOSretreat in Oxnard, California on February 19 – 21, 2007. To preparethe retreat a questionnaire was distributed to collect the contribu-tions and the expectations of the IAG services with respect to GGOS.As a sidelight it was estimated that all IERS activities total ~ 35person-years.

On January 1, 2007 the lead of the Conventions Centre switchedfrom G. Petit to B. Luzum.

Z. Altamimi visited Munich on April 2, 2007 to start an intensivediscussion on the combination processes used at IGN and DGFI. Itis planned to meet four times a year.

He continued that there has been an extensive exchange of testcombinations including input data, cumulative solutions per tech-nique, selection of local ties and their weighting, and multi-tech-nique combinations including all residuals. IGN provided theITRF2005 ties and their sigmas. DGFI recently provided techniqueresiduals of a new combination but not yet the tie residuals.

H. Drewes explained in his presentation the two different strate-gies and the possible difficulties. In the DGFI solution the scalemight be affected by technique specific effects whereas the IGNsolution network deformations might enter into the datum. There isalways the danger that a real global change will be absorbed in theparameters. For the next ITRF it has to be discussed if the datumparameters will be derived from the definition (geocentric, metric) orfrom the (deforming) network realization (centre & scale of the net-work). H. Drewes stated that the intra-technique solutions are al-ready in agreement at the sub-millimetre level.

To generate the next ITRF new data need to be included, especiallythe results from the IGS and ILRS reprocessing. Z. Altamimi askedfor more separate GPS co-locations with VLBI and with SLR be-cause they are essential to strengthen the connection betweenVLBI and SLR, which have only 7 co-locations. The GPS Absolute

Introduction and approvalof agenda


Convergence of ITRF solutions

Scenario for generationof the next ITRF

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3 Reports of IERS components

14 IERS Annual Report 2007

Phase Centre variation (APCV) might affect the GPS vertical com-ponent estimate. More past SLR data (1980 – 1992) are necessaryfor monitoring the scale and the origin, and effects of the range biasestimation and the new modelling of the troposphere / mappingfunction have to be studied. In total the scale difference betweenVLBI and SLR might be changed.

G. Gendt described the status of the IGS reprocessing activities.The reprocessing is performed by six analysis centres and threecombination centres. The reprocessing will last at least one year.The IGS reprocessing will benefit from AC’s software improvements,improved models (absolute antenna models, ocean loading, tropo-sphere – GMF, GPT), improved tables of discontinuities, comple-tion of IGS data archives. In the first run no higher order ionosphericeffects or atmospheric and ocean loading effects will be consid-ered. The reprocessing will provide weekly SINEX files incl. ERPback to 1994 (new for 1994 to 1999) and orbits & compatible sat-clocks (5-minute) with high consistency back to 1994.

Chopo Ma reiterated that the co-location sites should be includedin the reprocessing. Prompted by A. Nothnagel G. Gendt explainedthat activities are going on to calibrate radomes, but there are manydifferent kind of radomes as well as behaviour different under spe-cific environmental effects.

E. Pavlis reported about the status of the ILRS network develop-ments: 32 global stations providing tracking data regularly, Haleakala,HI station reactivated (November 2006), Arequipa, Peru station re-activated (October 2006), highly productive San Juan, Argentinastation, operational since March 2006 (Argentine/Chinese coop-eration), new missions; the analysis activities: ILRS official prod-ucts (station coordinates and EOP) issued weekly, seven ILRSAnalysis Centres (ASI, DGFI, BKG, GA, GFZ, NASA GSFC/JCET,and NERC) contributing to the official products, combination andcombination back-up centres at ASI and DGFI, analysis of earlyLAGEOS (1976–1993) data underway for ILRS product submissionto the next reference frame, POD products for geodetic satellites(initially) to be routinely available in mid-2007; the GNSS retro re-flector activities, and the technical developments. The new com-bined solutions will be available in July.

A. Nothnagel stated that the IVS is doing the reprocessing aswell and noted that there is still an inconsistency in the definitionand handling of the pole tide.

F. Lemoine demonstrated that the application of the new gravityfields and atmospheric loading slightly improved the DORIS solu-tions, especially the annual signal.

M. Rothacher as IERS Analysis Coordinator summarized the dis-cussion and focused in his presentation on the time table for thenext generation, the input data, the models relevant for more than

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3.1 Directing Board

IERS Annual Report 2007 15

one technique, the list of parameters, the standards for para-meterisation and the ITRS Combination Centres.

In the general discussion H. Drewes proposed a meeting of allAnalysis Centres at the IUGG in Perugia. He suggested an ITRF2007 conducted in 2008. It should include a minimum set of com-mon parameters and models. Chopo Ma asked the Analysis Coor-dinators of the IERS TCs if it would be possible to meet in Perugia:IDS agreed, IGS maybe too early, IVS reprocessing maybe notpossible before Perugia, ILRS agreed. M. Rothacher and Z. Altamimishould make the arrangements.

Z. Altamimi suggested the following procedure: wait for IGS andILRS reprocessing, work in a more cooperative way between ITRFCCs (e.g. regular meetings, test combination exchanges), and sub-mission of an unique ITRF solution to the TCs and others for evalu-ation.

M. Rothacher completed the previous comments by more detailson the planning, the generation of the input series, the combinationand the evaluation procedures. The proposed approval phase andsteps were not in common consensus with Z. Altamimi.

Z. Altamimi pointed out that the examination of the co-location sitediscrepancies is very problematic and that most local ties havethere own epochs. He emphasised the application of the completeset of local ties but stated that the application of the APCV de-grades the solution in the combination. H. Drewes proposed towrite a letter to the station managers asking for yearly local tiemeasurements.

M. Rothacher recommended the local ties as analysis tool be-cause the local tie discrepancies are possibly hints for systematiceffects in the space geodetic techniques. The list of some of thecritical systematic effects shows that especially the mapping func-tions and the higher order ionospheric terms affect the height com-ponent.

D. Gambis presented the new approach for a combined solutionC04(05). With the release of ITRF 2005 he sees the chance torenew the C04 series. Reasons are the extended time series, newalgorithms (new models for nutation and UT1/LOD tidal variations,new approach for combination of LOD (GPS) and UT1–UTC deter-mined by VLBI, and estimation of the formal errors. The EOC isplanning to do its own combination independent of developments inthe ITRF and ICRF. The EOC is ready for implementation.

W. Wooden analysed the proposed new C04(05) series. He notedmajor inconsistency concerns, displayed in his presentation. It wasproposed that the heads of the EOC and of the RSPC as well as

Decision process for the selectionof the next ITRF

Examination of co-location sitediscrepancies

New EOP series

Report from Earth OrientationCentre

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16 IERS Annual Report 2007

the IVS analysis coordinator should meet in person to understandthe details of the new C04(05) series.

The ACs of the IERS TCs were asked how the C04 is used in theoperational work. The ILRS use the rapid values as basic input fororbit determination, the IGS only Bulletin A, IVS Bulletin A, and IDSdoes not see any problem.

Chopo Ma noted the continued lack of an implementation planand asked the EOC to set up such a plan that clearly states atwhat level the various users are affected. G. Petit suggested a Tech-nical Note to give more details on the new series.

W. Wooden reported about the recent efforts at the Rapid Service/Prediction Centre. One of the main topics are the coordination withthe Earth Orientation Centre to give feedback on the new C04(05)series, to ensure the quality of the new system and to change theRSPC bias and rate to match the C04(05) system.

New versions of the combination as well as of the prediction pro-grams were installed and updated input series were incorporated.In the near future there will be a transition to a new operationalmachine as well as investigations how the IGS Ultra-Rapids can beused in the combination solution; possibly the IGS Rapid pseudo-points currently being used can be replaced.

The RSPC launched a user survey to study user behaviour andrequirements. For the evaluation the 71 user responses are dividedin five classes: academic users, engineers, operational, operationalscientific and pure scientific users.

Here are the major results:

• Polar Motion Accuracies: Most users want accuracies of 1milliarcsec or better.

• UT1–UTC Accuracies: Almost two thirds of all users want ac-curacies of 0.1 millisecond or better.

• EOP Prediction Length: There seem to be two classes of us-ers – those who need predictions of less than 30 days andthose who would like predictions of 1 year (~25%).

• EOP Data Spacing: Majority of users prefer data at 1-day in-tervals.

• EOP Update Frequency: Operational/Scientific users preferpredictions to be updated daily.

• EOP Data Formulation: Majority of users prefer tabular data.

There will be a WG session at the Paris Observatory during theJournées in September 2007.

M. Rothacher reviewed the status of the WG on Combination and ofthe CPP for resuming the activities after the release of ITRF2005,drawing the attention to a short meeting of the IERS WG on Com-bination, IERS CPP, and IERS CRCs during EGU 2007 and a meet-

Future visions from the RapidService/Prediction Centre

Review of IERS WG onCombination and of the

Combination Pilot Project (CPP)

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3.1 Directing Board

IERS Annual Report 2007 17

ing of the interested groups in June 2007. The intra-technique com-bined SINEX files are routinely generated with delays of 18 days(ILRS) up to 46 days (IDS). A complete list is available at <>. The Technique Services willcontinue producing weekly combined SINEX files including the pa-rameters coordinates, xp, yp, xpr, ypr, lod in the case of IGS andILRS, coordinates, xp, yp, UT1, xpr, ypr, lod, de, dp in the case ofIVS, coordinates, xp, yp, xpr, ypr in the case of IDS and the com-bined GRGS solution coordinates, xp, yp, de, dp. Weekly inter-technique solution will be produced by DGFI, ASI might begin inmid 2007, but IGN has not made a decision. The next steps for theTechnique Services will be the change to generate routine SINEXfiles for the IERS CPP according to the standards used for thegeneration of the ITRF2005 time series. The Inter-Technique combi-nation and validation centres should study different combinationstrategies. M. Rothacher suggested a daily rapid IERS EOP prod-uct based on the combination of VLBI Intensive Sessions (e-VLBI)with GPS rapid products to obtain highly precise rapid EOP solu-tions.

B. Luzum gave an overview about the ongoing work done under thelead of the Conventions Centre. Some changes were introduced inChapter 5 (Transformation). For Chapter 5 (Transformation), Chap-ter 7 (Site Displacement), Chapter 8 (Tidal Variations in Earth Rota-tion), and Chapter 9 (Troposphere) work is in progress. Details canbe found at <>.

The IERS Workshop on Conventions will be held at the BIPM on20–21 September 2007. The goals of the meeting are to discussrecent advances in the Conventions’ models, topics without a con-sensus opinion and future directions for the Conventions. Discuss-ing the presented topics loading was seen as an important point.Pre-registration is possible at the BIPM web site.

A. Nothnagel asked for a consistent use of either UT1–TAI orUT1–UTC. This could also be a subject of the CPP.

M. Rothacher suggested a unified workshop on analysis which willinvolve GGOS, IERS, IGS, IVS, ILRS, IDS, IGFS. The workshopwill focus on problems of the individual techniques and problemscommon to more than one technique. Also the common under-standing of all techniques for each individual technique should in-crease as they contribute to GGOS. There is a positive feedbackfrom all services for this two and a half day workshop. It will be heldin the San Francisco area and scheduled before the AGU 2007Meeting probably Wednesday to Friday evening. The IERS will bethe lead organizer.

Service Analysis Coordinators and Chairs were asked for ideasconcerning common research projects. M. Rothacher presented a

Workshop on Conventions andreport on the Conventions

update process

Unified Workshop on Analysis(IERS as lead organizer)

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18 IERS Annual Report 2007

list of possible common research projects. Concrete cases couldbe a GGOS troposphere combination project, a GGOS portal metadata project and/or a daily rapid IERS EOP product. M. Rothacherreported about the German GGOS project funded by the Ministryfor Science and Technology.

R. Gaume gave a short report on the first meeting of the ICRF-2working group, which was held at the Vienna University on April 12,2007. The meeting attended by 18 participants dealt mostly withorganisational aspects. After the introduction the milestones and atentative meeting schedule was discussed. The goal is to have theICRF-2 presented and adopted at the IAU XXVII General Assemblyin Rio de Janeiro in 2009. Starting with source categorization, themethods of time series generation were considered. At the IAUSymposium No. 248 “A Giant Step: from Milli- to Micro-arcsecondAstrometry”, Shanghai, October 15–19, 2007 Chopo Ma will givean invited talk on ICRF-2. There is a limited opportunity for oralpresentations but posters are still solicited.

Reflecting the goals of the WG on Site Survey and Co-location G.Johnston underlined the importance of the local tie surveys. Recentachievements were the completion of the user guide for the Axissoftware, a survey planning visit to Syowa / Antarctica, and theplanned survey in Tahiti (GPS, SLR, DORIS) by IGN. Afterwards hepresented the list for the site co-location SINEX files some techni-cal issues were considered. Summarising he stated that only 40%of the ties are updated. It was recommended by the IERS DB thatthe WG leader together with the IERS CB and the IERS ITRS Cen-tre should write a letter to those stations which have a deficit intheir surveying tasks.

M. Rothacher presented some general ideas on IERS products andspecific ones for the GGFC. He described the present situationwhere new requests for products will emerge, that not all SBs ofGGFC are producing operational products and that the role of IERSand GGFC is of vital importance in the framework of GGOS. On theother hand the present structure is not flexible enough to includenew institutions and / or products.

He proposed a change in the Terms of Reference to allow theestablishment of new product centres. The timeline should be seenin two phases. Phase A will be the submission of the proposal, theevaluation by the IERS DB and the start of a test phase. In PhaseB the institution demonstrates its capability to produce operationalproducts, which will be evaluated. At the end the institution is ac-cepted or not as an IERS product centre.

After considerable discussion the DB accepted this general ideawhich should be applied for the renewing of the GGFC. T. van Dam

Report of IERS Working Group onthe Second Realization of the ICRF

Report of IERS Working Group onSite Survey and Co-location

Status and future of the GGFC

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3.1 Directing Board

IERS Annual Report 2007 19

should lead the effort for the renewal of the GGFC according theproposed procedures. The process is steered by the IERS demandsand offers but should also include the ideas of the IERS TCs.

M. Rothacher reported about GGOS activities since the last IERSDB meeting, which were mainly done by telecons of the ExecutiveCommittee. The Workshop 2007 and the meeting at the IUGG inPerugia have been prepared. The IAG / GGOS representatives inGEO committees joined some GEO meetings to support the GEOtask AR-07-03 “Geodetic Reference Frames”. Letters of supportwere initiated by GGOS to encourage GGOS Troposphere Prod-ucts (“GGOS – Atmosphere”), laser retro-reflectors for GNSS satel-lites, and WMO Recommendation for Reference Frames (WGS-84/EGM96).

During the GGOS retreat the various IAG components (Commis-sions, Services, GGOS WGs, GEO representatives) gave their re-ports and comments on the planned GGOS2020 reference docu-ment. Lists of the next major steps as well as the next meetingevents concluded this review.

B. Richter continued by giving a short overview about the IAG/GGOS GEO activities. At the Architecture and Data Committee(ADC) meeting in Geneva on February 28 / March 1, 2007 a statusreview of all ADC tasks took place, with a focus on the Architecturecore Tasks (AR-07-01 (interoperability) and AR-07-02 (clearinghouse)and to discuss the input of ADC to the preparation of the MinisterialSummit. Among these tasks a new task “Global Geodetic Refer-ence Frames” initiated by GGOS has been included in the GEOWork Plan 2007–2009. Also comments and modifications for theGEO Work Plan 2007–2009 were submitted and partly included. Ithas been discussed whether the Reference Frame task can bepresented as an early achievement at the Ministerial Summit inSouth Africa in November this year.

Interoperability arrangements for services are a key principal ofthe GEOSS Architecture and the main focus of the ADC. GEO sentout a call for participation for clearinghouse applications as an im-portant part of the dissemination portion of GEOSS. The GEOSSClearinghouse will need to be a client to community catalogue serversimplemented in accordance with multiple catalogue service stand-ards. At a minimum these include ISO 23950 and OGC CatalogueService – Catalogue Service for the Web (CSW). The IERS Dataand Information Service follows these developments actively by beingpart of the German Geoportal Bund (Government).

N. Capitaine informed the DB that IAU Information Bulletin 99 (Janu-ary 2007) contains all the official information from the XXVIth IAUGA (IAU Resolutions, Composition of Divisions, Commissions,WGs, etc.). Her presentation included the agendas of the upcoming

Reports of the Unions(IAU/fa*gS, IAG/IUGG)

Report on GGOS (Oxnard retreat)and GEO (GEO III, Architecture III)

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Journées 2007 with 4 sessions dealing with the themes Plans forthe new ICRF, Models and Numerical Standards in Fundamentalastronomy, Relativity in Fundamental Astronomy, and Prediction ofEarth Orientation as well as the IAU Symposium 248 “A Giant Step:From Milli- to Microarcsecond Astrometry”.

Concerning the development in fa*gS (Federation of Astronomi-cal and Geophysical Services) N. Capitaine described the plannedwhite paper, which is intended to provide the views of the currentfa*gS/ICSU interdisciplinary body on the prospects for a future fed-eration in the framework of the new arrangements within ICSU fordata coordination.

In order to achieve the recommendations of the Priority Area As-sessment (PAA) on Scientific Data and Information, ICSU estab-lished the „Ad hoc Strategic Committee on Information and Data“(SCID) according to the ICSU Strategic Plan 2006–2011. Threemember of this committee are representatives of fa*gS.

Due to lack of time the report was reduced to announcing the callfor the Annual Report 2006. The call will be sent out although theAnnual Report 2005 is still missing two inputs.

Progress has been achieved by including the IERS Data and In-formation system into a catalogue service for the WEB (CSW).

December 11, 2006, San Francisco Marriott Hotel, San Francisco,CA, USA

The agenda was adopted and the minutes of the IERS DirectingBoard meeting # 44 were approved.

C. Ma welcomed the new member J. Ray, who was elected by theIGS as the new delegate to the IERS Directing Board as well as D.Angermann and J. Dawson who represented the ITRS CC Munichand the WG on Co-location, respectively.

Z. Altamimi, as the newly elected chair of IAG Commission 1 in-formed the DB about its present status. The slide with the objec-tives highlighted the goals and in the following slides the structurewith its sub-commissions and the steering committee as well asthe chairpersons and members were shown. Several inter-commis-sion study groups and working groups reflect the broad spectrum ofCommission 1 and its link to the other IAG commissions and IAGservices. Relevant for the IERS are IC-SG 1.1: Theory, implementa-tion and quality assessment of geodetic reference frames, chairedby A. Dermanis (Greece), IC-WG1.1: Environment Loading: Model-ling for Reference Frame and positioning applications, chaired by

Meeting No. 45

Introduction and approvalof agenda


Report of the Central Bureau

ITRS/ITRF issues

Interaction between IERS andIAG Commission 1

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Tonie van Dam (Luxembourg) and Jim Ray (USA), and IC-WG1.4:Site Survey and Co-locations, chaired by Gary Johnston (Australia).

At the ITRS/ITRF web page more information (updated DOMESnumber database, ITRF2005 solution and products, local ties intables and SINEX format, co-location survey reports) have beenadded and new features installed: ITRF networks can be displayedper ITRF solution, networks can be displayed per technique, ITRFvelocity fields can be displayed.

To study the impact of local ties Z. Altamimi performed someexperiments. Based on local ties used in the ITRF2005 (22 GPS-SLR vectors, 29 GPS-VLBI vectors) and an appropriate weighting(45% of the ties are in SINEX with known measurement epoch, theothers are with unknown variance) he showed that the tie residualsmainly in the up component exceed 10 mm. In an approach of fixedversus weighted ties the normalized residuals increase unevenly. Inother experiments he added a 10 mm offset in height for all ties. Asa result the tie residuals increased by 10 mm in the up componentfor GPS and changed the scale by 0.71. Repeating the same forthe east and north component one can see effects in the rotation ofthe z-axis, respectively a shift in the z-axis and in the scale. Butalso changes in only one of the GPS-VLBI ties by 50 resp. 10 mmshow remarkable effects on the ITRF2005. Finally he presented alist of “dubious” ties where dubious means a disagreement betweenlocal survey and geodetic space technique estimated ties.

After the IVS recognized the missing mean pole tide correctionsthe VLBI scale shifted by –0.5 ppb with respect to the ITRF2005.Comparisons with the SLR and Doris scales were shown.

In the final part of the presentation Z. Altamimi presented histhoughts about an ITRF2008. The basis will be new, improved andextended data series from the IERS techniques services. Data shouldbe collected till the end of 2008 and the analysis will start at thebeginning of 2009. It might be that for IGS only one reprocessedsolution is available at the end of 2008.

On behalf of H. Drewes D. Angermann illustrated in his presenta-tion the differences in the ITRF computation strategies of IGN andDGFI and their effects on the ITRF solution. He concluded that:

• The differences in the ITRF solutions can (mostly) beexplained by the different computation strategies.

• The fact that the ITRF solutions are computed with differentstrategies and software has also some advantages, e.g.:• Identification of remaining problems• More realistic assessment of the ITRF accuracy

• The understanding of remaining differences should be furtherimproved in close cooperation between IGN and DGFI.

Report from the ITRS Centre

Progress in understanding ITRFsolution differences

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• Important issues for the future are:• to improve the SLR and VLBI networks and the co-

locations• to understand (and reduce) biases between techniques• to get hom*ogeneously (re-)processed series from the

services• to compute the next ITRF in close cooperation between


The DB asked the ITRS CCs to generate a new ITRF with extendedand/or improved data sets from IVS and ILRS together with old andnew reprocessed GPS series. The ITRS/ITRF web page shouldhave links to other survey reports.

John Dawson reviewed the activities of the IERS Working Group onCo-location and presented the recent achievements and technicalissues to be taken into account. Repeated measurements at MonteStromlo reflect the present day accuracy. He ended by stating thatonly 40% of the local ties are updated. To encourage the other 60%of observatories the IERS DB asked the ITRS Centre, the IERSWG on Co-location, and the IERS Central Bureau to write a letter toobservation stations to encourage local surveys or to provide sur-vey information.

This agenda item was complemented by a short report describ-ing the co-location survey at Tahiti in October 2007. A significantdifference of 14 mm was found in the x-direction between the Sta-tion and SLR marker.

R. Gaume, chair, in consensus with the co-director, J. Souchay,proposed a slight modification of the tasks of the ICRS Centre. In2000 ten tasks were set up assigned to USNO and Observatoire deParis (OP). Task 2 has now a more specific subject “Investigationof future VLBI realizations of the ICRS” and the old Task 2 “Investi-gation of future realizations of the ICRS” becomes “Investigation offuture non VLBI realizations of the ICRS”. Task 6 “Linking the ICRFto frames at various wavelengths” becomes “Investigation concern-ing the ICRF objects at various wavelengths” and a new Task 9 isinserted: ”Maintenance of the link to the solar system dynamicalreference frame through observations of asteroids”. In total thereare now 12 tasks handed by USNO and OP. The IERS DB ac-cepted the changes in general but asked R. Gaume to submit themodified proposal for the IERS ICRS Centre.

D. Gambis explained the upgrades of the C04 solution. The currentsolution is described in the IERS Annual Report, a paper in theJournal of Geodesy (Gambis 2004), and a technical note by Bizouardand Gambis (2007) published only at the Earth Orientation Centre

Report of IERS Working Group onSite Co-location

ICRS/ICRF issues

Earth orientation products

Status and function of current EarthOrientation products

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web page. The 05C04 solution is among others aligned to theITRF2005, the IAU2000 nutation model implemented; the solutionis achieved in one run over the 20 years available. D. Gambis in-formed the IERS DB that the EO Centre is the official centre forprediction for CNES.

W. Wooden started his status report by pointing out the distinc-tion between the IERS Rapid Service/Prediction Centre and the EOCentre. The RS/PC is “responsible for providing Earth orientationparameters on a rapid turnaround basis, primarily for real-time us-ers and others needing the highest quality EOP information soonerthan that available in the final series published by the IERS EOC.”Based on the requirements he gave details about the current prod-ucts, the standard data files, updated weekly on Thursday, the dailyfiles updated at 17:05 UTC and Delta T values only for low accuracyusers. For the combination and prediction process 16 input datasets are used, the products are disseminated via ftp, web sites andemail.

D. Gambis reviewed the history of the Bulletins B, C, D, and theC01, C02, C03 series and the relation of the current Bulletin B and05C04 products as well as the update procedure of 05C04. Finallyhe proposed to discontinue Bulletin B, to update 05C04 twice aweek, to stop C02, C03 and IERS 96P01 but to maintain the longterm C01.

The IERS DB asked D. Gambis to prepare a plan how to proceedwith the proposal to change the EO products and distribution.

W. Wooden stated that currently, data produced by the RS/PCappear to meet most needs of users of near-real time, real-time,and predicted EO information. However, user needs are constantlychanging (more stringent accuracy, more timely, finer resolution).The RS/PC must try to anticipate necessary changes. He discussedpossible concerns about data quality, data spacing, data format,frequency of solutions, latency of information, methods of delivery,new analyses, new products, and new information. He concludedthat more resources have been allocated to the RS/PC, the datalatency will be reduced as the data pipeline becomes more auto-mated (e.g., e-VLBI), and he expects additional improvements fromthe IERS Working Group on Prediction.

The IERS DB asked the directors of the EO Centre and the RS/PC to investigate and resolve discrepancies in UT1 between theEO Centre and the RS/PC.

As new products of the EO Centre D. Gambis proposed a moreextended web service running under Windows and LINUX to com-pute Earth orientation parameters for any epoch and the matrix ofEarth orientation parameters to link the ICRF with the ITRF.

Improvement of current products

New products for the future

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M. Rothacher gave a more general outlook concerning new EOproducts. All future EO products should be based on the intra-tech-nique combinations of the IERS Technique Services. Four differentproduct types should be generated: multi-year solutions, weeklysolutions, daily solutions and predictions. Considering the presentstatus he proposed refinements especially for a combination of VLBIIntensive Sessions (e-VLBI) with GPS rapid products to obtain highlyprecise rapid EOP solutions. At the Unified Analysis Workshop thegeneration of daily SINEX files and their combination was suggested.A pilot phase under the lead of the IERS analysis coordinator willstart mid to end of 2008.

M. Rothacher went over to the list of CRCs and their current activi-ties. 80% of the work is done in relation with combination activities.Even though the CRCs need to be reviewed to see if they fulfil theproposed tasks, the questions remain whether they are visible enoughand do they go for real products. The CB is asked to contact FESG,IAA and FFI about what their contribution will be in the future. TheAC proposed to create a “Working group on combination at obser-vation level”. The CB will contact R. Biancale that he should draft acharter, a list of members and a schedule for the IERS workinggroup. A final decision was postponed.

M. Rothacher gave some perspectives about possible new prod-ucts of the GGFC. More input is expected from GRACE groups andfor the propagation delay from the TU Vienna. Later he repeated apossible procedure to change the status of the Special Bureaus. T.van Dam, as GGFC chair, went through a proposal to the IERS DBto restructure the GGFC. The following discussion was quite con-troversial. The IERS DB decided that T. van Dam should not goahead with the call for a new structure at the moment but for clari-fication she should draw a list of user requirements and availableand/or necessary products for the next DB meeting.

G. Petit and B. Luzum presented a short report on the IERS Con-ventions workshop held at BIPM, Sèvres, France, September 20–21, 2007. The main conclusions of the workshop were among oth-ers the classification of models (Class 1 – reduction, Class 2 –conventional, Class 3 – useful), the criteria for choosing models forconventional station displacements, the treatment of non-tidal load-ing effects, existing and proposed new models for S1/S2 atmos-pheric loading, the troposphere, a conventional model for the effectof ocean tides on geopotential, a model for diurnal and semidiurnalEOP variations, and recommendations for handling technique-de-pendent effects. It is planned that the next edition of the IERS Con-ventions will be published in 2009. The chairs of the Conventions

Role of CRCs

Future of the GGFC structure

Report on Workshop onConventions

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Centre are asked to compare the recommendations of the UnifiedAnalysis Workshop with the IERS Conventions to achieve consist-ency.

By invitation experts from GGOS, IERS, IGS, IVS, ILRS, IDS, andIGFS came together to hold the first Unified Analysis Workshop,which took place at the Beach Resort Monterey, Califonia on De-cember 5 – 7, 2007. In his presentation M. Rothacher summarizedthe main subjects of the workshop. The participants were selectedby the individual services (5–6 per service), and position paperswere put together by the chairs and co-chairs of the sessions (oneco-chair from each Service). The participants decided the followingaction items and recommendations:

• Extension of the SINEX format for other parameter typesand representations

• Tests on atmospheric loading: application on the observa-tion or solution level?

• Generation of daily SINEX files (IVS Intensives and IGSRapids)

• Parameterization and modeling for the next ITRF• Benchmark tests for models common to several techniques• Documentation of AC modeling standards and

parameterization• Definition of meta data standards (e.g. SINEX meta data


All presentations, the position papers and the action items are avail-able at the IERS web pages <>.

R. Gaume gave a short overview about the activities of the JointIAU/IERS working group to prepare a proposal for a ICRF-2. In con-clusion the ICRF-2 working group schedule has slipped a little, butis still on-track for IAU General Assembly in 2009.

In his status report M. Rothacher went through the activities ofGGOS since the IUGG General Assembly held in Perugia, Italy,July 2007. For the new components of GGOS – GGOS Coordinat-ing Office, GGOS Communications and Network “Bureau”, GGOSConventions, Models & Analysis “Bureau”, GGOS Space and Sat-ellite Mission “Bureau” – calls for proposals will be prepared for theGGOS retreat 2008.

Due to a lack of time C. Wilson and N. Capitaine were not able togive their presentations on IAG, IAU and fa*gS activities, but thereslides were distributed in written form. For additional information N.Capitaine sent in a note to inform the IERS DB about some issues

Reports of the Unions(IAU/fa*gS, IAG/IUGG)

Report on and consequences of theUnified Analysis Workshop

Report of IERS Working Group onthe Second ICRF

Report on GGOS and GEO

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that are relevant to the IERS plans for the near future. It will bediscussed during the next DB meeting.

The present ToR states that:“The Directing Board consists of the following members appointed

for four-year terms, renewable once”.Because the ToR were created in 2000 and came into force in

2001, some of the directors of the IERS centres would have tofinish their term. After discussion the IERS DB decided that therelevant passage in the ToR should be changed as follows:

“The Directing Board consists of the following members”.

Because it came more and more difficult to arrange the IERS DBmeeting in conjunction with the AGU fall meeting alternatives werediscussed. A decision will be made at the next spring IERS DBmeeting.

According to the ToR working groups are limited to a term of twoyears with a possible one-time re-appointment. Decisions have tobe made whether and how to continue with

• Working Group on Site Survey and Co-location (establishedin Feb. 2004),

• Working Group on Combination (established in Jan. 2004).

The Working Group on Prediction was established in Dec. 2005.

The Annual Report (AR) 2005 was printed and distributed in Octo-ber and November 2007. The status of the AR 2006 was given. Toaccelerate the completion and to keep the AR close to the reportedyear the IERS DB decided that the final deadline for the AR 2006will be January 15, 2008. Contributions not available at the due datewill be marked in the AR as “not available”. The deadline for the AR2007 will be May 31, 2008.

Bernd Richter, Wolfgang R. Dick

Change of Terms of Reference

Report of the Central Bureau


Annual Report of IERS

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3.2 Central BureauGeneral activities The IERS Central Bureau (CB), hosted and funded by Bundesamt

für Kartographie and Geodäsie (BKG), organized and documentedthe IERS Directing Board (DB) Meetings No. 44, April 15, 2007, atTechnical University Vienna, Austria, and No. 45, December 11,2007, in San Francisco, USA. Between the meetings the CB coor-dinated the work of the DB.

Together with the Global Geodetic Observing System (GGOS),the CB prepared the GGOS Unified Analysis Workshop, held De-cember 5–7, 2007, at the Beach Resort Monterey in Monterey, CA,USA. Ca. 45 specialists took part in this workshop. The programme,the position papers, and the presentations were published at theIERS web site. For a summary see Section 4.

The CB represented the IERS at the following meetings: WDCMeeting, fa*gS Meeting, GGOS Retreat 2007, IUGG 24th GeneralAssembly, GGOS Unified Analysis Workshop, and GeotechnologienStatusseminar.

IERS components maintain individually about 20 separate websites. The central IERS site <>, established by theCB, gives access to all other sites, offers information on the struc-ture of the IERS, its products and publications and provides con-tact addresses as well as general facts on Earth rotation studies. Itcontains also electronic versions of IERS publications, a list ofmeetings related to the work of the IERS, and an extended link listfor IERS, Earth rotation in general and related fields. Throughout2007 the web site was regularly enlarged and updated. Severaldocuments about the history of IERS were compiled; these includean IERS Timeline and lists of all IERS components and officersfrom 1988 to 2007. Also the minutes of IERS Directing Board meet-ings from 1993 to 2000, most of which were provided by the formerCentral Bureau at Paris, were converted to PDF files and madeavailable at the IERS web site.

The IERS Annual Report 2005 appeared in online and in printedform. The CB started also to prepare the IERS Annual Report 2006for publication. Along with the reports of the IERS components, theAnnual Reports contain information on the IERS compiled by theCB.

The CB prepared reports about IERS’ activities for the Interna-tional Union of Geodesy and Geophysics, the International Asso-ciation of Geodesy (both for the period 2003 – 2007), and for theFederation of Astronomical and Geophysical Data Analysis Serv-ices (for the year 2006).

During the year 2007, 18 IERS Messages (Nos. 105 – 122) wereedited and distributed. They include news from the IERS and ofgeneral type as well as announcements of conferences.

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IERS Data and InformationSystem (DIS)

Address and subscription information has regularly been updatedin the IERS user database. There were about 2500 users in 2007with valid addresses who subscribed to IERS publications for e-mail and regular mail distribution.

Several questions from IERS users concerning IERS publicationsand products as well as Earth rotation and reference frames ingeneral were answered or forwarded to other specialists.

The IERS Data and Information System (IERS DIS) is being devel-oped by the Central Bureau since 2002. The system is being adaptedand extended by new components continuously in order to fulfil therequirements for a modern data management and for the access tothe data by the users. In this context international and interdiscipli-nary projects like the Global Geodetic Observing System (GGOS)or the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) aredemanding special requirements with respect to the standardiza-tion of the data and applications on the data.

In 2007 further developments of the IERS DIS were mainly drivenby the following aspects:

• enhancement of the IERS Data Management System collect-ing all IERS products and data from the Product Centres andextracting the metadata into the metadata database;

• extending the IERS metadata profile to the SINEX format andto a fully compliant ISO 19115 metadata profile,

• development of tools for the management of metadata (e.g.metadata editor and parser),

• development and proof of a concept to port the IERS ContentManagement System (CMS) – and its publication component– to the so-called Government Site Builder, the CMS usedwithin the division of the German Federal Ministry of the Inte-rior,

• development of concepts for an interactive data analysis tooland for the improvement of the IERS Plot Tool.

All developments are being made in close cooperation with tworesearch projects at BKG, the projects ERIS and GGOS-D:

The aim of ERIS (Earth Rotation Information System) as a part ofthe research unit FOR 584 “Earth Rotation and Global DynamicProcesses” is the development of a virtual Earth rotation system forgeodetic and geoscience applications. The joint project “GGOS-D:Integration of Space Geodetic Techniques as Basis for a GlobalGeodetic Observing System” is meant to develop the IT infrastruc-ture and the required software for the operational service of a GlobalGeodetic Observing System.

Both projects are providing an information, communication, anddatabase system as a central interface between the research part-

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ners and their applications and fields of interest. E.g. within theresearch unit FOR 584 the common Web portal called Earth Rota-tion and Global Dynamic Processes (<>)realizes the entry point for all services provided by the project. Theportal’s homepage gives access to three subsections, one for thepublic presentation of the research unit, one for the informationsystem ERIS, and one for internal communication.

One of the most important tasks in both projects deals with thedata preparation and data networking. To ensure interoperability alldata series are transformed into standardized data formats. Basedon the XML versions developed for the IERS the XML schemata andthe transformation routines are revised to harmonize the data struc-ture and to enhance the machine readability.

While XML schemata describe the technical data structure ofdata series stored in XML, metadata are needed to describe thecontent of the series, how the data are produced, the authorship,the availability of the data, parameterization etc.

To ensure interoperability of the metadata with respect to interna-tional and interdisciplinary metadata catalogues, the IERS specificmetadata profile has been extended to an ISO 19115 “GeographicInformation - Metadata” standard compliant profile. Furthermore,routines have been established for automatic generation of metadataas well as a metadata editor to support the creation of metadata.A variety of interactive tools were set up. First some applicationshave been developed which realize interactive Web interfaces forsome helpful geodetic and astronomic tools: transformationsbetween Gregorian calendar and Julian and Besselian date / epoch,calculation of Greenwich Sidereal Time, calculation of the ephemerisof Earth, transformation between the reference systems GCRSand ITRS, and calculation of the time dependent precession andnutation matrices.

Second, if downloading data, often single data points, data of ashort time period, or time series of isolated parameters are needed.The EOP Reader represents the first step in this direction in thecontext of ERIS. It allows the user to extract the EOP data of asingle day from a data series of his choice by entering the date asGregorian date or as modified Julian date.

Furthermore, a concept for an interactive tool for time series analy-sis has been developed. Via a graphical user interface it will allowthe user to apply standard methods of time series analysis to dataseries of the ERIS and the IERS data archives as well as to owndata. The following analysis procedures will be incorporated intothe initial version of the data analysis tool: extraction of statisticalvalues (mean value, maximum, median, etc), polynomial, sinus andspline approximations, FIR filters (high-pass / low-pass / band-pass,Moving-average, derivation), up / down sampling and shifting of the

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time axis, FFT, short-time FFT and power spectrum, correlationand autocorrelation, and time / frequency analysis with wavelets.

Dr. Bernd Richter, DirectorDr. Wolfgang R. Dick, scientistCarola Helbig, secretarianDr. Alfred Kranstedt, scientist (until May 31, 2008)Anja Kreutzmann, scientist (since May 15, 2008)Alexander Lothhammer, technician (on leave since Nov. 2007)Sandra Schneider, technicianDr. Wolfgang Schwegmann, scientist

Dick, W. R.; Richter, B. (eds.) (2007): IERS Annual Report 2005.Verlag des Bundesamts für Kartographie und Geodäsie, Frank-furt am Main, 2007. 175 p.

Rothacher, M.; Drewes, H.; Nothnagel, A.; Richter, B. (2007): Inte-gration of Space Geodetic Techniques as the Basis for a GlobalGeodetic-Geophysical Observing System (GGOS-D): An Over-view. In: L. Stroink (ed.): Observation of the System Earth fromSpace (Science Report). Status Seminar, 22 – 23 November 2007,Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Munich.(Geotechnologien Science Report, No. 11) KoordinierungsbüroGeotechnologien, Potsdam, p. 75–79

Bernd Richter, Wolfgang R. Dick, Wolfgang Schwegmann,Anja Kreutzmann



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3.3 Analysis Coordinator

For various reasons it was not possible to prepare a report for 2007before the deadline of this publication. It is intended to give thisreport together with the report for 2008.

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3.4 Technique Centres

Tracking Network

3.4 Technique Centres3.4.1 International GNSS Service (IGS)

General The International Global Navigation Satellite System Service (IGS)is a federation of more than 200 world-wide agencies and institu-tions that pool resources and expertise to provide the highest qual-ity GNSS data, products, and services to support high-precisionapplications of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS). It is aservice of the International Association of Geodesy (IAG), one ofthe associations of the International Union of Geodesy and Geo-physics (IUGG).

The IGS operates a global network of GNSS tracking stations,data centers and data analysis centers to provide data and deriveddata products that are essential for Earth science research,multidisciplinary positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) applica-tions and education. The IGS is committed to providing the highestquality GNSS observation data and products freely to scientific usercommunities. The IGS products include GNSS satelliteephemerides, Earth rotation parameters, global tracking stationcoordinates and velocities, satellite and tracking station clock in-formation, zenith tropospheric path delay estimates, and global iono-spheric maps. The IGS products support scientific objectives in-cluding realization of the International Terrestrial Reference Frame(ITRF) and its easy global accessibility, monitoring deformation ofthe solid Earth, monitoring Earth rotation, monitoring variations inthe hydrosphere (sea level, ice-sheets, etc.), scientific satellite or-bit determination, ionosphere monitoring, climatological and weatherresearch, and time and frequency transfer.

A total of 13 new stations were added to the IGS network in 2007,and 9 were decommissioned, resulting in the 384 stations depictedin Figure 1. Most of these return observation data on an hourly ormore frequent basis, and 115 of these return data in near real time.The network supports multiple requirements for diverse applications.Many IGS stations are co-located with other geodetic techniquesto promote combination and inter-comparisons of products and sys-tems. 132 stations are designated as “reference frame stations”that consistently contribute to the IGS ITRF computations, and 134stations are co-located with external high-precision frequency stand-ards and are used in generating the IGS clock products. A subsetof the network provides meteorological data useful for ground-basedprecipital water vapor measurements. All station data and productsare available freely to users from four global data centers and addi-tional regional and operational data centers. A breakdown of thestations used by the principal applications and collocations withthe other geodetic techniques is shown in Table 1. A complete list-

IGS Status and Activitiesin 2007

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IERS Annual Report 2007 33

ing of IGS network stations and related information can be foundonline at <>.

Table 1: Breakdown of stations by principal applicationsand co-location with other geodetic techniques.

Fig. 1: IGS Global Tracking Network provides high quality tracking data used in support of diverseapplications, including contributing to the realization of the ITRF.

Total Stations 384

Reference Frame 132

Clock Products 134


Sub Hourly 240

Real-time 95


VLBI Co-located 25

SLR Co-located 35

DORIS Co-located 54

Tide Gauge Co-located 103

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Table 2 gives an overview of the estimated quality of the IGS coreproducts at the end of 2007. Details related to the IGS productscan be found online at <>.

A number of quality evaluations of the IGS products can be foundin the Products section of the IGS Analysis Coordinator web site at<>.

The IGS Analysis Centers (see <>) have steadily improved their precision and consistencyduring 2007. The combined and rapid orbit quality is depicted inFigures 2 and 3, which agree at a level of 7 mm.

Other notable items in 2007 related to the combined productsinclude:

• Since GPS week 1406 (17-Dec-2007) the combined clockproducts are provided with a sampling rate of 30 s in additionto the usual 5-min products (*.clk; *.clk_30s). Three ACs (COD,JPL, MIT) are providing clock solutions with a 30 second sam-pling rate.

• Starting GPS week 1411 (21-Jan-2007) the absolute antennaphase model was used in the older Bernese 4.3 version (onlyoffsets for satellite and elevations for station antennas) to gen-erate the so-called Precise-Position-Navigation (PPN) tablesin the combination summary files (for weeks 1400 to 1410 theold relative model was still used).

• The AIUB group has supported the introduction of the newBernese 5.0 into combination procedures by developing a long-arc routine for Bernese 5.0 as needed by IGS combinationanalysis. The Bernese 5.0 software was implemented at GFZin September 2007. The new software has been used in rou-tine generation of the IGS combined products since GPS week1446 (23-Sep-2007). It has now been transferred to NGS foruse in the ACC activities there.

Data Product Quality

Product IGS Final IGS Rapid IGS Ultra Rapid Adjusted Predicted Updates Weekly Daily Every 6 h Every 6 h Delay ~13 days 17 hours 3 hours Real-time Orbits 2 cm 3 cm < 5 cm <10 cm Satellite Clocks 0.05ns 0.1 ns ~0.2 ns ~5 ns Station Clocks 0.05ns 0.1 ns Polar Motion 0.05 mas <0.1 mas 0.1 mas LOD 0.02 ms/day 0.03 ms/day 0.03 ms/day Station Coordinates (h/v) 2 mm / 6 mm

Table 2: Quality of the IGS Core Products

Improvements to the IGSCombined Products

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Fig. 3: Weighted RMS differences of all AC’s rapid orbits to the IGS rapid combined orbit.

Fig. 2: Weighted RMS differences of all AC’s and IGS final orbits to the IGS final combined orbit.

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• The JPL weekly solutions were used for comparison only (ex-cluded from the combined SINEX products) between GPS week1400 and 1444. The JPL solution was reintroduced on GPSweek 1445 as issues that caused inconsistent performancewere resolved. Antenna height inconsistencies were correctedby JPL concurrently.

• The combined weekly SINEX solutions have progressed fromabout 250 stations at the beginning of the year to about 280stations (Figure 4). The number of reference frame stationswas about 120 at the beginning of the year and is now about110 stations. Most of the ACs station processing increasecame from the MIT and NGS weekly solutions. Starting withGPS week 1435 the number of stations reported by MIT in-creased from about 150 to about 250. Similarly, starting withGPS week 1428, the NGS solution increased from about 170to 200.

The reprocessing of all historical data since 1994 has proceeded atearly stage in 2007. The plan is to apply the newest analysis con-ventions consistently over the whole time series to resolve incon-sistencies caused by many model and parameter changes in thepast, especially by the introduction of the absolute antenna modelin 2006.

Fig. 4. Number of stations processed by Analysis Centers on a weekly basis in 2007.








1408 1418 1428 1438 1448 1458

GPS Week

# of




IGS Reprocessing Campaign

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In 2007, a reprocessing test campaign (GPS weeks 1042 to 1059in early 2007) was analyzed by ESA, MIT, NGS, SIO, PDR andGFZ, and included more than 300 stations. The combination re-sults for the station coordinates and orbit/clock/ERP revealed thatthere are still some issues to be resolved. An additional issue to beresolved is the lack of ACs providing clock solutions in the reproc-essing campaign. Currently only ESA and MIT are providing clocksolutions.

The IGS Analysis Coordinator responsibility has been handed-offfrom GFZ to NGS, with the transition of the combination softwarecompleted by the end of 2007. Implementation of Bernese 5.0 soft-ware was required as an initial step, as the previous version was nolonger being supported. The entire combination software, includingall FTP (in and out) and web presentation tools, were installed onNGS hardware in November, 2007, and NGS and GFZ systemswere run in parallel for a one-week test period where identical re-sults were produced by both systems. Integration of the IGS analy-sis within the NGS environment is being completed at end of yearanticipating that the official IGS product will be generated at NGSstarting end of January 2008. The GFZ processing will continue inparallel as back up until deemed unnecessary. GFZ will also con-tinue to perform the combination for the reprocessing campaign forthe foreseeable future.

Throughout 2007, the IGS has continued its delivery of high qualityproducts to the IERS. The quality of the IGS results continues toimprove, as analysis methodologies are constantly being refinedand historical data reprocessed. The IGS is continuing its reproc-essing campaign to strengthen its historical contribution to the re-alization of the ITRF. More information regarding the IGS and re-lated activities can be found on the IGS Central Bureau web site<> or at the Analysis Center Coordinator website <>.

Steve Fisher, Robert Kachikyan, Gerd Gendt,Angelyn Moore, Remi Ferland

Analysis Center CoordinatorTransition


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3.4.2 International Laser Ranging Service (ILRS)



The International Laser Ranging Service (ILRS), established in 1998,is responsible for the coordination of SLR/LLR missions, techniquedevelopment, network operations, data analysis and scientific in-terpretation. The following summarizes the status and developmentsin 2007.

The network of SLR/LLR stations, under the aegis of the ILRS, hasbeen subject to change over the years. From a technical perspec-tive, the quality of the observations has improved drastically duringthe past decade. At this moment, the single-shot precision of anaverage station is better than 10 mm (the best stations go wellbelow that number). Also, the absolute quality of the individual ob-servations is at the 10 mm level, with a significant number of sta-tions doing better. The geometry of the SLR network has been apoint of concern over the years. However, as of 2006 the layout of

Fig. 1: The global network of SLR stations (status early 2008).

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Table 1: ILRS Network Tracking Statistics for 2007

Number of Passes Site Name Station

LEO LAGEOS HEO Total Arequipa 7403 2,074 218 0 2,292 Beijing 7249 1,713 339 152 2,204 Borowiec 7811 361 99 4 464 Burnie (FTLRS) 7370 167 4 0 171 Changchun 7237 4,373 774 542 5,689 Concepcion 7405 2,206 1,089 240 3,535 Graz 7839 4,813 825 529 6,167 Greenbelt 7105 1,831 321 69 2,221 Haleakala 7119 1,488 350 0 1,838 Hartebeesthoek 7501 1,535 304 35 1,874 Helwan 7831 54 0 0 54 Herstmonceux 7840 3,861 932 414 5,207 Katzively 1893 1,193 287 36 1,516 Kiev 1824 1 0 0 1 Koganei 7308 709 252 178 1,139 Kunming 7820 18 2 0 20 Lviv 1831 127 18 0 145 Maidanak 1864 509 216 141 866 Matera 7941 2,261 753 232 3,246 McDonald 7080 1,390 415 270 2,075 Monument Peak 7110 2,482 484 191 3,157 Mount Stromlo 7825 4,906 1,199 515 6,620 Potsdam 7841 1,725 304 0 2,029 Riga 1884 557 112 0 669 Riyadh 7832 3,783 975 659 5,417 San Fernando 7824 2,588 523 52 3,163 San Juan 7406 5,058 906 1,192 7,156 Shanghai 7821 968 53 3 1,024 Simeiz 1873 450 151 11 612 Simosato 7838 717 266 1 984 Stafford 7865 9 0 0 9 Tahiti 7124 19 0 0 19 Tanegashima 7358 240 70 69 379 Wettzell 8834 4,153 1,041 518 5,712 Yaragadee 7090 9,185 1,807 1,581 12,573 Zimmerwald 7810 5,973 1,219 727 7,919 Totals: 36 stations 73,497 16,308 8,361 98,166

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the network has improved (cf. Figure 1), in part due to the reinstate-ment of some key-sites that were shut down in 2004. Although thenetwork has been dominated traditionally by stations in the North-ern Hemisphere, the Southern Hemisphere now contains a numberof high-quality stations, that have come online recently or that havedeveloped and proven themselves over the past few years. In FrenchPolynesia, Tahiti is slowly coming back online; in South America,Arequipa, Peru has returned, whereas Concepcion and San Juanare in operational service with very significant contributions; in SouthAfrica, Hartebeesthoek has proven itself to be a highly reliable, top-quality, productive station; and in Australia the Mt. Stromlo stationis a role model for modern, autonomous operations. The contribu-tions from stations in the Southern Hemisphere are of course com-plemented by the activities of Yarragadee, on the West coast ofAustralia. Yarragadee has been the number-one station in the net-work again. In 2007 it was joined by another high-yield system, theSan Juan station in Argentina, to provide more uniform southernhemisphere tracking to all missions. Graz continued operationswith the first 2 kHz system of the network, providing impressive“pictures” of the reflector arrays on geodetic satellites like the twoLAGEOS. NASA’s next generation SLR system (formerly knownas SLR2000) is in the final stages of development, and it is ex-pected to reach the production line by 2008. Several other stationsacquired high repetition systems (e.g. Herstmonceux, UK,Zimmerwald, Switzerland) and these will soon be operational. Sta-tistics of the data collected during the calendar year 2007 are sum-marized in Table 1, in terms of pass segments. For each of thecontributing stations the tracked passes are broken down in threecategories of tracked targets: Low Earth Orbiters (LEO), LAGEOS1 & 2, and the High Earth Orbiters (HEO).

From all of the ILRS observatories (>30), there are only a fewsites that are technically equipped to carry out Lunar Laser Rang-ing (LLR) to the Moon (Figure 2). The McDonald Observatory inTexas, USA and Observatoire de la Côte d’ Azur, France are theonly currently operational LLR sites achieving a typical range preci-sion of 18–25 mm. The latter has been actually undergoing renova-tion since late 2004, which leaves only one site currently opera-tional over the past two years. A new site with lunar capability hasbeen built at the Apache Point Observatory, New Mexico, USA,equipped with a 3.5 m telescope. This station, called APOLLO, isdesigned for mm accuracy ranging. A new release of data fromAPOLLO was added to the first set of ~70 normal points, and apromise to soon make the data available in the newly adopted ILRSdata format. The data look promising and comprise well over 50%of the 2007 yield.

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The Australian station at Mt. Stromlo is expected to join this groupin the future, and there are plans for establishing a lunar capabilityat the South African site of Hartebeesthoek, once there is a newtelescope installed. Today, the results from LLR are consideredamong the most important science return of the Apollo era. The







Fig. 2: The ILRS stations with lunar capability (status early 2008).

Fig. 3: The currently available LLR data set (status early 2008).

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lunar laser ranging experiment has continuously provided range datafor over 38 years, generating about 16000 normal points (Figure 3).

The main scientific contributions of LLR are the determination ofa host of parameters describing the lunar ephemeris, lunar phys-ics, parameters associated with the Moon’s interior, various refer-ence frames and dynamics of the Earth-Moon system. LLR pro-vides also tests of verification of metric theories of gravity and gravi-tational physics, such as the equivalence principle or temporal vari-ation of the gravitational constant. Even with current technology,LLR is an extremely challenging measurement task. For more de-tails about the ILRS network, see the ILRS Annual Report 2005–2006: <>

Fig. 4: The currently tracked SLR missions (status early 2008).

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Analysis and science

In 2007, a total of ~30 satellites (including the Moon) were beingtracked by laser (Figure 4). During 2007 the ILRS continued itseffort to develop a standardized design for retrorefrector arrays onfuture missions. In early 2007 the first data were collected fromJAXA’s geostationary ETS-8, an experimental communications, tim-ing and positioning satellite. After a successful tracking campaignfor almost a year to the date, Naval Research Lab’s (NRL) ANDE-RRA (Atmospheric Neutral Density Experiment Risk Reduction)mission re-entered the atmosphere on Christmas day of 2007. Theother half of the mission, the passive spacecraft ANDE-RRP is notexpected to follow until spring of 2008 or later. On June 15, 2007,the TerraSAR-X mission was launched and has been tracked bySLR since then. It carries an X-band SAR antenna, occultationGPS, a Laser Retroreflector Array (LRA), as well as a Laser Com-munication Terminal (LCT). All spacecraft, including the newcom-ers, are regularly tracked, following a set of dynamically adjustedpriorities depending on mission and science demands.

Over the past year, ILRS prepared for several demanding newmissions to be launched in the near future. One of them, the LunarReconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), carries multiple laser technologycomponents: a laser altimeter (LOLA) for topographic mapping anda laser transponder for one-way laser ranging (LR). It is anticipatedthat a significant number of the ILRS sites will participate in track-ing LRO-LR when launched in late 2008.

SLR provides an extremely valuable and unique tool to relate (thecenter-of-mass of) satellites to reference points on Earth’s surfacewith unprecedented absolute accuracy: sub-centimeter at present,for about a dozen core sites. Recognizing the importance of thiswork, ILRS has organized and coordinated its analysis efforts throughan Analysis Working Group (AWG). The AWG added one moreAnalysis Center this year, the GRGS/OCA group, to increase thenumber of official Analysis Centers (ACs) from seven to eight. Thereare additionally, two Combination Centers (CCs) and several Asso-ciate Analysis Centers (AACs). The eight ACs are located at differ-ent institutes around the world: ASI/Italy, BKG/Germany, DGFI/Germany, GA/Australia, GFZ/Germany, GRGS/France, JCET/USAand NSGF/UK. ASI (primary) and DGFI (backup) are also hostingthe two CCs responsible with the combination of the contributionsof the ACs into a single official ILRS product, following quality checksof the individual contributions and a thorough evaluation of the re-sult. The majority of the AACs focus on restricted data sets, usu-ally associated with a particular mission or world region. A numberof them offer a quality control service for the entire network yield ona weekly basis (available via SLR e-mail) which is summarized on aquarterly basis at <


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global_report_cards/perf_2008q1_wLLR.html> (ILRS Quarterly Per-formance Reports).

During 2007, ILRS continued improving the models and proce-dures used in the analysis of the range data collected from theILRS network. The improvements focused on the accurate determi-nation of the target signature (“center of mass to effective reflectionsurface”) and the accurate description of measurement biases foreach system. A major effort in assessing current as well as histori-cal data biases at all of the tracking sites resulted in the compila-tion of a data set used for the reanalysis of the data in 2007. Recog-nizing the importance of these issues, the ILRS established twotask force groups dedicated to improving the target signature char-acterization and the communication between tracking stations andthe analysts. Their effort will contribute to the timely and properconsideration of systematic biases. A first result is the characteri-zation of the LAGEOS targets, the two satellites that by and largedefine the origin and scale of the ITRF series, with 1–2 mm accu-racy for all of the ILRS network sites (Table 2). To put it in perspec-tive, such accuracy limits the error on the scale definition of theITRF at the level of 0.1–0.3 ppb.

Fig. 5: Time-series of X, Y, and Z offsets of the ITRF2000 origin with respect to the weekly ILRS-Bsolutions’ origin (proxy for “geocenter” variations) as observed by SLR (1993.0 – 2008.0).

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The SLR observations find their way into many cutting-edge sci-ence studies: reference frames (origin and scale), crustal deforma-tion (relative motions), long wavelength static and time varying grav-ity field (direct inversion and/or calibration of solutions derived withother techniques), oceanography (sea-level change, tides), earthrotation (observation of relevant parameters), orbital mechanics (sat-ellite motion), and fundamental physics (gravitational theory tests),to name a few. A number of these aspects will be highlighted below.

Some of the ILRS analysis products are of particular interest toIERS, either as input to Earth Orientation Parameter (EOPs) pre-dictions or the development of the ITRF. In particular, SLR plays auniquely important role in the definition of the origin of the ITRF andits scale. The laser technique provides unique information on theexact location of Earth’s geocenter with respect to the trackingnetwork (Figure 5) and along with VLBI, its absolute scale (Figure6). Figures 5 and 6 display strong seasonal effects, but systematiceffects are absent, except for a dip in Tz during 2006 (result of a

Table 2: Site-dependent LAGEOS array corrections (CoM) and their accuracy

Site Site Pulse-width Detector Regime Processing Calib. LAGEOS LAGEOS

ID Name [ps] (single, few, multi) level

sdt. error [mm]

std. error [mm]

CoM [mm]

1873 Simeiz 350 PMT No-CNTL 2.0 σ 60 70 248-244 1884 Riga 130 PMT CNTL s m 2.0 σ 10 15 252-248 7080 Mc Donald 200 MCP CNTL s m 3.0 σ 8.5 13 250-248 7090 Yaragadee 200 MCP CNTL f m 3.0 σ 4.5 10 250-248 7105 Greenbelt 200 MCP CNTL f m 3.0 σ 5 10 250-248 7110 Monument Pk. 200 MCP CNTL f m 3.0 σ 5 10 250-248 7124 Tahiti 200 MCP CNTL f m 3.0 σ 6 10 250-248 7237 Changchung 200 CSPAD CNTL s m 2.5 σ 10 15 250-245 7249 Beijing 200 CSPAD No-CNTL, m 2.5 σ 8 15 255-247 7355 Urumqui 30 CSPAD No-CNTL 2.5 σ 15 30 255-247 7405 Conception 200 CSPAD CNTL s 2.5 σ 15 20 246-245 7501 Harteb. 200 PMT CNTL f m 3.0 σ 5 10 250-244 7806 Metsahovi 50 PMT ? 2.5 σ 15 17 254-248 7810 Zimmerwald 300 CSPAD CNTL s f 2.5 σ 20 23 246-244 7811 Borowiec 40 PMT No-CNTL f 2.5 σ 16 23 256-250 7824 San Fernando 100 CSPAD No-CNTL s m 2.5 σ 30 25 252-246 7825 Stromlo 10 CSPAD CNTL s m 2.5 σ 4 10 257-247 7832 Riyadh 100 CSPAD CNTL s m 2.5 σ 10 15 252-246 7835 Grasse 50 CSPAD CNTL s m 2.5 σ 6 15 255-246 7836 Potsdam 35 PMT CNTL s m 2.5 σ 10 20 256-252 7838 Simosato 100 MCP CNTL s m 3.0 σ 20 40 252-248 7839 Graz 35 CSPAD No-CNTL m 2.2 σ 3 9 255-250 7839 Graz kHz 10 CSPAD No-CNTL s f 2.2 σ 3 9 255-250? 7840 Herstmonceux 100 CSPAD CNTL s 3.0 σ 6 15 246-244 7840 Hx kHz 10 CSPAD CNTL s -1.5,+2.5 σ 3 9 245 7841 Potsdam 3 50 PMT CNTL s f 2.5 σ 10 18 254-248 7941 Matera 40 MCP No-CNTL m 3.0 σ 1 5 252-248 8834 Wettzell 80 MCP No-CNTL f m 2.5 σ 10 20 252-248

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known by now bias), and the trend in Tz (~ –1.8 mm/y), which is anerror in ITRF2000 rather than in the current analysis. The root-mean-square (RMS) of the weekly X-Y-Z offsets and ∆-scale is 5.0 mm,5.2 mm, 10.6 mm and 0.68 ppb, respectively, for the fifteen-yearperiod. Similar statistics limited to the 2007 period are: 4 mm, 3mm, 10 mm and 0.96 ppb.

Since 2003, the ILRS AWG maintains the above time-series ofweekly solutions for station coordinates and EOPs: x-pole and y-pole and excess Length of Day (LOD). These solutions are basedon SLR data taken on the satellites LAGEOS-1, LAGEOS-2, Etalon-1 and Etalon-2. The organization (of generating these solutions) issuch that the backup CC institute is able to take over the role of theprimary institute at any time. The combinations were generatedwithout interruptions during the past year on a weekly basis, andwere available to IERS every Wednesday evening (UTC). From the“operational” point of view, the combination solutions are used for avariety of purposes: the IERS Combination Pilot Project, the IERS/NEOS Bulletin A, etc. From a less frequently updated product,they were vital in the development of the new ITRF every few years.

In order to fulfill the need of NEOS for as “fresh” as possible EOPinformation, the ILRS AWG decided in late 2007 to develop a new“daily” product, based on a 7-day arc sliding by one day each day.The results of this analysis are available to NEOS less than twodays from the last observation in the analysis, and efforts areunderway to further decrease the latency period. During 2007, threeACs (ASI, JCET and NSGF) contributed to the Pilot Project for thisdaily product. By the end of the year though two more ACs (BKGand GFZ) joined the group and it is expected that in 2008 more ACswill contribute. In 2008 NEOS will evaluate the new product and theILRS will decide whether to evolve this PP into an official product(replacing the weekly one), or to discontinue it.

With the release of ITRF2005 in mid-2006, ILRS started prepar-ing for the implementation of the “hybrid” version, the one scaledback to agree with SLR-implied scale (ITRF2005 SLR re-scaled).At the same time it was evident that a new reanalysis of the entireSLR data set would be necessary for the upcoming ITRFxx, so theAWG proceeded in the preparation of an intermediate TRF basedprimarily on ITRF2000 and ITRF2005SLR, to allow for a single con-sistent set of a priori positions and velocities in a single frame. Thisresulted in the SLRF2005 frame that was released in the fall of2007 and starting Nov. 1, 2007, it has been adopted as the officialILRS frame to report the weekly products in. Since this frame en-compasses all of the SLR sites that ever tracked in a single, accu-rate frame (ITRF2005SLR), ILRS posted this on the official websiteas the recommended frame for any SLR data analysis, includingPrecision Orbit Determination.

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It is planned that in 2008, a new, completely and consistentlyreanalyzed series of official ILRS products will be available to IERSand the broader community, spanning at least the period Septem-ber 1983 to end of 2007 (and beyond). However, recognizing thereduced number of satellites available (only LAGEOS) in the period1983 to 1993, the geometry of the network, the quality of the obser-vations and other aspects, the historical data reanalysis cannot beexpected to result in data products that are of similar quality andresolution as what is being obtained from contemporary SLR ob-servations. Nevertheless, this analysis effort will extend the time-span to nearly thirty years, and will provide valuable information onsome of the most crucial elements of (understanding and describ-ing) System Earth.

The weekly products are evaluated during their combination, andthe results are archived and graphed each week by the JCET AC.Reports for the past weeks as well as the results for the currentweek for each of the contributing ACs and CCs are available to allvia the World Wide Web at <>. When the reanalysis is completed, a new releasewith the evaluation of the new products will replace the current ver-sion of these reports (currently a mixed bag of ITRF2000 andSLRF2005 referenced results).

Fig. 6: Time-series of weekly solutions’ difference in global scale from ITRF2000 as observed bySLR (1993.0 – 2008.0).

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Blagodyr, Ja., Bilinsky, A., Martynyuk-Lototsky, K., et al. Overviewand Performance of the Ukrainian SLR Station “Lviv-1831”, Artifi-cial Satellites, Vol. 42(1), pp. 9–15, doi: 10.2478/v10018-007-0014-4, 2007.

Ciufolini, I. A. Paolozzi, S. Dell’Agnello, I. Peroni, F. Graziani, G.Sindoni, C. Paris, C. Vendittozzi, P. Ialongo, C. Cerruti, A.Lucantoni, A. Boni, C. Cantone, G. Delle Monache, A. Franceschi,T. Napolitano, N. Intaglietta, M. Martini, M. Garattini, G. Bellettini,R. Tauraso, L. Caputo, F. Passeggio, F. Longobardo, E. C. Pavlis,R. Matzner, D. P. Rubincam, D. Currie, V. J. Slabinski, D. A.Arnold, The Design of LARES: a Satellite for Testing GeneralRelativity, paper IAC-07-B4.2.07, Proceedings of 58th Interna-tional Astronautical Congress, Hyderabad, India, 24 – 28 Sep-tember, 2007.

Hulley, G. C. and E. C. Pavlis, A ray-tracing technique for improvingSatellite Laser Ranging atmospheric delay corrections, includingthe effects of horizontal refractivity gradients, J. Geophys. Res.,112, B06417, doi:10.1029/2006JB004834, 2007.

Hulley, G. C., E. C. Pavlis and V. B. Mendes, Model validation forimproved atmospheric refraction modeling for Satellite Laser Rang-ing, Dynamic Planet – Monitoring and Understanding a DynamicPlanet with Geodetic and Oceanographic Tools, (Chapter 119),Tregoning, P., Rizos, C., (eds.), IAG Symposia 130, ISBN: 978-3-540-49349-5, pp. 844–852, 2007.

Hulley, G., and E. C. Pavlis, Improvement of Current RefractionModeling, Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) by Ray Tracing throughMeteorological Data, 15th Int. Laser Workshop, John Luck (ed.),pp. 345–350, Geosciences Australia, Canberra, 2007.

Kirchner, G., W. Hausleitner, E. Cristea, AJISAI Spin ParameterDetermination using Graz kHz Satellite Laser Ranging Data, IEEETransactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Vol. 45, No.1, pp 201–205, January 2007.

Murphy, T.W., Nordtvedt, K., Turyshev, S.G., Gravitomagnetic Influ-ence on Gyroscopes and on the Lunar Orbit, Phys. Rev. Lett. 98,071102, 2007. [arXiv: gr-qc/0702028]

Nicholas, A.C., Picone, J.M., Emmert, J., DeYoung, J., Healy, L.,Wasiczko, L., Davis, M., Cox, C., Preliminary Results from theAtmospheric Neutral Density Experiment Risk Reduction Mis-sion, Proc. of the AAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Confer-ence, paper #AAS 07-265, online version: <>, Mackinac Island, MI, Aug 20–24, 2007.

Pavlis, E. C., The Global SLR Network and the origin and scale ofthe TRF in the GGOS era, 15th Int. Laser Workshop, John Luck(ed.), pp. 159–166, Geosciences Australia, Canberra, 2007.


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Pavlis, E. C., V. Mendes and G. Hulley, Tropospheric Model: Opti-cal Techniques, IERS Conventions update, G. Petit and B. Luzum(eds.), (Chapter 9, pp. 1–3), online version: <>, Paris, France, 2007.

Pavlis, E. C., I. Ciufolini, and R. König, Recent Results from SLRExperiments in Fundamental Physics, 15th Int. Laser Workshop,John Luck (ed.), pp. 69–78, Geosciences Australia, Canberra,2007.

Pavlis, E. C., SLR-based evaluation and validation studies of candi-date ITRF2005 products, 15th Int. Laser Workshop, John Luck(ed.), pp. 173–179, Geosciences Australia, Canberra, 2007.

Pearlman, M., C. Noll, W. Gurtner, and R. Noomen, The Interna-tional Laser Ranging Service and its Support for GGOS, DynamicPlanet – Monitoring and Understanding a Dynamic Planet withGeodetic and Oceanographic Tools. Rizos, C., Tregoning, P.(eds.), IAG Symposia 130, ISBN: 978-3-540-49349-5, online ver-sion: <>,2007.

Pearlman, M., Z. Altamimi, N. Beck, R. Forsberg, W. Gurtner, S.Kenyon, D. Behrend, F.G. Lemoine, C. Ma, C.E. Noll, E.C. Pavlis,Z. Malkin, A.W. Moore, F.H. Webb, R.E. Neilan, J.C. Ries, M.Rothacher, and P. Willis, GGOS Working Group on Networks,Communication, and Infrastructure, Dynamic Planet – Monitoringand Understanding a Dynamic Planet with Geodetic and Oceano-graphic Tools. Rizos, C., Tregoning, P. (eds.), IAG Symposia130, ISBN: 978-3-540-49349-5, online version: <>, 2007.

Pearlman, M., C. Noll, J. McGarry, W. Gurtner, E. Pavlis, The Inter-national Laser Ranging Service, AOGS 2007, Adv. Geosciences,online version: <>, under review, 2007.

Plag, H.-P., M. Rothacher, M. Pearlman, R. Neilan, C. Ma, TheGlobal Geodetic Observing System, AOGS 2007, Adv.Geosciences, online version: <>, under review, 2007.

Welch, Bryan W., Benefits Derived From Laser Ranging Measure-ments for Orbit Determination of the GPS Satellite Orbit, NASA/TM-2007-214971, online version: <>, August 2007.

Williams, J. G., S. G. Turyshev, and D. H. Boggs, Williams,Turyshev, and Boggs Reply, Phys. Rev. Lett., 98, (#5) doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.98.059002, (Feb 2) 2007.

Erricos C. Pavlis, Jürgen Müller



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3.4.3 International VLBI Service (IVS)

IVS Organization andActivities

Network Stations


During 2007, IVS continued to fulfill its role as a service within theIAG and IAU by providing necessary products for the maintenanceof global reference frames: TRF, CRF, and EOP. Two IVS DirectingBoard meetings were held, one in February at the Geodetic Ob-servatory Wettzell, Germany, and the other in September at theUniversity of Bonn, Germany. At the Wettzell meeting, the Boardelected Harald Schuh from Vienna University of Technology, Vi-enna, Austria as the new chair of the IVS replacing the outgoingchair Wolfgang Schlüter, BKG Germany.

The eighth IVS Analysis Workshop was held at the Vienna Uni-versity of Technology, Vienna, Austria, on April 14, 2007, in connec-tion with the 18th European VLBI for Geodesy and Astrometry(EVGA) Working Meeting. In April/May 2007 the fourth IVS Techni-cal Operations Workshop (TOW) took place at MIT Haystack Ob-servatory, Westford, MA, USA. The sixth International e-VLBI Work-shop was held at Max-Planck-Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR),Bonn, Germany in September 2007.

IVS published its 2006 Annual Report in April 2007 and threenewsletter issues which keep the community informed about IVSactivities. In June 2007 a Special Issue on Very Long Baseline Inter-ferometry (<>) ofthe Journal of Geodesy was published. At the 18th Directing Boardmeeting held in September 2007 at Bonn University, IVS WorkingGroup 4 on VLBI Data Structures was formed. The Working Groupwill examine the data structure currently used in VLBI data process-ing and investigate what data structure is likely to be needed in thefuture. It will design a data structure that meets current and antici-pated requirements for individual VLBI sessions including acataloging, archiving and distribution system. Further, it will pre-pare the transition capability through conversion of the current datastructure as well as cataloging and archiving software to the newsystem.

A total of 1185 station days were used in 168 geodetic/astrometricsessions during the year. Observing sessions coordinated by IVSremained at an average of ~3.5 days per week, similar to previousyears. The major observing programs during 2007 were:

Weekly (Mondays and Thursdays) 24-hour, rapid turnaround meas-urements of EOP. Data bases are available no later than 15 daysafter each session. These sessions are coordinated by NASAGoddard Space Flight Center (R1) and the U. S. Naval Observatory(R4).

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Intensive Daily 1-hour UT1 Intensive measurements are made on five days(Monday through Friday, Int1) on the baseline Wettzell (Germany)to Kokee Park (Hawaii, USA) and on weekend days (Saturday andSunday, Int2) on the baseline Wettzell (Germany) to Tsukuba (Ja-pan). The daily sessions are recorded using Mark 5 (Wettzell-Kokee)and K5 (Wettzell-Tsukuba) technology. In August 2007 a third In-tensive series (Int3) was started to fill the 36-hour gap in the dataseries between the Int1 and Int2 Intensive sessions and to take fulladvantage of the electronic transfer capabilities available at the par-ticipating stations of Ny-Ålesund, Tsukuba, and Wettzell as well asat the correlator at MPIfR Bonn. Through a careful setup of operat-ing steps and strong endeavors of the staff, UT1–UTC from thesesessions is available within 24 hours after the observations, mostoften already within 8 hours.

Bi-monthly sessions coordinated by the Institute of Geodesy andGeoinformation of the University of Bonn with 12 stations per ses-sion. These sessions were observed to monitor the TRF with allIVS stations scheduled at least 3–4 times during the year.

The Celestial Reference Frame (CRF) sessions, the CRF median-south (CRMS), and the CRF deep-south (CRD) sessions, all coor-dinated by the U.S. Naval Observatory, provide astrometric obser-vations that are required for improving the current CRF and extend-ing the CRF by observing “new” sources. Seventeen sessions wereobserved for the maintenance of the ICRF in 2007 primarily in thesouthern hemisphere. Seven of them were scheduled with empha-sis on the far southern hemisphere (CRD) and three with emphasison the median south (CRMS).

The Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA), operated by the NationalRadio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), continued to allocate sixobserving days for astrometry/geodesy. These sessions includedthe 10 VLBA stations plus up to 7 geodetic stations, providing state-of-the-art astrometry as well as information for mapping ICRFsources.

The European geodetic network, coordinated by the Institute ofGeodesy and Geoinformation of the University of Bonn, continuedwith six sessions in 2007.

The Asia-Pacific Space Geodynamics (APSG) program operatedtwo sessions.

The JApanese Dynamic Earth observation by VLBI (JADE) had 12sessions. These sessions included the dedicated 32-m dish at

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Data Centers

Analysis Coordinator



Tsukuba and are designed to monitor the domestic network withinthe ITRF.

Ten research and development sessions were observed in 2007.Four of them were scheduled using Gbit/s recording rates to dem-onstrate the highest data rate available today and five of them werescheduled to test 512 Mbps recording modes for possible usage inthe continuous VLBI campaign 2008 (CONT08). The last sessionwas dedicated to the determination of receiver polarization leakageeffects on the geodetic VLBI measurables.

The Network Coordinator’s data base of station performance showeda data loss of 11.4%, slightly better (2%) compared to 2006. Themost significant causes of data loss were antenna reliability (35%),receiver problems (15%), data acquisition system problems (11%),and RFI (10%).

The correlators at Haystack Observatory (USA), the U.S. NavalObservatory (USA), and at Max-Planck-Institute for Radioastronomy(Germany) further increased their efficiency in processing data re-corded on Mark 5 disk media. Several 24-hour sessions can nowbe correlated in less than a day. The correlator at MPIfR Bonn hadbeen connected at 1 Gbps in the later part of 2006 and productionuse of this connection started in 2007. Electronic data transfer (e-transfer) was routinely used between connected network stationsand the MPIfR correlator. Initial steps have been taken to also con-nect the USNO correlator.

The IVS Data Centers continued to receive data bases throughoutthe year and made them available for analysis within one day ofcorrelation. The Data Centers also continued to receive solutionsfrom Analysis Centers. All data and results holdings are mirroredseveral times per day among the three primary IVS Data Centers.

On January 1, 2007, a new combination process for the two IVSEOP series (rapid and quarterly solutions) was made operational.Routine combinations of IVS are now being made exclusively onthe basis of datum-free normal equations in SINEX format. In 2007,five IVS Analysis Centers (BKG, DGFI, GSFC, IAA and USNO)contributed to the IVS combined products by providing input in thecorrect format. The rapid solutions contain only R1 and R4 ses-sions and new data points are added twice a week as soon as theSINEX files of the five IVS Analysis Centers are available. The SINEXfile submissions should not be later than 48 hours after the correla-tion is completed. A Web page is automatically updated which statesthe timeliness of the latest submissions of the R1 and R4 ses-

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Technology Development

sions. As can be seen on this Web page, the timeliness require-ment has been missed quite often, mostly due to logistical andpersonnel issues.

For the quarterly solution, updated every three months, almostall available data of 24-hour sessions from 1984 onwards are used.Since this series is designed for EOP determinations, those ses-sions are excluded which are observed with networks of limitedextension or which are scheduled for a different purpose like radiosource monitoring.

The advantage of the new combination strategy is that one com-mon terrestrial reference frame (e.g. ITRF2005) is applied after thecombined datum-free normal matrix is generated. Thus, it is guar-anteed that an identical datum is used in the combination processfor all input series. After datum definition the combined system ofnormal equations is solved (inverted) and the full set of EOP (polecomponents, UT1–UTC, and their time derivatives as well as twonutation offsets in dψ, dε w.r.t. the IAU2000A model) are extracted.These results are added to the two EOP time series in the IVSEOP Exchange format, the rapid solution file (e.g., ivs07r1e.eops)and the quarterly solution file (e.g., ivs07q4e.eops). Companion filescontaining the nutation offsets in the X, Y paradigm are routinelygenerated through a standard transformation process (i.e.,ivs07r1X.eops, ivs07q4X.eops). The weighted RMS differences be-tween the individual IVS Analysis Centers and the combined prod-ucts have been reduced over the last two years from roughly 80–100 µas to 50–60 µas in all components, which can mostly beattributed to the proper usage of models and conventions. On theIVS Analysis Coordinator’s Web page additional information aboutthe series, the residuals of the individual contributions w.r.t. thecombined solution as well as comparisons with IGS and IERS EOPresults are provided routinely.

At the same time the combined SINEX files (datum-free normalequations) are also available on the Web for further combinationwith other techniques. At present, this is done on an experimentalbasis only, but the IERS Analysis Coordinator is strongly pushingtowards such a routine process.

Routine use of high-speed optical fiber connections continued togrow. MPIfR conducted regular e-transfers of data for which theBonn correlator is the correlation target. This included data fromTsukuba, Kashima, Onsala, Ny-Ålesund, and Wettzell. All data re-corded on K5 systems at Tsukuba and Kashima were transferredeither to MPIfR or Haystack depending on the target correlator.Syowa (Antarctica) K5 data was physically shipped to Japan andelectronically transferred to Haystack or MPIfR. All of Wettzell’sdaily UT1 Intensive data was e-transferred, either directly to the

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correlator at the Geographical Survey Institute (GSI), Tsukuba, Ja-pan (Saturday–Sunday) or to a site near USNO in Washington,D.C. (Monday–Friday), where it was picked up and taken to USNOfor correlation (so-called ‘sneaker-net’). All data of the newly estab-lished Int3 Intensive sessions with Wettzell, Tsukuba, and Ny-Ålesund was e-transferred to MPIfR.

The four network stations at Kashima, Metsähovi, Onsala, andTsukuba commenced a study on ultra-rapid Intensives using e-VLBI(e-transfer of data with near real-time correlation). Intensive-typesessions of 1-hour length were observed on two almost parallelbaselines between Europe and Japan (Onsala–Tsukuba andMetsähovi–Kashima). The sessions were processed in near real-time by making use of the high-speed optical fiber connections ofthe four stations and the software correlators at Kashima (NICT)and Tsukuba (GSI). The work will be continued in 2008. Once theprocedure (from observation to final product) has been proven to berobust and reliable, it can be employed to improve the IVS observ-ing program, e.g., by reducing the latency for results of the Int1 orInt2 sessions. The results from the two parallel baselines will allowthe investigation of systematic errors in dUT1 estimation.

The VLBI2010 Committee continued its work on designing andimplementing the next generation VLBI system. The work concen-trated on Monte Carlo simulations to investigate the performance ofnetwork configurations, schedules and observing scenarios, andon the broadband delay approach. The broadband approach involvesthe use of broadband feeds (2–15 GHz) and multiple IF channels toreliably resolve RF phase, even at low signal-to-noise ratios. It willenable extremely precise delay measurements to be made whileusing comparatively small and cost effective 12-m class antennas.The lower cost of these antennas will make replacement of exist-ing, old antennas and the addition of new stations more affordable.On November 19, 2007, the combined effort and hard work of agroup of scientists and engineers working on experimentally dem-onstrating the VLBI2010 concept came to fruition. On that day firstfringes were found with the proof-of-concept hardware that has beeninstalled at the MV-3 antenna at Goddard’s Geophysical and Astro-nomical Observatory (GGAO).

Dirk Behrend, Axel Nothnagel

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3.4.4 International DORIS Service (IDS)



The IDS website URL is <>. TheIDS Terms of Reference are available at <>. The present organization of the IDS is similarto that of the other technique-oriented services. It is described at<>.

The DORIS permanent network is shown in Figure 1. Site logs areavailable at <>.

In 2007 only one station was completely renovated in order toimprove the long term stability of the antenna support: Toulouse,France. This was the last Alcatel antenna in the network: now allantennas in the network are the Starec model. At six stations (amongwhich some recently renovated) the antenna support was modified,so as to remove the N-type bent adaptors located at the base of theantenna. These N-type bent adaptors are suspected of causingpower loss in the long term. Finally, the equipment of the station atPapeete (French Polynesia) was completely replaced (including athird generation beacon), and the antenna was included in a globalgeodetic survey of this three-technique IERS co-location site (<>).

The total number of DORIS stations in the permanent trackingnetwork remains 57. Figure 1 depicts the current co-location be-tween DORIS stations and other IERS techniques.






































GPS (IGS) SLR VLBI No active co-location < 10 km

Fig. 1: DORIS Network co-locations with GPS, SLR & VLBI

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Three new oceanography and cryosphere observation missions willcarry DORIS receivers, which will help to ensure continuity of DORISdata. These missions include Jason-2 (NASA/CNES/NOAA/EUMETSAT) scheduled for launch in June 2008, Cryosat 2 (ESA)scheduled for launch in March 2009, and ALTI-KA (joint with theCNES and ISRO, the Indian Space Research Organization) sched-uled for launch in 2009-2010. The current DORIS on-orbit DORISsatellite constellation includes: SPOT-2 (in orbit since 1990), SPOT-4, SPOT-5, ENVISAT, and Jason-1. Possible missions (not yetapproved or finalized) include SENTINEL-3 (European GMES Pro-gram, ESA for 2012), Jason-3 (Jason-2 follow-on for 2012-2013),HY-2A (joint altimetric mission with CNES and the China SpaceAgency to include a DORIS receiver, GPS receiver and LaserRetroreflector for 2010).

The International DORIS Service has been in operation since 2003.Over the last four years receivers on the SPOT 2-4-5, ENVISAT andthe JASON-1 satellites have provided DORIS Doppler data from aglobal network of about 50 stations. The number of Analysis Centers(AC) who have processed the data and have high level experiencehas progressively risen. Among them, two AC’s: IGN using GYPSY/OASIS software and LEGOS/CLS using GINS/DYNAMO software

Space Segment

Analysis Activities

Fig. 2: Geocenter parameters (Tx, Ty, Tz) from three analysis center solutions: Left, IGN wd05; Center,LCA wd18, and Right, GOP wd03.

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now provide solutions of station coordinates and EOP’s on a rou-tine basis to the IGN and NASA CDDIS data centers. INASAN alsoprocesses DORIS data using GYPSY/OASIS software and sub-mitted SINEX files to the ITRF2005 solution. The two newest DORISanalysis centers, include Geoscience Australia (GA) using the NASAGEODYN software and the Geodetic Observatory Pecny (GOP)using the BERNESE software. The GOP has adapted software notoriginally designed to process DORIS data. The performancereached by the new analysis centers in orbit and station positionsdetermination is very encouraging. The availability of geodetic solu-tions from different algorithms and software packages allows us toefficiently contribute to cross-comparison of the solutions and tothe improvement of the DORIS technique.

The results of some of the preliminary tests with the new testseries is illustrated in Figure 2. Some of the general conclusionsfrom the analysis are: (1) Z translation variations are still very high;(2) Systematic yearly effects remain in the translation (IGN & LCA,black curves have annual period); (3) TRF parameters for GOP aremore scattered than others; (4) Scale factors (not shown) haveclose behaviour (this marks an important improvement for LCA sinceITRF2005); (5) more generally WRMS (not plotted here) are be-tween 10 to 15 mm after 2003 (4 satellites available) and at thesame level for each AC. The AC cumulative solution comparisonswith ITRF2005 are summarized in Table 1.

Table 1: New Analysis Center Solution Comparisons withITRF2005

Since the SINEX contributions of the Geodetic Observatory Pecny(GOP) are clearly on par with that of the other analysis centers,they have been welcomed into the IDS as an operational analysiscenter, and we look forward to their contribution for the next ITRFrealization.

ITRF2005 comparisons

Pos (mm)

Vel (mm/yr)

IGN (7 yrs) 6.5 2.0

LCA (2 yrs) 15.6 4.0

GOP (2 yrs) 11.1 7.1

Combined solution

7.0 5.7

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It has been known for some time that the Jason-1 DORIS USO isnot as stable as desired. The frequency is perturbed by passagethrough the South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA). The frequency is sensi-tive to irradiation rate and the total irradiation encountered in orbit.DORIS station positioning is perturbed if Jason-1 is included inmulti-satellite solutions. (Willis et al., Adv. Space Res. 31(8), pp.1941–1946, 2003; CR Geoscience, 336(9), pp. 839–846, 2004). JMLemoine and H. Capdeville (J. Geodesy, 2006) have developed acorrection model to apply to Jason-1 DORIS data. They have dem-onstrated that it improves DORIS data analysis. The NASA GSFCPrecision Orbit Determination team has also tested the SAA modelon the entire time series of Jason-1 orbits (computed with bothDORIS and SLR). The results of these tests are illustrated in Figure3, depicting the Jason DORIS RMS of fit to 10-day orbit solutionswith and without the SAA correction. The SAA correction appliedover 177 test cycles, improves the RMS of fit from 0.4078 mm/s to0.3740 mm/s, the SLR fit from 1.482 cm to 1.440 cm, and theindependent altimeter crossover fit from 5.585 cm to 5.578 cm(Beckley et al., Geophys. Res. Lett., 2007).

SAA Effect on Jason-1 andValidation of Corrective


Fig. 3: Jason-1 DORIS residual RMS of fit for cycles 1–177; in blue without the SAA correction; in magentawith the SAA correction. (Computations courtesy of NASA GSFC POD center, presented at Jason OceanSurface Topography meeting, Hobart, Tasmania, March 2007).

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While we have confirmed that the POD for Jason-1 is improvedusing the SAA model, we cannot say that the SAA model correctsthe frequency aberrations sufficiently to allow the Jason-1 data tobe used in IERS combinations. At present Jason-1 data are omit-ted (as was the case in ITRF2005). Some experiments are plannedin 2008. Since we know that the number of satellites in a DORISsolution decisively affects the EOP and station position quality, it ispossible that it would be advantageous to include Jason-1 data(corrected by the SAA model) in future solutions, but only for 2002,the year both SPOT-5 and ENVISAT were launched.

The latency of data delivery to the IDS data centers (IGN and theNASA/CDDIS) affects the rapidity with which operationaly analysisof the DORIS data can be performed for EOP and weekly stationposition. With the current DORIS format, the delivery of the datadepends on final preprocessing by the CNES POD team. As canbe seen in Figure 4, this latency has in the past been around 25days for most satellites. In mid-2007, a dramatic improvement wasobserved with data latency now on average around 15 days.

DORIS Data Delivery Latency

Fig. 4: DORIS data delivery latency to the NASA/CDDIS for all DORIS satellites. Note the dramaticimprovement in latency in mid-2007.

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We request that users of DORIS data and products use the follow-ing new citation, from the DORIS article in the Journal of Geodesyspecial issue (November 2006):

Tavernier, G., fa*gard, H., Feissel-Vernier, M., Le Bail, K., Lemoine,F., Noll, C., Noomen, R., Ries, J.C., Soudarin, L., Valette, J.J.,Willis, P. (2006), The International DORIS Service: genesis andearly achievements, Journal of Geodesy 80(8–11), pp. 403–417,DOI: 10.1007/s00190-006-0082-4.

Frank Lemoine, Hervé fa*gard, Gilles Tavernier

DORIS Citation

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3.5 Product Centres3.5.1 Earth Orientation Centre

Combined daily series:Bulletin B and


This section presents activities and main results concerning theEarth Orientation Centre located at Paris Observatory over the year2007. According to the IERS Terms of Reference, the Earth Orien-tation Centre is responsible for monitoring Earth Orientation Pa-rameters (EOP) including long term consistency, publications fortime dissemination and leap second announcements. The EarthOrientation Centre is making available different products to a broadcommunity of users in astronomy, geodesy, geophysics, spacesciences and time, i.e. series of Polar motion, Universal Time (UT1),Length of Day (LOD) and Celestial pole offsets.

Determination of EOP is in the form of combined solutions de-rived by the analysis centres of the different techniques. Varioussolutions are computed: long-term solution (IERS C01) and theoperational smoothed solution Bulletin B at one-day intervals pub-lished monthly. Bulletin B is updated in the operational C04. So far,EOP and the terrestrial frame were separately computed. This ledto increasing inconsistencies between both of them. On January2005, these inconsistencies were significant for polar motion; theBulletin B and C04 were recomputed and aligned to the EOP solu-tion associated to the ITRF2005 (Altamimi et al. 2007). By the way,the procedure leading to the combined solutions was upgraded.

As stated in the previous IERS Annual Report for 2006, the EOPreference solutions were made consistent to the new realization ofthe ITRF, i.e. ITRF2005 (Altamimi et al. 2007). Due to the separatedetermination of both celestial and terrestrial reference frames andEOP, there has been a slow degradation of the overall consistency.Discrepancies at the level of 300 microarseconds were present at2004.0 between the IERS C04 and the ITRF realization (Gambis2004). This was as well an opportunity to upgrade the numericalcombination procedure. The improvements concern routines, tabledimensions and the generalization of double precisions. Using thecombined polar motion solution associated with the ITRF 2005, thenew solution is mainly based on the time series derived by tech-nique centres IGS, IVS and ILRS. In addition, formal errors associ-ated to EOPs are available. EOP series have been reprocessedsince 1984. Pole coordinates are now fully consistent with ITRF2005.The nutation offsets and UT1 are made consistent with the Interna-tional Celestial Reference Frame (ICRF) through the IVS combinedsolution. Tables 1 to 4 give statistics concerning the analyses ofBulletin B and 05 C04. A detailed description of the new solutioncan be found in Bizouard and Gambis (2008) and in the TechnicalNote available at <>.

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Table 1: Estimated accuracies of individual solutions compared to the combined solutions Bulle-tin B and 05 C04 over 2007–2008.

Estimated uncertainties Individual solutions Time Terrestrial Pole UT1 LOD Celestial Pole µas µs µas VLBI - 24 h EOP (AUS) 01 R 01 3-4d 204 – 222 EOP (BKG) 03 R 02 1-4d 105 7.0 129 EOP (GSFC) 07 R 01 1-4d 135 5.7 86 EOP (IAA) 05 R 02 1-4d 107 6.0 118 EOP (MAO) 03 R 01 1-4d 99 7.0 152 EOP (OPA) 07 R 01 1-4d 86 6.2 60 EOP (SPBU) 05 R 01 1-4d 260 6.8 118 EOP (USNO) 06 R 02 1-4d 95 5.8 86 EOP (IVS) 02 R 01 1-4d 100 5.4 96

VLBI - Intensive EOP (BKG) 03 R 02 1-3 d 12.4 EOP (GSFC) 06 R 01 1-3 d 11.3 EOP (IAA) 05 R 01 1-3 d 13.0 EOP (SPBU) 05 R 01 1-3 d 14.3 EOP (USNO) 05 R 01 1-3 d 13.1

SLR EOP (ASI) 03 L 02 1d 220 54.1 EOP (IAA) 02 L 01 1d 169 31.4 EOP (MCC) 97 L 01 1d 147 – EOP (OCA) 05 L 01 1d 133 – EOP (ILRS) 05 L 01 1d 66 17

GPS EOP (CODE) 98 P 01 1d 35 14.1 EOP (EMR) 96 P 03 1d 55 17.8 EOP (ESOC) 96 P 01 1d 50 36.3 EOP (GFZ) 96 P 02 1d 40 16.3 EOP (IAA) 01 P 01 1d 190 30.1 EOP (JPL) 96 P 03 1d 76 116.3 EOP (NOAA) 96 P 01 1d 75 15.9 EOP (SIO) 96 P 01 1d 47 17.9 EOP (USNO) 03 P 01 1d - 23.0 EOP (IGS) 07 P 01 1d 19 9.5 EOP (IGS) 96 P 02 1d 39 10.0

The satellite techniques provide information on the rate of change of Universal Time contaminated by effects due to non modelled orbit node motion. VLBI-based results have been used to minimize drifts in UT estimates.

The maintenance of the consistency between 05 C04 with the ITRFis essential in the field of geodynamics and satellite orbit computa-tion. The ITRF2005 was the first rigorous combination ensuring ITRFand EOP consistency, based on time series of station positionsand Earth Orientation Parameters (Altamimi et al. 2007). Its re-lease was the opportunity to re-align the C04 to the ITRF2005 sys-tem. IERS reference EOP series, based on the combination of astro-geodetic techniques products are currently independently computedfrom the ITRF. This leads to the existence and increase of small

Maintenance of theconsistency between the

current EOP 05 C04 solutionin the ITRF2005 system


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Table 2: Uncertainty of the current solution of Bulletin B and the estimated accuracies of the predictionsfor horizons of 5 days to 1 year for 2007–2008.

Table 3: Mean and standard deviation in microarcsecond of the differences between various combinedtechniques solutions and IERS 05 C04 over 2007–2008.

Table 4: Mean and standard deviation for Pole components and UT1 of the differences between varioussolutions and Bulletin B over 2007.3 to 2008.3.


Terrestrial Pole


Celestial Pole

mas ms mas

Analysis daily 1-d .040 .006 0.10

Prediction 1-d .50 .18 0.10 5-d 2 .60 0.10 10d 4 1.40 0.10 30d 12 5. 0.10 90d 50 30. 0.10 180d 60 70. 0.10 1-yr 76 140. 0.10

EO P IG S C om b – IER S 05C 04 ILR S C om b – IER S 05C 04 IVS C om b – IER S 05C 04

M ean S tandard deviation

M ean Standard deviation

M ean Standard devia tion

X (µas) 3 21 –133 166 –39 91

Y (µas) –60 19 –118 156 8 114

U T1 (µs) 9 28 4 6.6

LO D (µs) 0 11 22 54

D ψ sinε (µas) 5 50

D ψ (µas) –4 51



Bull A – Bull B

Comb JPL – Bull B

Mean Standard

deviation Mean Standard


X µas –29 27 –176 50 Y µas –15 31 –57 13

UT1 µs –1 13 8 11

inconsistencies between the terrestrial reference frame and EOP.After two years, it was important to assess the level of accuracyreached for the consistency between the current 05 C04 and theITRF2005 system.

In cooperation with the ITRS Centre we have developed a combi-nation strategy allowing to check the ITRF2005 and IERS 05 C04consistency with time.

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The 05 C04 EOP series is derived from the combination of seriesderived by technique centres, IGS, ILRS and IVS.

The process includes the following steps:

1) CATREF computation by the ITRS Centre of updated EOPsolutions based on SINEX files of GPS and VLBI techniques

2) Comparison of this EOP solution to the current 05 C04 EOPseries operationally computed by the Earth Orientation Cen-tre.

Results were presented at various conferences (Altamimi et al. 2008,Gambis et al. 2008). Figure 1 gives the level of consistency ob-tained. It appears that after two years we are able to maintain theoverall consistency within the level of 40 microarseconds betweenthe updated series of EOP derived from CATREF processing andthe 05 C04 independently computed. This is at the level of theinaccuracy reached for the current pole components estimation.

EOP(IERS) C 01 is a series of the Earth Orientation Parametersgiven at 0.1 year intervals from 1846 to 1889 (polar motion only) and0.05 year interval from 1890 until now (polar motion, celestial poleoffsets, UT1–UTC since 1962). For many decades, the observa-tions were made using mostly visual and photographic zenith tel-escopes. Since the advent of the space era in the 1960s, newgeodetic techniques were used for geodynamics. Now, the global

Strategy of the maintenance of 05C04 in the ITRF2005 system startingat 2006.0 using a SINEX combined

extension of EOP (ITRF2005)


Long-term series:C 01 (1846–2007)

Fig. 1: Polar Motion over 2000–2008, CATREF(2008) – 05 C04

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Mean Pole with respect to theIERS reference origin

observing activity involves Very Long Baseline Radio Interferometry(VLBI), Lunar (LLR) and Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR), Global Po-sitioning System (GPS) and more recently DORIS.

The C 01 series was recomputed in the course of 2003. It is acomposite series based on following temporal solutions:

1846–1899: Fedorov et al. (1972) polar motion solution derivedfrom three series of absolute declination programs(Pulkovo, Greenwich, Washington).

1900–1961: Vondrak et al. (1995) solution derived from opticalastrometry analyses based on the Hipparcosreference frame. The series gives polar motion,celestial pole offsets and Universal Time (since 1956).

1962–2007: BIH and IERS solutions (BIH and IERS annualreports).

The analyses of the observations of space geodesy require per-forming the transformation between both terrestrial and celestialframes via the Earth Orientation Parameters. Gravity field modelsinclude the tesseral coefficients C21 and S21. These terms de-scribe the position of the Earth’s figure axis with respect to theTerrestrial Reference Frame. This axis should coincide with theobserved position of the rotation pole averaged over the same timeperiod.

The mean polar motion is affected by a long-term drift westward(direction 70.7 deg West, rate: 4.2 mas/yr). The mean rotation axis

Fig. 2: Mean polar motion (1900–2010) and IERS C04 polhody over2002–2007

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with respect to the IERS Terrestrial Reference Frame can be con-sidered as the long-term trend obtained after filtering out the Chan-dler and seasonal terms, every year from 1900 to 2007 (Shiskin etal, 1965). Figure 2 represents the polar motion over 2001–2006 andthe path of the mean pole since 1900. The table is available inConventions 2003 (McCarthy and Petit 2004) and at <>.

Daniel Gambis Astronomer, HeadChristian Bizouard AstronomerGérard Francou AstronomerTeddy Carlucci EngineerJean Yves Richard Engineer (since November 2007)Olivier Becker Engineer (since November 2007)Morad Saïl Engineer (until December 2007)Mireille Bougeard MathematicianPascale Baudoin Secretary

Altamimi, Z., Collilieux X., Legrand J., Garayt B., Boucher, C., 2007:ITRF2005: A new release of the International Terrestrial Refer-ence Frame based on time series of station positions and EarthOrientation Parameters, J. Geophys. Res. 112, B09401, doi:10.1029/2007JB004949.

Altamimi, Z., Gambis, D., Bizouard Ch., 2008: Rigorous combina-tion to ensure ITRF and EOP consistency, Proceedings of theJournées 2007 Systemes de Référence Spatio-Temporels: TheCelestial Reference Frame for the Future, N. Capitaine (ed.), Paris,pp. 151–154.

Bizouard, C., Gambis, D., 2008: The combined solution C04 forEarth Orientation Parameters, recent improvements, SpringerVerlag series, accepted.

Fedorov, E.P., Korsun, A.A., Mayor, S.P., Pantscheenko, N.I., Tarady,V.K., Yatskiv, YA. S., 1972: Dvizhenie polyusa Zemli s 1890.0 po1969.0. Naukova dumka, Kiev (English translation of the text avail-able).

Gambis, D., 2004: Monitoring Earth Orientation at the IERS usingspace-geodetic observations., J. of Geodesy 78, pp. 295–303.

Gambis, D., Biancale, R., Carlucci, T., Lemoine, J.M., Marty, J.C.,Bourda G., Charlot, P., Loyer, S., Lalanne, L., Soudarin, L., 2008:Combination of Earth Orientation Parameters and terrestrial frameat the observation level, Springer Verlag series, accepted.

McCarthy, D.D., Petit, G. (eds.), 2004: IERS Conventions (2003),BKG, Frankfurt am Main (IERS Technical Note No. 32; Website:<>).

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Shiskin, J., Young, A.H., Musgrave J.C., 1965: The X-11 variant ofthe Census Method II seasonal adjustment program, U.S. Dept.of Commerce, Bureau of the Census (Technical Paper No 15).

Vondrak J., Ron C., Pesek I., Cepek A., 1995: New global solutionof Earth orientation parameters from optical astrometry in 1900–1990, Astron. Astrophys. 297, 899–906.

Daniel Gambis, Christian Bizouard, Jean Yves Richard,Teddy Carlucci, Morad Saïl, Olivier Becker

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3.5.2 Rapid Service/Prediction Centre

Processing Techniques The algorithm used by the IERS Rapid Service/Prediction Centerfor the determination of the quick-look Earth orientation parameters(EOP) is based on a weighted cubic spline with adjustable smooth-ing fit to contributed observational data (McCarthy and Luzum,1991a). Contributed data are corrected for possible systematic dif-ferences. Biases and rates are determined with respect to the 97C04 (before 14 June 2007) and 05 C04 (on and after 14 June 2007)systems of the IERS Earth Orientation Center (EOC). Statisticalweighting used in the spline is proportional to the inverse square ofthe estimated accuracy of the individual techniques. Minimal smooth-ing is applied, consistent with the estimated accuracy of the obser-vational data.

Weights in the algorithm may be either a priori values estimatedby the standard deviation of the residual of the techniques or valuesbased on the internal precision reported by contributors. Estimatedaccuracies of data contributed to the IERS Rapid Service/Predic-tion Center are given in Table 1. These estimates are based on theresiduals of between the series and the combined RS/PC EOPsolution for 2007.

Table 1: Estimated accuracies of the techniques in 2007. Units are milliseconds of arcfor x, y, δψ, δε, dX, and dY and milliseconds of time for UT1–UTC.

Contributor Information Estimated Accuracy Name, Type x y UT1 δψ (dX) δε (dY)

ILRS SLR 0.21 0.21 IAA SLR 0.17 0.21 MCC SLR 0.12 0.15 GSFC VLBI Intensives 0.013 SPbU VLBI Intensives 0.014 USNO VLBI Intensives 0.013 GSFC VLBI 0.07 0.08 0.003 0.4 0.1 IAA1 VLBI 0.10 0.11 0.004 (0.1) (0.1) IVS1 VLBI 0.10 0.15 0.003 (0.1) (0.1) USNO VLBI 0.08 0.12 0.005 0.4 0.1 IGS Final 0.02 0.02 IGS Rapid 0.02 0.03 IGS Ultra 0.05 0.06 USNO GPS UT* 0.017* EMR GPS UT* 0.024* USNO AAM UT 0.011

*All satellite techniques provide information on the rate of change of Universal Time contaminated by effects due to unmodeled orbit node motion. VLBI-based results have been used to correct for LOD biases and to minimize drifts in UT estimates. 1 IAA and IVS VLBI nutation values are in terms of dX/dY using IAU 2000A Nutation Theory.

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Operationally, the weighted spline uses as input the epoch of ob-servation, the observed value, and the weight of each individual datapoint. The software computes the spline coefficients for every datapoint which are then used to interpolate the Earth orientation pa-rameter time series so that x, y, UT1–UTC, δψ, and δε values arecomputed at the epoch of zero hours UTC for each day. Since thecelestial pole offset software is written in terms of δψ and δε, theIAA VLBI dX and dY values are converted to δψ and δε for the com-bination process. The LOD are derived from the UT1–UTC data. Theanalytical expression for the first derivative of the cubic spline pass-ing through the UT1–UTC data is used to estimate the LOD at theepoch of the UT1–UTC data.

The only data points that are excluded from the combination proc-ess are the points whose errors, as reported by the contributors,are greater than three times their average reported precision or thosepoints that have a residual that is more than four times the associ-ated a priori error estimate. Since all of the observations are re-ported with the effects of sub-daily variations removed, the inputdata are not corrected for these effects (see IERS Gazette No. 13,30 January 1997).

Table 2: Mean and standard deviation of the differences between theRapid Service/Prediction Center solutions and 97/05 C04 EOP solutionsfor 2007. Polar motion x and y values are in milliseconds of arc and UT1–UTC values are in units of milliseconds of time.

Bulletin A – C04 Mean Std. Deviation

Bulletin A Rapid Solution ( x –0.04 0.04 y –0.01 0.04

UT1–UTC 0.000 0.014

Bulletin A Weekly Solution ( x –0.02 0.06 y –0.03 0.04

UT1–UTC –0.014 0.029

Bulletin A Daily Solution (finals.daily) x 0.00 0.11

(before MJD 54265/after MJD 54300)2 (0.14/0.07) y –0.03 0.12

(before MJD 54265/after MJD 54300)2 (0.16/0.08) UT1–UTC 0.012 0.060

1 Statistics computed over the 7 day combination solution period prior to solution epoch. 2 before MJD 54265 indicates the data compared against the 97 C04 and after MJD 54300 indicates the data after the implementation of the IGS Ultra in the combination procedures.

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Prediction Techniques

The uncertainties in the daily values listed in Bulletin A are derivedfrom the quality of the spline fit in the neighborhood of the day inquestion. Table 2 shows the accuracies of Rapid Service/Predic-tion Center’s combination solution for the running, the weekly, andthe daily products compared to the 97/05 C04 series maintained bythe IERS EOC at the Paris Observatory. The running solution is thecombination solution over the past 365-day period. The statisticsfor the running solution at year’s end show the agreement betweenthe Bulletin A running combination solution and the 97/05 C04 se-ries for the entire year. The comparison of the 52 weekly solutionsto the 97/05 C04 series gives the statistics of the residuals com-puted over the new combination results for the 7-days prior to thesolution epoch. The statistics for the daily solution are the differ-ences for the day of the solution epoch. EOP accuracies for theBulletin A rapid weekly solution for the new combination for the dayof the solution run and daily solution at the time of solution epochare similar and therefore, not included in the table.

Figure 1 shows the residuals between the daily Bulletin A rapidsolution and the 97/05 C04 and presents the data used in Table 2for the determination of the Bulletin A daily solution statistics. Thisyear Bulletin A had only small reductions in the mean differenceand standard deviations. The small bias difference in the polar mo-tion x component appears to be due to different corrections for thechange in the International GNSS Service (IGS) series due to theswitch from relative phase center to absolute phase center correc-tions. The two large residuals in the daily polar motion in the earlypart of the year are the result of an unexpected change in input dataformat from a contributor. The larger difference in UT1–UTC is causedby differences in the way non-VLBI UT data sources are handledbetween the two centers. These UT1 differences are an area ofongoing investigation.

In 2007, the algorithm for polar motion predictions was changed toincorporate the least-squares, autoregressive (LS+AR) method cre-ated by W. Kosek and improved by T. Johnson (personal communi-cation, 2006). This method solves for a linear, annual, semiannual,1/3 annual, 1/4 annual, and Chandler periods fit to the previous 400days of observed values for x and y. This deterministic model issubtracted from the polar motion values to create residuals, whichare more stochastic in nature. The AR algorithm is then used topredict the stochastic process while a deterministic model consist-ing of the linear, annual, semiannual, and Chandler terms is used topredict the deterministic process. The polar motion prediction isthe addition of the deterministic and stochastic predictions. Theadditional unused terms in the deterministic solution help to absorberrors in the deterministic model caused by the variable amplitudeand phase of the deterministic components (T. Johnson, personal

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Fig. 1: Residuals between dailyBulletin A rapid solutions at each dailysolution epoch for 2007 and the Earthorientation parameters available in 97/05 C04 series produced in April 2008.

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communication, 2006). For more information on the implementa-tion of the LS+AR model, see Stamatakos et al. (2008).

The procedure for UT1–UTC involves a simple technique ofdifferencing (McCarthy and Luzum, 1991b). All known effects suchas leap seconds, solid Earth zonal tides, and seasonal effects arefirst removed from the observed values of UT1–UTC. Then, to deter-mine a prediction of UT1–UTC n days into the future, (UT2R–TAI)n,the smoothed time value from n days in the past, <(UT2R–TAI)–n> issubtracted from the most recent value, (UT2R–TAI)0

(UT2R–TAI)n =2(UT2R–TAI)0 –<(UT2R–TAI)–n>.

The amount of smoothing used in this procedure depends on thelength of the forecast. Short-term predictions with small values of nmake use of less smoothing than long-term predictions. Once thisvalue is obtained, it is possible to account for known effects inorder to obtain the prediction of UT1–UTC. This process is repeatedfor each day’s prediction.

The UT1–UTC prediction out to a few days is strongly influencedby the observed daily Universal Time estimates derived at USNOfrom the motions of the GPS orbit planes reported by the IGS Rapidservice. The IGS estimates for LOD are combined with the GPS-based UT estimates to constrain the UT1 rate of change for themost recent observation.

The UT1–UTC prediction also makes use of a UT1-like data prod-uct derived from a combination of the operational NCEP and U.S.Navy NOGAPS AAM analysis and forecast data (UTAAM). AAM-based predictions are used to determine the UT1 predictions out toa prediction length of 5 days. For longer predictions, the LODexcitations are combined smoothly with the longer-term UT1 pre-dictions described above. In October 2007, the length of AAM fore-casts increased from 5 to 7.5 days. This change means that AAMforecasts are the basis of UT1 predictions out to 7 days. For moreinformation on the use of the UT AAM data, see Stamatakos et al.(2008).

Errors of the estimates are derived from analyses of the pastdifferences between observations and the published predictions.Formulas published in Bulletin A can be used to extend the tabulardata. The predictions of δψ and δε are based on the IERS Conven-tions (McCarthy, 1996; McCarthy and Petit, 2004). Table 3 showsthe standard deviation of the differences between the Bulletin Adaily solution predictions and the 97/05 C04 solution for 2007. Ini-tial estimates indicated that the UT1–UTC prediction performancewould be improved by 42% at 10 days into the future by the additionof UTAAM to the combination and prediction process (Johnson etal., 2005). However, comparisons of the UT1–UTC prediction per-formance from 2003 to those estimated in 2001 (before UTAAM

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Days in









mas 1 .11 .12 .33 .14 5 .11 .12 .33 .14 10 .11 .11 .34 .14 20 .11 .11 .33 .15 40 .11 .11 .34 .16

Table 4: Root mean square of the differencesbetween the nutation prediction series producedby the daily Bulletin A rapid solutions and the 97/05 C04 solution for 2007.

was introduced) indicated a better than 50% improvement in pre-diction error at both 10 day and 20 days into the future.

For 2007, the prediction errors were, in general, better than thoseof 2006. The polar motion predictions errors returned to historicallevels as the amplitude of the polar motion loops is much smallerthan the amplitude of the polar motion in 2007. The prediction ofpolar motion has been improved by the switch to the LS+AR pre-diction method. The UT1–UTC prediction shows a slight indicationof improvement due to the switch from AAM forecast lengths beingextended from 5 to 7.5 days. Further investigation to confirm thistrend is needed.

The predictions of celestial pole offsets (both dX/dY and δψ/δεrepresentations) are produced through the use of the KSV1996model (McCarthy, 1996). In addition, a bias between the model andthe last 20 days worth of celestial pole offset observations is com-puted. This bias is tapered so that as the prediction length is ex-

Table 3: Root mean square of the differencesbetween the EOP time series predictions producedby the daily Bulletin A rapid solutions and the 97/05C04 combination solutions for 2007.

Days in Future






ms 1 .42 .33 .141 11 (.46/.37) (.39/.28) 5 2.06 1.33 .452 10 3.75 2.27 .921 20 6.92 4.26 3.29 40 12.1 8.47 7.77 90 15.3 17.7 13.4

1 the first number indicates the data compared against the 97 C04 and the second number indicates the data after the implementation of the IGS Ultra in the combination procedures.

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Center Activities in 2007

tended, the bias becomes increasingly small. Since celestial poleoffsets are based solely on VLBI data, if no new VLBI 24-hour ses-sion observations are available, a new rapid combination/predictionof these angles is not determined. Therefore, the predictions ofcelestial pole offset start before the solution epoch and the lengthof the prediction into the future can and does vary in the daily solu-tion files. The differences between the daily Bulletin A predictionsand the 97/05 C04 for 2007 are given in Table 4.Predictions of TT–UT1 up to 2017 January 1, are given in Table 5.They are derived using a prediction algorithm similar to that em-ployed in the Bulletin A predictions of UT1–UTC. Up to twenty yearsof past observations of TT–UT1 are used. Estimates of the expectedone-sigma error for each of the predicted values are also given.These are based on analyses of the past performance of the modelwith respect to the observations.

Additional information on improvements to IERS Bulletin A andthe significance for predictions of GPS orbits for real-time users isavailable (Luzum et al., 2001; Wooden et al., 2004; Stamatakos etal. 2008).

During 2007 a number of changes occurred that affected the per-formance of IERS Bulletin A. On 14 June, the system of the BulletinA was changed to match the system of the new 05 C04 solution ofthe IERS EOC. This change made the EOPs more consistent withthe ITRF. The LS+AR polar motion prediction algorithm was imple-mented on 25 January. Electronic-VLBI (e-VLBI) became opera-tional for certain aspects of the VLBI Intensive observations improv-ing the quick-turnaround UT1 combination and short-term UT1 pre-dictions. IGS Ultra data were added to the polar motion combina-tion on 19 July, improving the quick-turnaround polar motion combi-nation. The improvement can be seen in the statistics presented inTables 2 and 3. These statistics show that there was a significantreduction in the scatter of the residuals after the inclusion of theIGS Ultras. This reduction is seen in both the daily combinationand 1-day daily prediction values, as expected. The ILRS Series Awas added to the operational procedures on 25 January, improvingthe robustness of the combined polar motion solution. On 4 Octo-ber, the forecast length of the AAM data increased from 5 days to7.5 days, improving the information available for near-term UT1 fore-casts. Additional efforts included improving operational software,updating and monitoring currently used datasets, and investigatingpotential new data sets. Additional work to increase the robustnessof an alternate site to mirror data storage for the combination process-ing was carried out.

New global solutions were received from GSFC, USNO, IAA, andIVS VLBI analysis centers. These new solutions were examinedand new rates and biases were computed.

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Availability of Rapid Service

Table 5: Predicted values of TT–UT1, 2008–2017.Note that UT1–TAI can be obtained from this tableusing the expression UT1–TAI = 32.184s – (TT–UT1).

DATE TT–UT1 Uncertainty

(s) (s)

2008 Jan 1 65.457 0.000 2008 Apr 1 65.545 0.000 2008 Jul 1 65.60 0.007 2008 Oct 1 65.62 0.01 2009 Jan 1 65.70 0.02 2009 Apr 1 65.79 0.02 2009 Jul 1 66.2 0.2 2009 Oct 1 66.3 0.3 2010 Jan 1 66.5 0.4 2010 Apr 1 66.6 0.4 2010 Jul 1 66.8 0.5 2010 Oct 1 66.9 0.7 2011 Jan 1 67.1 0.8 2011 Apr 1 67.2 0.9 2011 Jul 1 67 1. 2011 Oct 1 67 1. 2012 Jan 1 68. 1. 2012 Apr 1 68. 1. 2012 Jul 1 68. 2. 2012 Oct 1 68. 2. 2013 Jan 1 68. 2. 2013 Apr 1 68. 2. 2013 Jul 1 68. 2. 2013 Oct 1 69. 2. 2014 Jan 1 69. 2. 2014 Apr 1 69. 3. 2014 Jul 1 69. 3. 2014 Oct 1 69. 3. 2015 Jan 1 69. 3. 2015 Apr 1 69. 3. 2015 Jul 1 69. 3. 2015 Oct 1 70. 3. 2016 Jan 1 70. 4. 2016 Apr 1 70. 4. 2016 Jul 1 70. 4. 2016 Oct 1 70. 4. 2017 Jan 1 70. 4.

The data available from the IERS Rapid Service/Prediction Centerconsist mainly of the data used in the IERS Bulletin A. These datainclude: x, y, UT1–UTC, dX and dY from IAA VLBI; x, y, UT1–UTC,δψ and δε from GSFC VLBI; x, y, UT1–UTC, δψ and δε from USNOVLBI; x, y, UT1–UTC, δX and δY from IVS combination VLBI; UT1–UTC from Saint Petersburg University 1-day Intensives; UT1–UTCfrom GSFC 1-day Intensives; UT1–UTC from USNO 1-day Intensives;x, y from Institute of Applied Astronomy 1-day SLR; x, y from the

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Center Staff

Russian Mission Control Center 1-day SLR; x, y, LOD from theInternational GNSS Service; UT from USNO GPS; UT from NRCanada(EMR) GPS; UT from NCEP AAM; UT from NAVY NOGAPS AAM;x, y, UT1–UTC, δψ and δε from the IERS Rapid Service/PredictionCenter; x, y, UT1–UTC, δψ and δε from the IERS Earth OrientationCenter; and predictions of x, y, UT1–UTC from the IERS RapidService/Prediction Center.

In addition to this published information, other data sets are avail-able. These include: UT0–UTC from University of Texas as AustinLLR, UT0–UTC from JPL LLR; UT0–UTC from CERGA LLR; UT0–UTC from JPL VLBI; latitude and UT0–UTC from Washington PZTs1,3,7; latitude and UT0–UTC from Richmond PZTs 2,6; LOD fromILRS 1-day SLR; x, y, UT1–UTC from CSR LAGEOS 3-day SLR; xand y from CSR LAGEOS 5-day SLR; x and y from Delft 1-, 3- and5-day SLR; and x, y, UT1–UTC, δψ and δε from IRIS VLBI.

The data described above are available from the Center in a numberof forms. You may request a weekly machine-readable version ofthe IERS Bulletin A containing the current ninety days’ worth ofpredictions via electronic mail from

[emailprotected] or through

Internet users can also direct an anonymous FTP to

where the IERS Bulletin A and more complete databases can beaccessed including the daily Bulletin solutions.

The Rapid Service/Prediction Center staff consisted of the followingmembers:

William Wooden DirectorBrian Luzum Program manager, research, and software

maintenanceNick Stamatakos Operational procedure manager, research,

and software maintenanceGillian Brockett Assists in daily operations and support,

research, and software maintenanceMerri Sue Carter Assists in daily operations and supportBeth Stetzler Assists in daily operations and support,

research, and software maintenance

In the second half of 2007, Beth Stetzler joined the IERS RapidService and Prediction Center.

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References Johnson, T.J, Luzum, B.J., and Ray, J.R., 2005, Improved near-term UT1R predictions using forecasts of atmospheric angularmomentum, J. Geodynamics, 39(3), 209.

Luzum, B.J., Ray, J.R., Carter, M.S., and Josties, F.J., 2001, Re-cent Improvements to IERS Bulletin A Combination and Predic-tion, GPS Solutions, 4(3), 34–40.

McCarthy, D.D. and Luzum, B.J., 1991a, Combination of PreciseObservations of the Orientation of the Earth, Bulletin Geodesique,65, 22–27.

McCarthy, D.D. and Luzum, B.J., 1991b, Prediction of Earth Orien-tation, Bulletin Geodesique, 65, 18–21.

McCarthy, D.D. (ed.), 1996, IERS Conventions (1996), IERS Tech-nical Note No. 21, Paris Observatory, France.

McCarthy, D.D. and G. Petit (eds.), 2004, IERS Conventions (2003),IERS Technical Note No. 32, Verlag des Bundesamts für Karto-graphie und Geodäsie, Frankfurt, Germany.

Stamatakos, N., Luzum, B., Wooden, W., 2008, “Recent Improve-ments in IERS Rapid Service/Prediction Center Products,” ac-cepted in Proc. Journées Systèmes de Référence Spatio-Temporels, Paris, 17–19 Sept. 2007.

Wooden, W.H., Johnson, T.J., Carter, M.S., and Myers, A.E., 2004,Near Real-time IERS Products, Proc. Journées Systèmes deRéférence Spatio-Temporels, St. Petersburg, 22–25 Sept 2003,160–163.

Brian Luzum, Nicholas Stamatakos, Gillian Brockett,Merri Sue Carter, Beth Stetzler, William Wooden

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3.5.3 Conventions Centre

1. Technical topics

The Conventions Center is provided jointly by the Bureau Interna-tional des Poids et Mesures (BIPM) and the U.S. Naval Observa-tory (USNO).

The Conventions Center provides updated versions of the Con-ventions in electronic form, after approval of the IERS Directing Board.In the mean time, work on interim versions is also available elec-tronically. In addition to the electronic releases, printed versions ofthe Conventions will be provided at less frequent intervals or whenmajor changes are introduced.

In 2007, the work accomplished or in progress is the following.

The background work of keeping track of corrections, typos andsmall changes that improve the readability of the documents con-tinued in 2007. More technical or complex issues are first discussed,e.g. through the Advisory Board or on the discussion forum (<>), where topics are identified as needinginvestigation and possible developments for future versions of theConventions. Several such topics concern contributions to the dif-ference between the instantaneous position of a site and its adoptedposition, such as the effects of geocenter motion or atmosphericloading. It is expected that all effects (such as station displace-ment) that are periodic and have a consistent and accurate a priorimodel, expressed in closed form, should be included in the IERSConventions. Models for long-term or non-periodic effects, whichhave an impact on the definition of reference frames, are also to bestudied, although their inclusion as conventional effects will need tobe discussed.

Work on the following major topics was started, on-going or com-pleted in 2007:

A general revision of the chapter has begun with the primary goal ofincorporating the ITRF 2005 into the chapter. Principal contributorsto this effort are C. Boucher, Z. Altamimi, J. Ries, and U. Hugentobler.

The free core nutation (FCN) is a free motion with variable excita-tion that causes the amplitude and phase of the motion to be un-predictable at some level. Because of this, the FCN was not in-cluded in the IAU 2000A nutation model, and therefore has beenaccommodated separately. The FCN model of S. Lambert was se-lected as the conventional model on 23 October 2007. Principalcontributors to this effort are S. Lambert, Z. Malkin, and B. Luzum.

Modifications were made to Chapter 5 to make the chapter’s termi-nology more consistent with current IAU recommendations. In ad-dition, the references for the planetary fundamental arguments were

1.1 Terrestrial reference frame

1.2 Free Core Nutation

1.3 Terminology and models forTransformations

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revised to make them clearer. Work has begun on incorporating theIAU 2006 Precession model into the Conventions. Principal con-tributors to this effort are N. Capitaine, P. Wallace, and B. Luzum.

The diurnal heating of the atmosphere induces surface pressureoscillations at mostly diurnal S1 and semidiurnal S2 harmonics,which produce station displacement due to loading. These can havean amplitude of 1.5 mm. Using the Ray and Ponte (AnnalesGeophysicae 21, 2003) tidal representation, a model is proposedto compute the station displacement as grid values and an interpo-lation program. These can be found at <>.Implementation in Chapter 7 „Displacement of reference points“ isnot yet complete. Principal contributors to this effort are T. van Damand R. Ray.

The subroutine dehanttideinel.f, which computes the tidal correc-tions of station displacements caused by lunisolar gravitational at-traction, has been updated by H. Manche and G. Petit. These up-dates include replacing subroutines DUTC and FJLDY with the SOFAsubroutines iau_CAL2JD and iau_DAT and modifying the time ar-guments of subroutine STEP2DIU.

Currently, there is no conventional subroutine to compute the tidalvariations in Earth rotation for the Defraigne and Smits model. Aroutine has been written utilizing the new software template. Thesubroutine is currently under external review. Principal contributorsto this effort are B. Luzum and B. Stetzler.

A completely revised version of the chapter was released on 28June 2007. For optical techniques, it describes a new model forzenith delay (Mendes and Pavlis, Geophys. Res. Lett. 31, 2004)and a new mapping function, both adopted by the ILRS as of 1January 2007. For radio techniques, since the recommended map-ping functions cited in the Conventions (2003), have now been shownto have deficiencies, an expert panel was assembled to review thecurrent recommendations. The VMF1 (Boehm et al., J. Geophys.Res. 111, 2006) is now the recommended mapping function, whichrequires input coefficients determined from numeric weather model.For users not needing the highest accuracy, the GMF (Boehm etal., Geophys. Res. Lett. 33, 2006), which uses standard input coef-ficients, is provided. Principal contributors to this effort are J. Boehm,G. Hulley, A. Niell, E. Pavlis and J. Ray.

A new section regarding ionospheric models for radio techniques,including higher order terms, is under way. Principal contributors tothis effort are M. Pajares and A. Krankowski.

1.4 Atmospheric tidal loading

1.5 Lunisolar station displacements

1.6 Tidal variations in Earth rotation

1.7 Tropospheric mapping function

1.8 Ionospheric models for radiotechniques

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The IERS Conventions Workshop was held in anticipation of theupcoming new registered edition of the IERS Conventions. Theworkshop was organized to discuss relevant models for inclusion inthe Conventions, to determine milestones for achieving the nextregistered edition, and to discuss long-term technical and institu-tional issues. The major results of the workshop include:

• the definition of classes of models and criteria for choosingmodels,

• how to deal with non-tidal loading effects and displace-ments,

• atmospheric loading,

• tropospheric model,

• model for ocean tide effects on geopotential,

• model for diurnal and semidiurnal EOP variations, and

• considerations for technique-dependent effects.

It was decided to tentatively schedule the next registered edition for2009. For an executive summary of the IERS Workshop, see <>.

In an effort to make the IERS Conventions more efficient to main-tain and more user-friendly, a series of procedural changes havebeen initiated. Below are a list of the procedural changes that werestarted, on-going or completed in 2007:

The Conventions Update page has been modified to not only in-clude information and links to past updates, but to also provideinformation and links to planned and possible changes. This pro-vides users insight into the directions that Conventions may betaking in the near future, allowing users to plan better regardingimplementation of standardized models. This improvement was madein February 2008.

A topic discussed at the Conventions Workshop was the benefit ofproviding standardized software. In an effort to work toward thatgoal, a software template was designed based on the IAU Stand-ards of Fundamental Astronomy (SOFA) software template. Thistemplate will encourage a structure that will provide consistent in-formation for software users that should improve the utility of thesubroutines.

A draft plan of action has been created to define the expectationsfor each chapter in preparation for the next registered edition. Italso clearly assigns responsibility for each chapter to a member ofthe Conventions Center.

2. Conventions Workshop

3. Procedural Topics

3.1 Conventions Updateweb page updated

3.2 Software Standardization

3.3 Plan of Action

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4. Dissemination ofinformation

List of updates

The Conventions web site (<>), including thediscussion forum (<>), has been main-tained. The web pages for the Conventions updates (<>) are continuously modi-fied, as required by changes in the texts, routines or data files.

The list of updates as of 6 March 2008 to the Conventions since thelast IERS Conventions Annual Report follows (an updated list isavailable online at <>):

• 16 February 2007: Changes (provided by P. Wallace and N.Capitaine) with respect to the previous version of the chapter:Revised section 5.8.3 to make the references for the plan-etary fundamental arguments clear.

• 20 June 2007:• The subroutine dehanttideinel.f has been updated. It re-

mains under review for some other possible corrections(these effects should be < 0.05 mm).

• The dutc subroutine has been corrected (from H. Manche).The effect is < 0.05 mm.

• The step2diu subroutine has been corrected (from V.Tesmer). The effect may exceed 0.1 mm.

• 28 June 2007: Chapter 9 has been completely rewritten. Themain contributors to the new writing of the chapter are J. Boehm,G. Hulley, A. Niell, E. Pavlis.

Felicitas Arias (BIPM)Brian Luzum (co-director, USNO)Dennis McCarthy (USNO)Gérard Petit (co-director, BIPM)Beth Stetzler (USNO)

Gérard Petit, Brian Luzum

Chapter 5: Transformation Betweenthe Celestial and Terrestrial Systems

Chapter 7: Displacements ofreference points

Chapter 9: Tropospheric Model

5. Conventions Center Staff

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3.5.4 ICRS Centre


Maintenance and extensionof the ICRF

The IAU has charged the IERS with the responsibility of monitoringthe International Celestial Reference System (ICRS), maintainingits current realization, the International Celestial Reference Frame(ICRF), and maintaining and improving the links with other celestialreference frames. Starting in 2001, these activities have been runjointly by the ICRS Center (US Naval Observatory and Observatoirede Paris) of the IERS and the International VLBI Service for Geod-esy and Astrometry (IVS), in coordination with the IAU. The presentreport was jointly prepared by the U.S. Naval Observatory and ParisObservatory components of the ICRS Center. The ICRS Center website <> provides information on thecharacterization and construction of the ICRF (radio source no-menclature, physical characteristics of radio sources, astrometricbehavior of a set of sources, radio source structure). This informa-tion is also available by anonymous ftp (<>), and on request to the ICRS Center ([emailprotected]).

Some activities of the Paris Observatory IVS Analysis Center (OPAR,Gontier et al., 2006) are linked to the ICRS maintenance and im-provement of quasar catalogues, and are also in relation to the IAU/IVS/IERS working group “Second realization of the ICRF”. We havecomputed the time series of radio source coordinates for approxi-mately 500 radio sources, in parallel to the operational VLBI solu-tions. Most of the available diurnal VLBI sessions from 1984 involv-ing at least three antennas are processed. The products and re-lated statistics are made available on the OPAR Analysis Centerweb site <> in both ASCII and VOTable for-mat. They are updated quarterly. As a contribution to the secondrealization of the ICRF, coordinate time series have been investi-gated to determine a set of sources that could be used to define theaxes of the next ICRF with increased accuracy and stability. Forthis purpose, we developed a simple selection scheme in order toisolate 200 to 300 sources (Gontier & Lambert, 2008). We showedthat using the selected sources improves the stability of the ICRFaxes by about 25% with respect to the current ICRF.

On-going efforts have been made to identify the various sourcesof uncertainties in the nutation estimates and to minimize theireffects. In this context, we have investigated the contribution of thecelestial reference frame instabilities to nutation estimates (Lam-bert et al., 2008).

In the framework of the validation of individual VLBI referencesframes, individual celestial reference frames obtained in 2007 byfive laboratories have been compared to ICRF-Ext.2 (Fey et al.,2004).

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The solution RSC (AUS) 07 R 01 calculated at Geosciences Aus-tralia with the OCCAM 6.2 software is included in this report. Theorientation of the celestial frame has been defined by applying a no-net-rotation constraint to the positions of 212 defining sources inICRF-Ext.2. The a priori models are IERS 2003 for the precession,MHB2000 (Mathews et al., 2002) for the nutation. In this solutiontroposphere gradients have been adjusted. VLBI observationsanalyzed span over the period November 1979 – April 2007. Clockoffsets, wet delays, gradients and EOP were considered asstochastic parameters with relevant covariance functions. VMF1mapping function (Boehm & Schuh, 2004) has been applied for thetroposphere modeling.

The individual frame RSC (BKGI) 07 R 03 elaborated at the Fed-eral Agency for Cartography and Geodesy and the Geodetic Insti-tute of the University of Bonn (Germany) has been evaluated usingCALC 10.0 / SOLVE release 2006.12.15. The celestial referenceframe has been oriented by a no-net-rotation constraint imposed tothe positions of the 212 defining sources as in ICRF-Ext.1 (IERS1999). The a priori precession and nutation models are IERS 2003.Troposphere gradients have been adjusted in the solution. The timespan of the observations is January 1984 – October 2007. VMF1mapping function has been applied for the troposphere modeling.

RSC (IAA) 07 R 02 is the extragalactic frame produced by theInstitute of Applied Astronomy in Saint Petersburg, Russia with theQUASAR software. The observations range in the period August1979 – December 2007. The celestial frame has been oriented by ano-net-rotation imposed to the positions of 212 defining sources inICRF-Ext.2. The a priori precession and nutation models are bothIAU 2000. Troposphere gradients have been adjusted in the solu-tion.

The RSC (OPA) 07 R 04 frame was obtained at the Paris Ob-servatory analysis center with the CALC 10.0 / Solve 2006.06.08software. The a priori models are IERS 2003 for the precession andIAU 2000 for the nutation. A no-net-rotation constraint is applied tothe 247 stable sources of Feissel-Vernier et al. (2006). The VLBIobservation analyzed span over the period January 1984 – Decem-ber 2007 and the NMF mapping function has been applied for thetroposphere modeling. Troposphere gradients have been adjustedin the solution.

RSC (CGS) 07 R 01 is the extragalactic frame produced by theSpace Geodesy Center in Matera, Italy from observations in theperiod August 1979 – December 2007. The software used is CALC10.0 / SOLVE release 2006.04.05, revision 2006.04.10. The celes-tial frame has been oriented by a no-net-rotation imposed to thepositions of 199 defining sources in ICRF-Ext.1. The a priori pre-cession and nutation models are both IERS 1996. Troposphere

The reference frames analyzed

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gradients have been adjusted in the solution.Positions and velocities of stations have been estimated as glo-

bal parameters for the BKGI, IAA and OPA frames with a no-net-translation and a no-net-rotation constraints applied on 26 VTRF2005stations for the BKGI, 11 VTRF2005 stations for the IAA, 35ITRF2000 stations for the OPA and 39 ITRF2000 stations for theCGS solution. Daily station positions are estimated for the AUSframe with a no-net-translation and a no-net-rotation constraintswith respect to ITRF2000 applied on a daily basis.

The characteristics of the analyzed frames are given in Table 1.Five categories of sources appear in the table: defining, candidateand other correspond to the classification of ICRF sources (Ma etal., 1998); new refers to the sources added in ICRF-Ext.2; addi-tional represents sources observed in VLBI programs and not presentin ICRF-Ext.2. The values of the median of the coordinate uncer-tainties indicate that all frames, except AUS (for sources other thandefining), are of similar quality.

The catalogues listed in Table 1 have been compared to ICRF-Ext.2.A revised algorithm of comparison was used. The coordinate differ-ences between two frames are modeled by a global rotation of theaxes, represented by the angles A1, A2, A3, and by a deformationrepresented by one parameter: dz, which is a bias between theprincipal plane of the frame relative to that of ICRF-Ext.2. In thefitting used until 2006 slopes in right ascension and declinationwere modeled; as these deformation parameters proved to be neg-ligible over some years of comparison, they have been removedfrom the model. Parameter dz is equivalent to the former Bδ.

∆α = A1 tg δ cos α + A2 tg δ sin α – A3

∆δ = –A1 sin α + A2 cos α + dz

Under the hypothesis that ICRF-Ext.2 is free from deformations,the systematic effects detected in the comparisons should be in-terpreted as deformations in the individual frames. Defining sources

Table 1: Individual VLBI celestial reference frames analyzed. n is the number of sources, m is the medianof the coordinate uncertainties. Unit: mas.

Frame Tot. Defining Candidate Other New Additional dec

N n m n m n m n m n m (°)

RSC (AUS) 07 R 01 1515 210 0.05 259 0.19 4 0.32 100 0.32 942 1.68 -81;+86

RSC (BKGI) 07 R 03 1076 209 0.04 225 0.05 101 0.02 84 0.12 457 0.32 -81;+86

RSC (IAA) 07 R 02 962 212 0.06 282 0.09 102 0.03 109 0.20 257 0.47 -81;+84

RSC (OPA) 07 R 04 535 189 0.07 160 0.06 93 0.03 51 0.13 42 0.14 -81;+84

RSC (CGS) 07 R 01 637 199 0.03 213 0.03 99 0.01 67 0.06 59 0.09 -80;+84

Comparison of individual celestialframes to ICRF-Ext.2

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Investigation of futurerealizations of the ICRS

common to each individual frame and ICRF-Ext.2 have been usedfor the comparisons. The four parameters have been evaluated by aweighted least squares fit; the equations have been weighted usingthe inverse of the variance of the coordinate differences. The fittedparameters allow the transformation of coordinates in the individualframes into ICRS.

The results of the comparisons are shown in Table 2 for the valuesof the transformation parameters and in Figure 1 for the distributionof the postfit residuals.

The values of the angles A1, A2, A3 in Table 2 show that the individualreference frames realize the axes of the ICRF better than 40 µas,and that they are consistent at the level of their uncertainties. Theseuncertainties indicate that, after rotation, the inconsistency betweenthe directions of the axes is at most 22 µas, with the exception ofthe AUS solution. The dz parameter quantifies the bias betweenthe principal plane of each individual frames and that of the ICRS.For the solutions computed by AUS and BKGI, the biases are sig-nificant. In contrast, the principal planes of the OPA, CGS, and IAAframes are aligned to that of ICRS at the level of 20 µas.

Involvement by ICRS Center personnel in the celestial referenceframe VLBI program continued in 2007, increasing the number ofobservations of ICRF quasars in the southern celestial hemisphereand continuing an extensive observing program in the northern hemi-sphere. This observing program will eventually result in a new reali-zation of the ICRS, tentatively called ICRF 2. Plans for the formula-tion of ICRF 2 were discussed at XXVIth General Assembly of theInternational Astronomical Union (IAU) held in Prague, Czech Re-public in August 2006. In cooperation with the International VLBIService for Geodesy and Astrometry (IVS), a total of 17 VLBI ex-periments specifically dedicated to astrometric observations of


Table 2: Transformation parameters between individual catalogues and ICRF-Ext.2. Here, N stands for thenumber of ICRF defining sources used for fitting the parameters. Unit: µas.

Frame N A1 A2 A3 dz

RSC (AUS) 07 R 01 210 38 ± 58 61 ± 58 –31 ± 62 81 ± 51

RSC (BKGI) 07 R 03 209 0 ± 17 –25 ± 17 –5 ± 18 –28 ± 15

RSC (IAA) 07 R 02 212 –24 ± 19 –40 ± 19 –5 ± 10 –14 ± 17

RSC (OPA) 07 R 04 189 –35 ± 21 –11 ± 21 –14 ± 22 –15 ±18

RSC (CGS) 07 R 01 199 28 ± 22 –23 ± 21 3 ± 22 –11 ± 19

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southern hemisphere celestial reference frame sources were sched-uled and analyzed. The USNO and the Australia Telescope Na-tional Facility (ATNF) continue a collaborative program of VLBI re-search on Southern Hemisphere source imaging and astrometryusing USNO, ATNF and ATNF-accessible facilities. These observa-

Fig. 1: Normalized residuals (ratio of the postfit residual to the uncertainty of the coordinate differencebetween frames). 7806: RSC (AUS) 07 R 01; 1324: RSC (BKG) 07 R 03; 7629: RSC (IAA) 07 R 02; 1020:RSC (OPA) 07 R 04; 3103: RSC (GSC) 07 R 01.

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tions are aimed specifically toward improvement of the ICRF in theSouthern Hemisphere. One celestial reference frame experiment,CRF-S11, was scheduled with antennas at Hobart, Australia,Hartebeesthoek, South Africa and the 70 meter Deep Space Net-work antenna at Tidbinbilla, Australia. In the Northern Hemispherea major source of VLBI data continues to be the VLBA RDV seriesof experiments, which consist of observations of International Ce-lestial Reference Frame (ICRF) sources at radio frequencies of 2.3GHz and 8.4 GHz using the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA),together with up to 10 geodetic antennas. These VLBA RDV obser-vations constitute a joint program between the U.S. Naval Observa-tory (USNO), Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and the Na-tional Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) for maintenance ofthe celestial and terrestrial reference frames. During calendar year2007, six VLBA RDV experiments were observed and images fromfour VLBA RDV experiments were added to the USNO Radio Refer-ence Frame Image Database (RRFID). In addition VLBA observa-tions and analysis to extend the ICRF to K-band (24 GHz) and Q-band (43 GHz) continued in 2007. These observations are part of ajoint program between the National Aeronautics and Space Admin-istration, the USNO, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory(NRAO) and Bordeaux Observatory. Images at K-band from oneexperiment were added to the RRFID. Work on several refereedJournal articles presenting the results of the high frequency refer-ence frame observations was initiated.

In the coming decades, there will be significant advances in thearea of space-based optical astrometry. Proposed and scheduledmissions such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administra-tion’s (NASA) Space Interferometry Mission (SIM-PlanetQuest) andthe European Space Agency’s (ESA) Gaia mission will achieveastrometric positional accuracies well beyond that presently ob-tained by any ground-based radio interferometric measurements.In 2007, ICRS Center personnel continued their participation in theNASA SIM mission, through direct involvement in one of the SIMkey science projects: Astrophysics of Reference Frame Tie Ob-jects. In addition, ICRS Center personnel have been working onconcept development for a micro-satellite based astrometric mis-sion, called the Joint Milli-Arcsecond Pathfinder Survey (J-MAPS),to produce milliarcsecond level astrometry for all of the bright starsup to 12th magnitude (limiting magnitude ~15–16). Together withseveral government and industrial partners, in 2007 ICRS Centerpersonnel continued design and risk reductions activities for the J-MAPS program, and began planning for execution of the programfunding anticipated to begin in April 2008. A symmetric optical de-sign was completed, and adopted as the J-MAPS program base-line. Detector development progressed (Dorland et al., 2007).

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Monitor source structure toassess astrometric quality

VLBA RDV Observationsand Analysis

VLBA High FrequencyReference Frame

ICRF Maintenance in theSouthern Hemisphere

As discussed above, observations of International Celestial Refer-ence Frame (ICRF) sources at radio frequencies of 2.3 GHz and8.4 GHz using the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA), together withup to 10 geodetic antennas, continued in 2007. These VLBA RDVobservations constitute a joint program between the U.S. NavalObservatory (USNO), Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) andthe National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) for maintenanceof the celestial and terrestrial reference frames. During the calendaryear 2007, six VLBA RDV experiments were observed and imagesfrom four VLBA RDV experiments (RDV28, RDV61, RDV63 andRDV65) were added to the USNO Radio Reference Frame ImageDatabase (RRFID) including images of 118 sources not previouslyimaged.

As also discussed above, VLBA observations to extend the ICRFto K-band (24 GHz) and Q-band (43 GHz) continued in 2007. Theseobservations are part of a joint program between the National Aero-nautics and Space Administration, the USNO, the National RadioAstronomy Observatory (NRAO) and Bordeaux Observatory. Dur-ing the calendar year 2007, one VLBA high frequency experiments(BL122D) was calibrated, imaged and added to the Radio Refer-ence Frame Image Database including images of 4 sources notpreviously imaged.

Several global VLBI astrometric solutions were performed usingthe 10 K-band VLBA experiments recorded between 2002 and 2007in order to assess the quality of a potential high-frequency celestialreference frame. A global solution including 266 sources having threeor more group delay measurements was produced. For the 191sources with 100 or more group delays, the mean (median) formalposition uncertainties were 0.07 (0.06) mas in right ascension and0.13 (0.11) in declination. To assess the stability of the astrometricpositions over time, five additional solutions were performed includ-ing the 88 sources observed in 5 or more VLBA sessions. For eachsolution approximately 1/5 of the sources were treated as local or“arc” parameters (i.e. a position was determined for each epoch inwhich the source was observed). Mean (median) weighted root-mean-square position variations were found to be 0.16 (0.13) masin right ascension and 0.32 (0.26) mas in declination.

In cooperation with the International VLBI Service for Geodesy andAstrometry (IVS), a total of 17 VLBI experiments specifically dedi-cated to astrometric observations of southern hemisphere celestialreference frame sources were scheduled and analyzed.

The USNO and the Australia Telescope National Facility (ATNF)continue a collaborative program of VLBI research on SouthernHemisphere source imaging and astrometry using USNO, ATNF

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The Radio Reference FrameImage Database

Maintenance of the link to theHipparcos catalog

and ATNF-accessible facilities. These observations are aimed spe-cifically toward improvement of the ICRF in the Southern Hemi-sphere. One celestial reference frame experiment, CRF-S11, wasscheduled with antennas at Hobart, Australia, Hartebeesthoek, SouthAfrica and the 70-meter Deep Space Network antenna at Tidbinbilla,Australia.

A program to monitor the structure of quasars south of declina-tion –30 degrees that are either known to be gamma-ray loud or areexpected to be gamma-ray loud was initiated. The program, calledTANAMI (Tracking Active galactic Nuclei with Australia MilliarcsecondInterferometry), will observe a sample of about 44 quasars at 8 GHzand 24 GHz bands, with half of the sample observed every twomonths. The first epoch of observations were scheduled and ob-served.

The Radio Reference Frame Image Database (RRFID) is a webaccessible database of radio frequency images of ICRF sources.The RRFID currently contains 4980 Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA)images (a 20% increase over the previous year) of 636 sources (a23% increase over the previous year) at radio frequencies of 2.3GHz and 8.4 GHz. Additionally, the RRFID contains 1339 images(a 16% increase over the previous year) of 270 sources (a 1% in-crease over the previous year) at frequencies of 24~GHz and43~GHz. The RRFID can be accessed from the Analysis Centerweb page or directly at <>.

During the reporting period (2007) progress has been achieved atUSNO in several areas related to the maintenance of the Hipparcoslink: UCAC project (work toward the final release), the extragalacticlink to radio frame sources, URAT and J-MAPS.

Software development for the pixel re-reduction of the USNO CCDAstrograph Catalog (UCAC) project was completed and 4 imageprofile fit models will be used for final reductions. The goal is toimprove completeness, astrometric and photometric accuracy sig-nificantly over the UCAC2 release. A status report on UCAC andURAT was given at the IAU Symposium 248 in Shanghai (Zacharias,2008).

As part of the UCAC project early epoch photographic plateswere measured on the StarScan machine at USNO. Astrometricreductions were completed of about 5000 plates from the AGK2,Hamburg Zone Astrograph and USNO Twin Astrograph (Black Birch,New Zealand) programs (Zacharias et al., 2008).

The Southern Proper Motion (SPM) pixel data from PrecisionMeasure Machine (PMM) scans of all applicable plates (Yale, SanJuan program) were obtained from the Naval Observatory FlagstaffStation (NOFS) and processed through a modified StarScan pipe-

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line. Global x,y data were sent to Yale University for further process-ing to provide better proper motions for UCAC3 stars, particularlythose fainter than 14th mag. A similar effort for the Northern ProperMotion (NPM, Lick Observatories) data begun.

Reductions of the deep CCD images taken of extragalactic, com-pact radio sources during the UCAC project continued, with 4 moreobserving runs reduced. A status report was presented at the IAUSymp. 248 meeting (Zacharias & Zacharias, 2008).

Monitoring a sample of 12 ICRF optical counterparts continued atthe 1.55m telescope at NOFS. This effort is part of the SIM pre-paratory science for the celestial reference frame key project (PI isK. Johnston).

The primary mirror of the USNO Robotic Astrometric Telescope(URAT) was fabricated in 2007, exceeding the expectations. Firstlight for the 10.5k by 10.5k single chip CCD camera was in October2007 at the USNO astrograph. Although not all of the 16 outputsare working at this best effort research and development device, aprove of concept could be demonstrated including the clocked anti-

Fig. 2: USNO astrograph with10k camera dewar at NOFS(October 2007).

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Maintenance of the link to thesolar system dynamical

reference frame using LunarLaser Ranging analyses

blooming scheme to obtain accurate positions of bright stars(Zacharias et al., 2007). Phase 1 of the URAT project will have 4 ofthese detectors mounted at a new focal plane assembly at theUSNO “redlens” astrograph. The goal is to produce an all-skyastrometric catalog more accurate than UCAC and 2 magnitudesdeeper, including proper motions and parallaxes on the HCRF uti-lizing Tycho-2 as reference stars. For an update on the URAT projectsee (Zacharias, 2008).

Lunar laser observations (LLR normal points) consist in measure-ments of the round-trip travel time of the light between a terrestrialstation and a lunar reflector. Several analyses on the LLR data havebeen performed by the lunar analysis center POLAC (Paris Ob-servatory Lunar Analyses Center) located at SYRTE laboratory(Observatoire de Paris, France). Some of them concern in particu-lar the orientation of the solar system dynamical reference framewith respect to other reference frames.

The solar system dynamical reference frame is materialized bythe dynamical mean ecliptic and equinox (epoch J2000.0) relatedto the orbit of the Moon through the ephemerides of the semi-ana-lytical lunar solution ELP (Chapront-Touzé M. and Chapront J.,1997). The analysis of the LLR observations enables to define theorientation of dynamical mean ecliptic and equinox of J2000 withrespect to ICRS. In the same time, the LLR analysis enables todetermine other parameters and to update the ELP theory (ChaprontJ. et al., 2002, 2003; Chapront J. and Francou G., 2006).

The position of the dynamical mean ecliptic with respect to theICRS is defined by two angles: ε(ICRS), the inclination of the dynami-cal mean ecliptic to the equator of ICRS, and ϕ(ICRS), the anglebetween the origin ο(ICRS) of right ascensions on the equator of ICRS

Fig. 3: 10k CCD chip inside dewar forURAT project test observations.

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and the ascending node γI(ICRS) of the dynamical mean ecliptic on

the equator of ICRS.Between 1969 and 2006, over 17000 LLR normal points have been

provided by three stations: McDonald (Fort Davis, Texas),Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur (Grasse, France), Haleakala (Maui,Hawaii). In 2007, only McDonald observatory was operational (76normal points). Comparing our analyses 2008 with those made thelast year, there is no change in the post-fit residuals between ob-served and computed values of the distance station-reflector. Thereis also no change in the evaluation of these two angles ε(ICRS) andϕ(ICRS):

ε(ICRS) = 23°26’21.411" ± 0.001"

ϕ(ICRS) = ο(ICRS) γI(ICRS) = –0.055" ± 0.001"

The quasars that form the ICRF are in general radio-compact at thelevel of a few mas. This would imply radio emission from the base ofthe radio jet, much close to the accretion disk from where the bulkof the optical emission is expected. As a result the optical to radiocentroid offset for the ICRF sources should lie in the sub-mas re-gion. Yet, since earliest astrographic plate observations (Costa &Loyola, 1998) and earliest attempts to global analysis (Silva Netoet al., 2002), up to recent CCD infrared observations (Camargo etal., 2005), some conspicuously large optical-radio offsets are found.Though a large proportion of the offsets found in the earliest workswould rather represent bias in the optical stellar catalogues usedtherein, a statistical proportion remained unexplained. Recent ob-servational efforts focus on the astrometric determination of theoptical-radio offset for particular sources, where it may be found atthe level of few tens of mas, attainable by carefully planned opticalmeasurements. The Observatorio do Valongo/UFRJ and theObservatorio Nacional/MCT joint teams (J.I.B. Camargo and co-proposers) have been conducting astrometric observations at theSOAR telescope, 4.1m, SOI CCD camera, in the R filter, for a groupof selected ICRF quasars. The SNR compound trough multiple shortintegrations reaches 100, to derive the objects astrometry at the 10mas level, referred to local stellar catalogues based on the UCAC2frame.

The ICRS Center is concerned by the continuation of this pro-gram with the same team (A.H. Andrei and co-proposers), at theESO 2.2m telescope, using the WFI CDD camera, and R filter.Similar astrometric precision is derived. In this case the large WFIenables to directly use UCAC2 reference stars by a global reduc-tion strategy. The same Rio de Janeiro and Paris consortium alsodevelops a second strategy, at the same telescope and CCD cam-era, using R and B filters, and longer exposures that are combinedto reach SNR of 1000. In this experiment pairs of quasars for which

Optical-Radio Offsets at theMilli-arcsecond level

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there are precise VLBI positions have their relative astrometry de-termined. In this way no external optical catalogue is needed butfor a general orientation of the field and to calculate the pixel scale.The relative optical positions can thus be derived to the precision ofa few mas and compared to the relative radio position.

These programs aim to contribute to the extension of the ICRF tothe optical domain. They can also contribute to the fundamentalquasar catalogues of the forthcoming SIM and GAIA missions, aswell as to the tying of such frames to the ICRF itself.

An independent way to establish a link between a dynamical refer-ence frame built on the basis of a planetary ephemeris and theICRF, is to use VLBI observations of millisecond pulsars combinedwith pulsar timing.

Coordinates that are determined by using pulsar timing data areexpressed in the reference frame of the planetary ephemerides usedin the reduction process of the timing observations. We note (αTOA,δTOA) the pulsar coordinates obtained with pulsar timing. In the otherhand, VLBI observations of the same pulsars done by using ICRFsources as calibration are given directly in ICRF. Let us note (αVLBI,δVLBI) the coordinates of the pulsars obtained with VLBI. The com-parisons between these two sets of coordinates (αTOA, δTOA) and(αVLBI, δVLBI) give then the rotations between the ICRF and the dy-namical reference frame of the planetary reference frame as wellas possible secular drift of the dynamical reference frame if thecomparisons are extended in time.

As the two methods of observations (pulsar timing and VLBI ob-servations) are both at the mas level accuracy in the positiondeterminations, one can estimate that such algorithm can insure amas accuracy in the link between ICRF and the dynamical refer-ence frame. Furthermore, as neither the pulsar timing nor the VLBIpulsar observations are included in the fit of the planetaryephemerides to observations, the algorithm of link proposed aboveenables also a check of the capabilities of extrapolation of the plan-etary ephemerides.

In 2007–2008, observations of millisecond pulsars are proposedat the European VLBI Network (EVN). Several parameters wereused to make a first selection of candidates.

• The pulsar must emit strongly enough to be detectable withVLBI antennas. Usually, the minimal emitted flux of a sourceobserved at 1.4 Ghz is about 5 mJy. This is the limit used inthis selection.

• The pulsar has to have a regular timing follow-up in the north-ern hemisphere (Nançay Radio Telescope).

• As the goal of the VLBI observations of the pulsar is to obtaincoordinates expressed directly in ICRF, ICRF sources have to

First attempts of link betweendynamical planetary

reference frame and ICRF viaVLBI observations of

millisecond pulsars

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Fig. 4: Aitoffrepresentation of galacticcoordinates of VLBI bestcandidate PSR in redcircle, of ICRF referencesources in blue cross andother possible PSRcandidates.

be in the vicinity of the pulsar. Usually, during VLBI acquisi-tion, the calibration sources have to be less than 5 degreesaway from the observed source.

Based on a list of 97 pulsars identified from the NRAO VLA skysurvey (NVSS) at 1.4 Ghz (Han & Tian, 1999), we have selectedpulsars which emit more than 5 mJy as observed by the NVSS at1.4 Ghz, and which are also observed by the NRT for timing obser-vations. Moreover they must have in their vicinity (less than 5 de-grees away) at least one ICRF-Ext.2 source. With such criteria, wehave obtained 18 possible candidates. 10 of them were alreadyobserved by the NVSS in a goal of polarization measurements butnot for astrometric calibration and 8 other ones were not observedby the NVSS due to scintillations.

Furthermore, for reasons of visibility and to optimize the (U, V)coverage, we limit the candidates to have positive declination inkeeping in mind that to optimize the (U, V) coverage, declinationmust be greater then 20 degrees. 11 pulsars remain with 3 of themhaving declinations about 10 degrees.

One can find in Table 3 the list of the candidate pulsars (PSR) aswell as the ICRF reference sources (J). For PSR, the first column isthe official J2000 denomination, the two following columns are theJ2000 right ascensions in hours and declinations in degrees. The

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Table 3: List of VLBI best candidate pulsars (indicated as PSR) and of ICRFreference sources in their vicinity (indicated as J). On line indicated PSR, the firstcolumn gives the official J2000 name of the pulsar, Columns 2 and 3 give respectivelythe J2000 right ascension and declination. Column 4 gives the flux observed by theNVSS (Han & Tian, 1999). Column 5 indicates if the pulsar was observed by NVSS orby Chatterjee (2004). On line with a first column beginning with a “J”, informationrelated to the closest ICRF reference sources are given. The first column give theJ2000 ICRF-Ext.2 name of the source, Columns 2 and 3 give respectively the J2000coordinates, and Column 4 gives the distance in degrees between the ICRF sourceand the pulsar.

PSR J0139+5814 J010245.7+582411 PSR J0358+5413 J035929.7+505750 PSR J0826+2637 J083052.0+241059 J083740.2+245423 PSR J1012+5307 J095738.1+552257 J103507.0+562846 J095622.6+575355 PSR J1022+1001 J102556.2+125349 J103334.0+071126 J100741.4+135629 PSR J1136+1551 J112027.8+142054 J114505.0+193622 PSR J1713+0747 J165809.0+074127 J165833.4+051516 PSR B1919+21 J192559.6+210626 J193124.9+224331 J193510.4+203154 J194606.2+230004 PSR B1937+21 J192559.6+210626 J193124.9+224331 J193510.4+203154 J194606.2+230004 PSR B1952+29 J195740.5+333827 PSR B2011+38 J195928.3+404402 J200744.9+402948

01 39 19.77 01 02 45.762383 03 58 53.70 03 59 29.747262 08 26 51.31 08 30 52.086185 08 37 40.245686 10 12 33.43 09 57 38.184490 10 35 07.040267 09 56 22.634451 10 22 58.05 10 25 56.285332 10 33 34.024287 10 07 41.498080 11 36 03.30 11 20 27.807260 11 45 05.009035 17 13 49.52 16 58 09.011464 16 58 33.447348 19 21 44.80 19 25 59.605360 19 31 24.916782 19 35 10.472910 19 46 6.251405 19 39 38.55 19 25 59.605360 19 31 24.916782 19 35 10.472910 19 46 6.251405 19 54 22.58 19 57 40.549919 20 13 10.49 19 59 28.356628 20 07 44.944838

58 14 31.8 +58 24 11.13664 54 13 13.6 +50 57 50.16150 26 37 25.6 +24 10 59.82046 +24 54 23.12172 53 07 02.6 +55 22 57.76914 +56 28 46.79733 +57 53 55.90445 10 01 54.0 +12 53 49.02220 +07 11 26.14780 +13 56 29.60093 15 51 00.7 +14 20 54.99142 +19 36 22.74139 07 47 37.5 +07 41 27.54075 +05 15 16.44446 +21 53 01.8 21 6 26.162118 22 43 31.259057 20 31 54.154178 23 0 4.414187 21 24 59.1 23 0 4.414187 22 43 31.259057 20 31 54.154178 23 0 4.414187 29 23 17.90 33 38 27.94333 38 45 44.8 40 44 02.09695 40 29 48.60402

4.0 ± 0.4 4.799571 10.3 ± 0.5 3.257821 17.1 ± 0.7 2.602711 2.979087 4.5 ± 0.4 3.142610 4.674220 5.299584 3.5 ± 0.4 2.956259 3.864539 5.407060 21.2 ± 0.8 4.051844 4.326826 8.0 ± 1.4 3.884443 4.563597 6.0 1.15085 2.10889 3.00675 4.99801 16.0 2.77097 2.00306 1.37982 1.91866 8.0 4.30368 6.4 3.37591 2.04589


forth column is the NVSS flux at 1.4 Ghz. The last column indi-cates if the pulsar was observed in NVSS (NVSS) or by Chatterjee(C). For the ICRF sources, the first column is the official ICRF de-nomination, the two following columns are the J2000 coordinates inICRF and the last column is the distance in degrees from the PSR.

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The proposal is done on a 18 cm basis, asking for a typical EVNarray at 18 cm. As 73% of the sources have a flux smaller than 5mJy, the technique of phase referencing will be used with an accu-racy in the astrometry expected to be better than 10 mas.

One can find on Figure 4 a representation of the spatial distribu-tion of the pulsars as VLBI best candidates as well as their associ-ated ICRF reference sources. One may also found localizations of5 supplementary candidates which agree with the emitted minimalflux and ICRF sources vicinity criteria but are not optimum in termof EVN visibility.

One of the most important goals still remaining to be done withrespect to the ICRF is its link with the dynamical reference framedetermined through the time coordinates and the trajectories ofmoving celestial bodies, such as the Moon, the Sun and the plan-ets. In this chapter, we already have discussed the contribution ofthe Moon, from the LLR (Lunar laser Ranging) observations. In ad-dition we have also investigated the above link through the closeencounters between Jupiter and the quasars for the coming years,focusing on the period involving the future space mission GAIA andevaluating the corrections due to the relativistic deflection of qua-sars light around Jupiter (Souchay et al., 2007).

Statistically we found a substantial number of close encountersbetween Jupiter and the quasars recorded by the Véron-Cetty andVéron (2003) catalogue, during the interval 2005–2015. At total 232close approaches phenomena were detected, with an angular dis-tance not exceeding 10’ both for ∆α cos δ and ∆δ (Souchay et al.,2007). These close approaches concern not only Jupiter, whosethe angular size as well as the relative important brightness mightbe a barrier for differential astrometry, but also its satellites trail,whose photocenters are determined with sub-pixel accuracy. There-fore differential determinations of distance between the satellitesand the given quasar might be very useful to improve the position ofJupiter in the ICRF.

Moreover we have shown that in the case of grazing phenomena,the order of magnitude of the light deflection related to them isrelatively big (16 mas in the best cases) in comparison with theexpected GAIA precision in the determination of the coordinates ofcelestial objects, around 10 µas.

The link between the ICRF and other frames at various wavelengthsappears as a major issue in the present and next decade, with thedrastic increase of quasars recorded at various wavelengths, thanksto huge surveys such as the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) andthe 2dF redshift survey (2QZ). Any quasar is likely to be of interestto the densification of the ICRF or the link to the ICRF. Therefore to

Link between the ICRF andthe dynamical system

through close approachesbetween quasars and

planets: application to Jupiter

Linking the ICRF to frames atvarious wavelengths: theconstruction of the LQAC

(Large Quasar AstrometricCatalog)

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compile all the presently recorded quasars was one of our leadingactivities. This work is not so simple as it is supposed to be: thehuge and always increasing number of quasars reckoned from vari-ous sky surveys and catalogues leads to a large quantity of datawhich brings various and inhom*ogeneous information in the fields ofastrometry, photometry, radioastronomy and spectroscopy. Moreoverthe cross-identifications between quasars recorded in two or morecatalogues is not straightforward, especially when the quality ofdetermination of the celestial coordinates is not good. These prob-lems were tackled in order to construct a new compilation of qua-sars, called LQAC (Large Quasar Astrometric Catalog) which givesfor each object the equatorial coordinates, multibands photometryradio fluxes, redshift, luminosity distance and absolute magnitudes.

One of the specificity of the LQAC is to give a flag (from “A” to“L”), indicating the presence of each quasar in one of the 12 largerquasar catalogues, 4 ones obtained from VLBI surveys (with a verygood astrometry at the level of the sub-millarcsecond), and 8 onesfrom optical surveys. These catalogues are ranged by decreasingaccuracy and are as follows:

[A] ICRF-Ext.2 (radio)[B] VLBA/VCS (radio)[C] VLA-0.15 (radio)[D] JVAS (radio)[E] SDSS (optical)[F] 2QZ (optical)[G] FIRST (radio)[H] VLA+0.15 (radio)[I] Hewitt and Burbidge (optical)[J] 2MASS (infrared)[K] GSC23 (optical)[L] B1.0 (optical)[M] Véron-Cetty and Véron (optical + radio), 2006

Note that the VLA catalogue has been voluntarily divided into twosub-catalogues, respectively with flags “D” and ”H”. The first onehas an accuracy a priori better than 0”.15, the second one worsethan this value.

Information, when available concern, in addition to the celestialequatorial coordinates with respect to the ICRF, the u, b, v, g, r, i, z,J, K photometry as well as redshift and radio fluxes at 1.4 GHz (20cm), 2.3 Ghz (13 cm), 5.0 Ghz (6 cm), 8.4 Ghz (3.6 cm), and 24Ghz (1.2 cm). The small proportion of remaining objects not reck-oned in one of the 12 above catalogues are picked up from theVéron-Cetty and Véron (2006) compilation catalogue, with a number(instead of a letter) as a flag, indicating the original catalogue.

Our final LQAC catalogue contains 113 666 quasars, which is33.4 % bigger than the number of quasars recorded in the last

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version of the Véron-Cetty and Véron (2006) catalogue, which wasthe densest compilation of quasars up to now. In the related paper(Souchay et al., 2008) we discuss the external hom*ogeneity of thedata by comparing the equatorial coordinates, the redshifts and themagnitudes of objects belonging to two different catalogues.

At last we used up-to-date cosmological parameters as well asrecent models for galactic extinction and K-correction in order toevaluate at best the absolute magnitudes of the quasars. Thecosmological model is based on a Friedmann-Lemaître-Robertson-Walker metric with a curvature of space k null, a deceleration pa-rameter q0 = –0.58 and a Hubble expansion factor H0 = 72 km s-1

Mpc-1. Notice that we evaluated the absolute magnitude of the qua-sars at two wavelengths, blue one (MB) and infrared one (Mi).

The various steps in the construction of the LQAC are describedin detail by Souchay et al. (2008) and the catalogue is alreadyavailable in ASCII file at <>.

Notice that the LQAC extended results have also been stored inVotable format compatible with Astronomy VO Data Format andVO tools like Aladin, Topcat, Voplot. This catalogue is more com-plete than the ASCII one. For instance we keep in this database allthe original catalogue references and nominal values (with uncer-tainties), even when they are not unique, for each data field (magni-tude, redshift, radioflux) of a given quasar.

The link between the ICRF and the OCRF (Optical Celestial Refer-ence frame) is a major goal in the very near future astrometry. It isalso of great interest to link the ICRF with other frames like thedynamical reference frame. In order to achieve these tasks we havebegun, since January 2007 to use the data, in FITS format, of theCFHT Legacy Survey (CFHTLS).

In a first step we have used the software provided by TERAPIX(<>), the astronomical data reduction center ofthe CFHTLS. This software package is mainly composed of threeparts: Sextractor (<>, a programthat builds a catalogue of objects from an astronomical image),SCAMP (< .php?id_rubrique=105>, whichreads Sextractor catalogues and computes astrometric and photo-metric solutions for any arbitrary sequence of FITS images in acompletely automatic way) and SWARP (<>, a program that resamples and co-adds together FITS images using any arbitrary astrometric projec-tion defined in the WCS Standard, <>).

In order to have a step by step control of this software, and togenerate our astrometric solutions, we have build our own astrometricreduction software. Despite the fact that it is up to now under con-

Reductions of Mosaic-CCDobservations at the CFHT

and astrometric follow-up ofartificial satellites

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struction, it shows that we can obtain astrometric measurementswith an uncertainty in the range of 50–100 mas. When the presentdevelopments will be achieved we plan to obtain an uncertainty of afew tens of mas or less. This is particularly of interest in the per-spective of GAIA (<>) because the limit magnitude achieve byCFH Telescope can reach V=25 or even V=28–29 in the Deep fieldprograms (< =108>). Incomparison GAIA will achieve at best the 20th magnitude with anaccuracy of 0.2 mas.

We are also trying to link together the 36 CCD of the MEGACAMmosaïc (<>) used in the focal plane of the CFHT (<>). This specific software will be also useable with otherCCD mosaïc like the WFI (<>) of the ESO.

We have also carried out our own observations with the ESO2.2m telescope, towards some deep fields of quasars. We alsoplan to regularly observe with the 2.0m telescope of the Observatoiredu Pic du Midi (France, <>) and with the 0.60mof the Belogradchik Observatory (Bulgaria, <>). Of course we plan to use the 3.6mCFHT. We have submitted an observation program for the semester2008A but it has not been retained by the QSO (Queued ServiceObservation, <>)team during the phase 2 proposal submission. A new proposal willbe submitted for 2008B.

Our under way projects are firstly about WMAP and secondlyabout the link between the magnitude variations and positions ofthe quasars in the sky. WMAP is a probe of the NASA that we wantto observe to test the “GAIA tracking concept”. WMAP is located atthe second Earth-Sun Lagrange point L2, about 1.5 million kilome-tres from Earth, just like GAIA will be once launched in a very nearfuture. WMAP is consequently a reasonable photo-model for thebrightness and observability of GAIA. In consequence we havelaunched a program to observe WMAP with an optical telescopeand to see if it is possible to monitor it’s position and velocity withan uncertainty of 150 m and 2.5 mm/s respectively. If so, then thescientific goal of GAIA will be achieved, that is to say the correctevaluation of GAIA’s position measurements. Some observationsof WMAP (<>) have already been achieved with WFI at the ESO.

The second project under study i.e. the detection of correlationbetween the astrometric and photometric variability in quasars, isprepared in collaboration with the Rio observatory, and will be pre-sented during the SAB’08 meeting (<>).

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Gaume Ralph Director (USNO)Souchay Jean Co-director (OP)Andrei Alexandre Assoc. Astron. (OP, Obs.

Nat. Rio, Brasil)Arias E. Felicitas Assoc. Astron. (BIPM / OP)Barache Christophe Engineer (OP)Boboltz David Astronomer (USNO)Bouquillon Sébastien Astronomer (OP)Chapront Jean Astronomer (OP)Chapront-Touzé Michelle Astronomer (OP)Cognard Ismaël Astronomer (LPCE Univ.

Orléans)Fey Alan Astronomer (USNO)Fienga Agnès (Obs. de

Besançon)Francou Gérard Astronomer (OP)Gontier Anne-Marie Astronomer (OP)Lambert Sébastien Astronomer (OP)Le Poncin-LafitteChristophe Post-doc (OP)Taris François Technician (OP)Zacharias Norbert Astronomer (USNO)

Boehm, J., Schuh, H., 2004: Vienna Mapping Functions in VLBIanalysis, Geophys. Res. Lett. 31, L01603, DOI 10.129/2003GL018984.

Camargo, J. I. B., Daigne, G., Ducourant, C., Charlot, P., 2005:Astron. Astrophys. 437(3), 1135–1146.

Chatterjee, S., 2004:, J., Chapront-Touzé, M., 1997: Lunar motion, theory and

observations, Celest. Mech. 66, 31.Chapront, J., Chapront-Touzé, M., Francou, G., 2002: A new deter-

mination of the lunar orbital parameters, precession constant andtidal acceleration from LLR measurements, Astron. Astrophys.387, 700.

Chapront, J., Chapront-Touzé, M., Francou, G., 2003: The lunartheory ELP revisited: Introduction of new planetary perturbation,Astron. Astrophys. 404, 735.

Chapront, J., Francou, G., 2006: Lunar Laser Ranging: measure-ments, analysis and contribution to the reference systems,Souchay, J., and M. Feissel-Vernier (eds.): The International Ce-lestial Reference System and Frame (IERS Technical Note No.34), Frankfurt am Main.

Costa, E., Loyola, P., 1998: Astron. Astrophys. Suppl. 131, 259–263.

Dorland, B.N., Hennessy, G.S., Zacharias, N., Monet, D.G., Harris,H., Rollins, C., Shu, P., Miko, L., Mott, B.,Waczynski, A., Kan,



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E., Delo, G., 2007: Proceed. SPIE 6690 paper 0D.Feissel-Vernier, M., Ma, C., Gontier, A.-M., & Barache, C. 2006:

Analysis issues in the maintenance of the ICRF axes, Astron.Astrophys. 452, 1107.

Fey, A.L., Ma, C., Arias, E.F., Charlot, P., Feissel-Vernier, M.,Gontier, A.-M., Jacobs, C.S., Li, J., & MacMillan, D.S., 2004:The Second Extension of the International Celestial ReferenceFrame: ICRF-EXT.1, Astron. J. 127, 3785.

Gontier, A.-M., Lambert, S.B., Barache, C., 2006: The IVS team atthe Paris Observatory: how are we doing? In: D. Barret et al.(Eds), Proc. Semaine de l’Astrophysique Française - JournéesSF2A 2006, 27.

Gontier, A.-M., Lambert, S.B., 2008: Stable radio sources and ref-erence frame, In: N. Capitaine (Ed.), Proc. Journées 2007systèmes de référence spatio-temporels, Observatoire de Paris,pp. 42–43.

Han, J.L., Tian, W.W., 1999: Pulsars identified from the NRAO VLASky Survey, Astron. Astrophys. Suppl. 136, 571–577.

IERS, 1999: First extension of ICRF, ICRF-Ext.1, 1998 IERS An-nual Report, D. Gambis (Ed.), 87.

Lambert, S.B., Dehant, V., & Gontier, A.-M., 2008: Celestial frameinstability in VLBI analysis and its impact on geophysics, Astron.Astrophys. 481, 535.

Ma, C., Arias, E.F., Eubanks, T.M., Fey, A.L., Gontier, A.-M., Jacobs,C.S., Sovers, O.J., Archinal, B.A., & Charlot, P., 1998: The Inter-national Celestial Reference Frame as realized by Very LongBaseline Interferometry, Astron. J. 116, 516.

Mathews, P.M., Herring, T.A., & Buffett, B.A., 2002: Modeling ofnutation and precession: New nutation series for nonrigid Earthand insights into the Earth’s interior, J. Geophys. Res., 107(B4),DOI 10.1029/2001JB000390.

da Silva Neto, D. N., Andrei, A. H., Vieira Martins, R., Assafin, M.,2002: Astron. J. 124(1), 612–618.

Souchay, J., Le Poncin-Lafitte, C., Andrei, A.H., 2007: Close ap-proaches between Jupiter and quasars with possible applicationto the scheduled GAIA mission, Astron. Astrophys. 471, 335.

Souchay, J., Andrei, A.H., Barache, C., Bouquillon, S., Gontier, A.-M., Lambert, S., Le Poncin-Lafitte, C., Taris, F., Arias,E.F.,Suchet, D., Baudin, M., 2008: The construction of the Large QuasarAstrometric Catalog (LQAC), Astron. Astrophys., subm.

Véron-Cetty, M.-P., Véron, P., 2003: Quasars and Active galacticNuclei (11th Ed.), Astron. Astrophys. 374, 92.

Véron-Cetty, M.-P., Véron, P., 2006: Quasars and Active galacticNuclei (12th Ed.), Astron. Astrophys. 455, 773.

Zacharias, N., Dorland, B., Bredthauer, R., Boggs, K., Bredthauer,G., & Lesser, M., 2007: Realization and application of a 111 mil-

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lion pixel backside-illuminated detector and camera, in Proceed.SPIE 6690 paper 8.

Zacharias, M.I. & Zacharias, N., 2008: CTIO 0.9m observations ofICRF optical counterparts, in Proceed. IAU Symp. 248, p. 332.

Zacharias, N., 2008: Optical reference frames: UCAC, URAT, inProceed. IAU Symp. 248, p. 310.

Zacharias, N., Winter, L., Holdenried, E.R., De Cuyper, J.-P.,Rafferty, T.J. & Wycoff, G.L., 2008: The StarScan plate measur-ing machine: overview and calibrations, PASP, 120, 644.

Ralph Gaume, Jean Souchay, Alexandre Andrei,E. Felicitas Arias, Christophe Barache, David Boboltz,

Sébastien Bouquillon, Jean Chapront, Alan Fey, Agnès Fienga,Gérard Francou, Anne-Marie Gontier, Sébastien Lambert,

Christophe Le Poncin-Lafitte, François Taris, Norbert Zacharias

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3.5.5 ITRS Centre

Maintenance of theIERS network

ITRF2005 users interface

ITRF web site

This report summarizes the activities of the IERS ITRS Centre dur-ing the year 2007.

After the release of the ITRF2005, the ITRS Centre assists theusers, especially from the GPS community in the best use of theITRF2005 products. The dedicated web site that was constructedwhere all the results of the ITRF2005 are available to the users iscontinuously updated taking into account the user needs: <>.

The ITRS Centre assigns DOMES numbers to geodetic trackingstations or markers as unambiguous identifications of points inspace, independently from the technique of their tracking instru-ments. The IERS network database, which contains the descrip-tions of the sites and points, is continuously updated as DOMESnumbers are assigned. Guidelines for requesting DOMES numbersare supplied online via the ITRF web site. Most of the new assignedsites and geodetic markers are related to the IGS/GPS network.Currently, 3233 DOMES numbers have been assigned on 2040 dis-tinct sites.

The ITRF web site, available at <>, provides aninterface to consult the IERS network database. Site and pointinformation can be requested on line; it contains approximate coor-dinates of the sites, the list of their points as well as their descrip-tions, their DOMES numbers and the list of ITRF versions in whichtheir coordinates have been computed. Subsets of points can beselected and their ITRF coordinates can be requested at any epochin any ITRF version if their coordinates are provided in the requestedITRF version.

The maps of the ITRF networks can be displayed depending ofthe measurement techniques and of the ITRF versions using a car-tographic server. Velocity vectors can be displayed as well as tec-tonic plates. Site information is available with simple clicks andsite selection may be used to request coordinates. The dynamicalmap can help users to familiarize with ITRF products and can beused for educational purpose. It can also be an interesting tool toselect IERS sub-network depending on the measurement tech-niques, co-located hosted instruments or ITRF versions.

ITRF94, ITRF96, ITRF97, ITRF2000 and ITRF2005 solutions areavailable online for download. Additional materials are provided toillustrate and better understand ITRF products. ITRF2005 solutionis available as well as ITRF2005 combination coordinate residualsand position residual time series per technique. Local ties informa-

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Local ties of ITRFCo-location sites

tion has been updated for ITRF2005 processing and is also avail-able for download in SINEX format or tables.

The ITRS Centre has undertaken the initiative to animate the activ-ity related to the reanalysis of available new and/or old surveys dataof the ITRF co-location sites with the aim to generate SINEX files oflocal ties with full variance-covariance information. Starting with theavailable survey data at IGN, the ITRS Centre generated full SINEXfiles for approximately all DORIS co-located sites, using Geolabadjustment software. These SINEX files as well as other files madeavailable by other groups (INA and CGS, Italy; BKG, Germany andGeoscience Australia) are posted at the ITRS Web site. The localties SINEX files used in the ITRF2005 computation are available at<>.

Zuheir Altamimi, Xavier Collilieux, Bruno Garayt

Fig. 1: ITRF web site dynamical map of the IERS network. <>

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3.5.6 Global Geophysical Fluids Center (GGFC)

The Global Geophysical Fluids Center (GGFC) is a product centerwithin the International Earth Rotation and Reference SystemsService. The GGFC supports, facilitates, and provides services andproducts to the worldwide research community in areas related tothe variations in Earth’s rotation, its shape, its gravitational field,and geocenter that are caused by mass transport of environmentalfluids on its surface (atmosphere, oceans, continental water, etc.)and by the transport of internal fluids (mantle and core).

Eight Special Bureaus (SB) have been established to supply prod-ucts to support community research. These include: Atmospheres,Oceans, Hydrology, Tides, Mantle, Core, Loading, and Gravity/Geocenter.

The products provided by the SB’s are based on global observa-tional data and/or state-of-the-art model output. The products areavailable through the individual SB web sites that can be accessedvia the GGFC portal(<>), which is currentlyhosted at the European Center for Geodynamics and Seismology .

In some of the SB’s, the yearly activity is high because new fluidmodels and data sets are constantly becoming available. The SB’stake these new data sets and convert them into a product requiredby the research community. The annual activities of these SB’s areincluded here. In other SB’s, the fluid models or data sets are wellestablished and upgrades occur only rarely. These SB’s do notreport annually. However, when a major change does occur, thisWILL be documented in the Annual Report.

The importance of the products supporting the analysis of geo-detic data is ever increasing. In fact, new products such as globalmodels of tropospheric delays are required. In addition, some prod-ucts are even being requested in real time. As a result of all thesenew user requirements, this year we began a process to reorganizethe GGFC. The exact form the reorganization will take is still beingdiscussed in the IERS Directing Board. An exact model will mostlikely be accepted in 2008.

As with every year, I would like to take this opportunity to thankall the volunteers who chair and maintain the respective SB’s.

Tonie van Dam, Head GGFC

In conjunction with the U.S. National Oceanic and AtmosphericAdministration (NOAA) the SBAtmosphere has produced data fromseveral different operational meteorological centres. We have alsoproduced data from atmospheric reanalyses, spanning back to 1948.SBAtmosphere organized a system to operate in two modes. Inthe first, it supplies the data in near-real time through the services

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at NOAA, including analysis and forecast terms. That mode is un-der the direction of Craig Long of NOAA. In the second mode, itupdates monthly archives of the data on the FTP server at Atmos-pheric and Environmental Research, Inc. (AER) in Lexington, MA.Access can be obtained through the AER website and by exchangeof data through the ftp protocol.

The principal data prepared relate to atmospheric excitations ofthe Earth rotation vector, as forced by changes in the winds andsurface pressure of the atmosphere, known respectively as themotion and mass terms of the atmospheric angular momentumAAM. For the axial component, related to length-of-day, the strongerterm is the motion one, and for the equatorial term, related to polarmotion, the mass term generally dominates. An “inverted barom-eter” correction is produced to the mass terms, designed to modelan equilibrium condition of the oceans in which the ocean depressesin response to a higher atmospheric pressure and rises in responseto a lower one.

SBAtmosphere also computes the AAM terms locally, in a numberof equal-area sectors distributed around the globe, as well as glo-bally. In addition, SBAtmosphere computes the mean atmosphericsurface pressure over the globe, and various spherical harmonics,which are related to the Stokes coefficients of the Earth gravityfield, of particular interest to recent space-gravity missions.SBAtmosphere archives torques from the NCEP-NCAR reanalysesthat relate to the angular momentum transfer from atmosphere tosolid Earth, including topographic (mountain), friction, and gravitywave drag torques. Users log in to our ftp sites to obtain the desiredinformation.

Dr. Yonghong Zhou has been processing the atmospheric datafrom his position at Shanghai Astronomical Observatory to helpupdate the SBA archives. He processes both the NCEP-NCARreanalyses using the revised codes that were developed while hewas a visitor at Atmospheric and Environmental Research. The re-vised procedure has improved on the treatment of the lower bound-ary and also updated a number of geophysical constants needed tocalculate the atmospheric excitations.

During 2007 we continued investigations of using atmosphericmodels for more rapid subdiurnal scales. Fields from one of theNASA models can be extracted hourly, in between the six-houranalyses that are routinely used. We have been investigating thefeasibility of calculations of the atmospheric excitation terms forthe Earth orientation parameters. A test period was October 2002,during the special CONT’02 campaign in which measurements fromVery Long Baseline Interferometry developed high temporal resolu-tion data. Various issues involved the discontinuities at the 6-hourmarks when analyses were made, and we established techniques

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Special Bureau for theOceans


to lessen these discontinuities. Also, we are now awaiting resultsfrom a new analysis in which a smoother signal, not subject tosuch discontinuities, is expected.

Dr. Katherine Quinn has been assisting in some analyses andthe preparation of some new data sets, including Earth rotation/polar motion excitations from the ECMWF 40-year reanalysis (ERA-10) and a new set of NCEP reanalyses (called the NCEP-2reanalyses). We have also been making arrangements to receivethe data from the ECMWF on a regular basis on regular temporalresolution and also on high resolution during an upcoming cam-paign, the CONT’08 campaign.

Results of the SBA were presented at the European GeosciencesUnion meeting, the American Geophysical Union meeting, meet-ings of the Journees de Reference Spatio Temporelles includingsessions related to the campaign for prediction of Earth orientationparameters.

The U.S. National Science Foundation has supported activities, atAER of the SBA under Grant ATM-0429975.

David Salstein

The oceans have a major impact on global geophysical processesof the Earth. Nontidal changes in oceanic currents and ocean-bot-tom pressure have been shown to be a major source of polar mo-tion excitation and also measurably change the length of the day.The changing mass distribution of the oceans causes the Earth’sgravitational field to change and causes the center-of-mass of theoceans to change which in turn causes the center-of-mass of thesolid Earth to change. The changing mass distribution of the oceansalso changes the load on the oceanic crust, thereby affecting boththe vertical and horizontal position of observing stations locatednear the oceans. As part of the IERS Global Geophysical FluidsCenter, the Special Bureau for the Oceans (SBO) is responsible forcollecting, calculating, analyzing, archiving, and distributing datarelating to nontidal changes in oceanic processes affecting theEarth’s rotation, deformation, gravitational field, and geocenter. Theoceanic products available through the IERS SBO web site at <> are produced primarily by general circula-tion models of the oceans that are operated by participating modelinggroups and include oceanic angular momentum, center-of-mass,and bottom pressure.

Seven different oceanic angular momentum series are currentlyavailable from the IERS Special Bureau for the Oceans:

(1) ponte98.oam, a series computed by Ponte et al. (1998) and

Data Products

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Ponte and Stammer (1999, 2000) from the products of a simu-lation run of the MIT ocean general circulation model whichspans January 1985 to April 1996 at 5-day intervals;

(2) johnson01.oam, a series computed by Johnson et al. (1999)from the products of version 4B of the Parallel Ocean Cli-mate Model (POCM) which spans January 1988 to Decem-ber 1997 at 3-day intervals;

(3) c20010701.oam & c20010701.chi, a series computed byGross et al. (2003, 2004) from the products of a simulation ofthe oceans’ general circulation run by the Estimating theCirculation and Climate of the Ocean (ECCO) group at JPLwhich spans January 1980 to March 2002 at daily intervalsand which is available either as a series of angular momen-tum values (c20010701.oam) or as a series of effective exci-tation functions (c20010701.chi);

(4) ECCO_50yr.oam & ECCO_50yr.chi, a series computed byGross et al. (2005) from the products of a simulation of theoceans’ general circulation run by the ECCO group at JPLwhich spans January 1949 to December 2002 at 10-day in-tervals and which is available either as a series of angularmomentum values (ECCO_50yr.oam) or as a series of effec-tive excitation functions (ECCO_50yr.chi);

(5) ECCO_kf049f.oam, a series computed by Gross et al. (2005)from the products of a data assimilating model of the oceans’general circulation run by the ECCO group at JPL which spansJanuary 1993 through March 2006 at daily intervals;

(6) ECCO_kf066a2.oam & ECCO_kf066a2.chi, a series com-puted by Gross (2008) from the products of a simulation ofthe oceans’ general circulation run by the ECCO group atJPL which spans January 1993 through March 2008 at dailyintervals and which is available either as a series of angularmomentum values (ECCO_kf066a2.oam) or as a series ofeffective excitation functions (ECCO_kf066a2.chi); and

(7) ECCO_kf066b.oam & ECCO_kf066b.chi, a series computedby Gross (2008) from the products of a data assimilatingmodel of the oceans’ general circulation run by the ECCOgroup at JPL which spans January 1993 through March 2008at daily intervals and which is available either as a series ofangular momentum values (ECCO_kf066b.oam) or as a se-ries of effective excitation functions (ECCO_kf066b.chi).

Seven different oceanic center-of-mass series are also currentlyavailable from the IERS Special Bureau for the Oceans:

(1), a series computed by Dong et al. (1997)from the results of a version of the Modular Ocean Model(MOM) run at JPL which spans February 1992 to December1994 at 3-day intervals;

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(2), a series also computed by Dong et al.(1997) from the results of running the Miami IsopycnalCoordinate Ocean Model (MICOM) at JPL which also spansFebruary 1992 to December 1994 at 3-day intervals;

(3), a series computed by Gross (personalcommunication, 2003) from the results of a simulation runof the ECCO ocean model done at JPL which spans January1980 to March 2002 at daily intervals;

(4), a series computed by Gross (personalcommunication, 2004) from the products of a simulation ofthe oceans’ general circulation run by the ECCO group atJPL which spans January 1949 to December 2002 at 10-day intervals;

(5), a series computed by Gross (personalcommunication, 2004) from the products of a dataassimilating model of the oceans’ general circulation run bythe ECCO group at JPL which spans January 1993 throughMarch 2006 at daily intervals;

(6), a series computed by Gross (personalcommunication, 2008) from the products of a simulation ofthe oceans’ general circulation run by the ECCO group atJPL which spans January 1993 through March 2008 at dailyintervals; and

(7), a series computed by Gross (personalcommunication, 2008) from the products of a dataassimilating model of the oceans’ general circulation run bythe ECCO group at JPL which spans January 1993 throughMarch 2008 at daily intervals.

Time series of the ocean-bottom pressure are currently availablefrom the IERS SBO through a link to the JPL ECCO web site at<> from which two dimensionalocean-bottom pressure fields can be obtained that have been pro-duced from purely surface flux-forced ocean models as well as oceanmodels that additionally assimilate satellite and in situ data. A linkis also provided to the GLObal Undersea Pressure (GLOUP) databank of ocean-bottom pressure measurements at <>.

In addition to these data sets, a subroutine to compute oceanicangular momentum, center-of-mass, and bottom pressure from theoutput of general circulation models can be downloaded from theIERS SBO web site along with a bibliography of related articles.

The work described in this paper was performed at the Jet PropulsionLaboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract withthe National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

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Frank Bryan (NCAR)Yi Chao (JPL)Jean Dickey (JPL)Richard Gross (JPL, Chair SBO)Steve Marcus (JPL)Rui Ponte (AER)Robin Tokmakian (NPS)

Dong, D., J. O. Dickey, Y. Chao, and M. K. Cheng, Geocentervariations caused by atmosphere, ocean, and surface water,Geophys. Res. Lett., 24, 1867–1870, 1997.

Gross, R. S., An improved empirical model for the effect of long-period ocean tides on polar motion, J. Geodesy, submitted, 2008.

Gross, R. S., I. f*ckumori, and D. Menemenlis, Atmospheric andoceanic excitation of the Earth’s wobbles during 1980–2000, J.Geophys. Res., 108(B8), 2370, doi:10.1029/2002JB002143, 2003.

Gross, R. S., I. f*ckumori, D. Menemenlis, and P. Gegout, Atmos-pheric and oceanic excitation of length-of-day variations during1980–2000, J. Geophys. Res., 109, B01406, doi:10.1029/2003JB002432, 2004.

Gross, R. S., I. f*ckumori, and D. Menemenlis, Atmospheric andoceanic excitation of decadal-scale Earth orientation variations,J. Geophys. Res., 110, B09405, doi:10.1029/2004JB003565,2005.

Johnson, T. J., C. R. Wilson, and B. F. Chao, Oceanic angularmomentum variability estimated from the Parallel Ocean ClimateModel, 1988–1998, J. Geophys. Res., 104, 25183–25195, 1999.

Ponte, R. M., and D. Stammer, Role of ocean currents and bottompressure variability on seasonal polar motion, J. Geophys. Res.,104, 23393–23409, 1999.

Ponte, R. M., and D. Stammer, Global and regional axial oceanangular momentum signals and length-of-day variations (1985–1996), J. Geophys. Res., 105, 17161–17171, 2000.

Ponte, R. M., D. Stammer, and J. Marshall, Oceanic signals inobserved motions of the Earth’s pole of rotation, Nature, 391,476–479, 1998.

Richard Gross

No report submitted.


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Special Bureau for Hydrology The Special Bureau for Hydrology provides internet access to datasets of water storage load variations for major land areas of theworld. The web site contains results from five numerical models,the NCEP (National Center for Environmental Prediction) reanalysis,the ECMWF (European Center for Medium Range Weather Fore-casting) reanalysis, the CPC (Climate Prediction Center) Land DataAssimilation System (LDAS), the NASA’s Global Land Data As-similation System (GLDAS), and the NOAA LadWorld land dynam-ics model. Global terrestrial water storage changes estimated fromGRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) time-variablegravity observations during the period April 2002 and February 2008are also provided in our online data archive (at <>). The NASA GLDAS, CPCLDAS, and GRACE data products are updated on a regular basis.

A near 30 years record (January 1979 to February 2008) of monthlyterrestrial water storage (TWS) change derived from GLDAS is newlyadded to our online data archive. GLDAS is an advanced land sur-face modeling system jointly developed by scientists at the NASAGoddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and the NOAA NCEP. GLDASparameterizes, forces, and constrains sophisticated land surfacemodels with ground and satellite products with the goal of estimat-ing land surface states (e.g., soil moisture and temperature) andfluxes (e.g., evapotranspiration). In this particular simulation, GLDASdrove the Noah land surface model version 2.7.1, with observedprecipitation and solar radiation included as inputs. GLDAS esti-mates are the sum of soil moisture (2 m column depth) and snowwater equivalent. Greenland and Antarctica are excluded becausethe Noah model does not include ice sheet physics. The GLDASdata are provided on 1° x 1° grids and at 3-hourly and monthlyintervals (0.25° x 0.25° grids are also available at both 3-hourly andmonthly intervals, but are not provided here limited by disk space).Daily average TWS changes is computed from the 3-hourly modelestimates. Antarctica is not included in the model and estimatesover Greenland are not recommended to use, because of the lackof ice dynamics in the model.

LadWorld is a global land dynamics model developed by scien-tists at the NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory. Simu-lated variables include snow water equivalent, soil water, shallowground water, soil temperature, evapotranspiration, runoff and streamflow, radiation, and sensible and latent heat fluxes. This particularsimulation (named Fraser and released in March 2007), differs fromprevious runs in the temporal extent of the simulation, which runsthrough November 2006. Additionally, the initial condition is onethat is better equilibrated with climatic forcing. The improved initialcondition removed a minor spin-up issue that had affected earlierLaDWorlds. Monthly TWS changes, representing the sum of soil

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water, snow, and ground water are provided for the period January1980 to November 2006. Details of the LadWorld models are avail-able at <>.

CPC LDAS is forced by observed precipitation, derived from CPCdaily and hourly precipitation analyses, downward solar and long-wave radiation, surface pressure, humidity, 2-m temperature andhorizontal wind speed from NCEP reanalysis. The output consistsof soil temperature and soil moisture in four layers below the ground.At the surface, it includes all components affecting energy andwater mass balance, including snow cover, depth, and albedo.Monthly averaged soil water storage changes are provided on a 1 x1 degree grid. These data are averaged from the original 0.5 x 0.5degree grid and converted into NetCDF and standard ASCII format.The data cover the period Jan. 1980 through Dec. 2007. No esti-mate is provided over Antarctica. A README file and a few Matlabscripts used for doing the conversion are provided as a reference tothe data format.

The NCEP reanalysis model is a fixed data-assimilating globalnumerical model, designed mainly for atmospheric studies. It hasbeen run for a period starting in 1948, up to the present. NCEPresults are valuable for their global coverage and long duration. Thehydrologic part of this model is mainly employed as a lower bound-ary condition in the model, and reflects a combination of an im-posed (non data-assimilating) hydrologic cycle, and interaction withthe atmosphere. The NCEP reanalysis variations are probably rep-resentative of the real Earth, but not accurate in detail. They lackthe level of inter-annual variability expected in the real hydrologiccycle, and observed in some more sophisticated data-assimilatingland surface model results. In addition, there are evident flaws overAntarctica and Greenland, which probably result from locating highlyvariable sea ice at land grid points. Therefore Antarctica and Green-land are excluded from geodetic calculations. The web site includesdaily NCEP water storage in Gaussian grid (T62) form for Jan. 1979– Dec. 2004, and polar motion and length of day excitation timeseries for Jan. 1948 – Dec. 2004, as well.

The ECMWF data-assimilating reanalysis model, similar to NCEP,also with a surface hydrologic cycle. We find that it appears morerealistic than NCEP, showing greater interannual variability. In addi-tion, its seasonal cycle resembles long-term average results basedon local budget (Precipitation-Evaporation-Runoff) calculations. Theweb site includes 2.5-degree gridded values at daily intervals for theperiod 1979–1993.

The README file with the NCEP and ECMWF data also includesdetails on the way in which actual loads are calculated from the soilmoisture model field. Data are available in both ascii and NetCDF(.nc) formats. In addition, there are helpful sample Matlab com-

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mands lists and m-files for reading the data in NetCDF format withMatlab, and for interpolating from the original model grid to a uni-form (for example 1 x 1 degree) grid.

In addition to the above numerical models’ estimates, we alsoprovide estimates of equivalent surface water storage using GRACErelease 4 time-variable gravity observations provided by the GRACEteam at the Center for Space Research (CSR), University of Texasat Austin. 67 monthly RL04 GRACE solutions, covering the periodApril 2002 and February 2008 are used to estimate global surface

Table 1: GGFC SBH Online Data Archive

Parameters Sources Information

Water Storage Change From GRACE

(New!) GRACE Release 4 (CSR)

Time Span: Apr. 2002 - Feb. 2008 Sampling Rate: Monthly, 67 Solutions

GSM only (GAC not restored) Grid: 1 x 1 Degree Grid

Decorrelation + 500 km Gaussian Smoothing

Truncation at degree 60

Water Storage Change From GRACE GRACE Release 1 (CSR)

Time Span: Apr/May 2002 - Jul 2004 Sampling Rate: Monthly, 22 Solutions

Grid: 1 x 1 Degree Grid Gaussian Smoothing: 600, 800, 1000 km

Truncation at degree 60, No C20

GLDAS Monthly Water Storage (New!)

NASA Global Land Data Assimilation System

Time Span: January 1979 – February 2008 Sampling Rate: Monthly

Grid: 1 x 1 Degree Units: mm of water height

GLDAS Daily Water Storage

NASA Global Land Data Assimilation System

Time Span: Jan. 1, 2002 - May 31, 2007 Sampling Rate: Daily

Grid: 1 x 1 Degree Units: mm of water height

NOAA LadWorld Monthly Water Storage NOAA LadWorld (Fraser)

Time Span: Jan., 1980 - Nov., 2006 Sampling Rate: Monthly

Grid: 1 x 1 Degree Units: mm of water height

CPC Monthly Water Storage

CPC Land Data Assimilation System

Time Span: Jan. 1948 - Dec. 2007 Sampling Rate: Monthly

Grid: 1 x 1 Degree

NCEP Daily Water Storage

NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis-I Soil Moisture and Snow

Time Span: Jan. 1979 - Dec. 2004 Sampling Rate: Daily

Grid: Gaussian (T62), ~1.904 x 1.875 Degree

ECMWF Daily Water Storage

ECMWF Reanalysis Soil Moisture and Snow

Time Span: 1979 - 1993 Sampling Rate: Daily Grid: 2.5 x 2.5 Degree

Water Storage NCEP/NCAR Climate Data

Assimilation System I (CDAS-1) soil moisture and snow

Time Span: 1993 - 1998 Sampling Rate: Monthly

Grid: 1 x 1 degree

Water Flux NCEP/NCAR Climate Data

Assimilation System I (CDAS-1) soil moisture and snow

Time Span: 1993 - 1998 Sampling Rate: Monthly

Grid: 1 x 1 degree

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Special Bureau for Mantle

mass change on a 1 x 1 degree grid. The GRACE spherical har-monics are truncated at degree and order 60, and a decorrelationfilter and 500 km Gaussian smoothing are applied.

Table 1 summarizes the current datasets in our online data ar-chive (<>).

Jianli Chen

The Special Bureau for Mantle provides internet access to contem-porary forward model output for glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA).It is possible that internal buoyant instabilities in the mantle candrive an observable time-variation in the external gravitational field,quantifying such internal material transport with truly reliable dataconstraints remains highly elusive. GIA models, in contrast, aresupported by a plethora of global and regional geological data. Themodels have widespread acceptance in the geologic, paleoenviron-mental and geodetic sciences. At the one cm/yr level, global platetectonic motions are known to be stable on a 4 million year time-scale (DeMets and Wilson, 2008), and therefore, negligibly contrib-ute to the observed secular trends in terrestrial gravity. GIA is theonly known source for time-varying global crust-mantle motion in-volving long wavelength deep-seated mass transport, having bothvertical displacement rates at the level of cm/yr, and changing withtime scales of 100,000 to 1,000 years. Hence, it is this readilymodeled phenomenon that has been the main focus of the GGFCSpecial Bureau for Mantle.

This update to the forward models include two new developmentsin GIA modeling: (1) A more refined Southern Hemispheric model,due primarily to the larger number of regional constraints can nowbe brought to bear (e.g., Ivins and James, 2004; 2005; Makintoshet al., 2007; Glasser et al. 2008) and that are now incorporated intoan updated Antarctic plus Patagonia/Tierra del Fuego loading/un-loading history; (2) The emergence of a new more sophisticatedload/unloading ICE-5G history from the regional geochronologicconstraints, such as those of Dyke et al. (2003), and incorporatedinto a global model by Peltier (2004) and a regional model by Tarasovand Peltier (2004). When these two advancements are then com-bined with GRACE analyses for secular trends in gravity over NorthAmerica (Tamisiea et al., 2007; Rangelova and Sideris, 2008; Ivinsand Wolf, 2008) and Antarctica (Velicogna and Wahr, 2006; Ramillienet al., 2006) a more virulent package of predictive GIA models forgeoid trend emerges. The main new step forward achieved in thisnew suite of predictive models, now submitted to the GGFC portal,is that they make full advantage of these two improvements in loadhistory, and utilize models of mantle radial structure that are com-pliant with the most recent: (i) crustal motion data from continuous

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GPS observations, (ii) tide-gauge records, (iii) relative sea level data,(iv) absolute gravity observations and (v) GRACE time series. Thelaterally hom*ogeneous, radially stratified, Maxwell viscoelasticmodeling of Wolf et al. (2006) (accounting for constraints i – iv);Kaufmann and Lambeck (2002) (accounting for constraints i – iv,and true polar wander, using an alternative, but well-refined globalload history, RSES); Paulson et al. (2007) (accounting for con-straints iii and v and using ICE5G); Tamisiea et al. (2007) (account-ing for constraints from iv – v, using ICE5G and additionally modelingthe spatial form of the free air gravity anomaly field proximal toHudson Bay and environs). Hereafter, the models are referred to as:WKWZ, KL02, PZW and TMD, respectively. The user may explorethree variants of the first model, and two of the 2nd and 4th, thus,allowing for 8 model predictions in all. It is assumed that the user ofthese model output data are capable geodesists with an interest inusing the GIA models for either model-corrective or purely explora-tory science goals. Consequently, the time-rate of change of nor-malized real Stokes coefficients are supplied, beginning with thedegree 2 term, up to and including l, m = 256. Although this ismuch higher than for GRACE analysis, where in truncation for secu-larly varying field should truncate well below degree and order 90.The models are run in a manner that forces mass conservationbetween continent and oceans throughout.

The models are simple, in that the Earth is assumed incompress-ible, has creep specified by linear viscoelasticity of relaxing typeand the mantle-crust consists of only 4 layers; a lithosphere ofthickness, he, rigidities µi, densities, ρι, and a density stratifiedinviscid core lacking solid inner core, wherein the values are set toaverages from PREM, with the constraint that density jump at thecore mantle boundary (CMB), the gravitational acceleration at theCMB are identical to that specified in PREM, along with the meansurface gravity of the Earth. Four main parameters are varied amongthe 8 models: he, the mantle viscosity below the lithosphere, ηUM ,and the viscosity of two additional layers: one above the CMB,η(1)

LM, possibly characterizing the creep strength of the post-perovskite phase of the deepest mantle (when the zone has a rela-tively moderate thickness of 650 km), and one additional viscosityvalue, η(2)

LM, characterizing the creep strength at mid mantle depths,the top part of the lower mantle, a zone just above which slabsoften are seen to lie horizontally in tomographic imaging (e.g., Huangand Zhao, 2006).

The 8 model predictions are shown in pairs to highlight some of thesalient differences in the predictions. In Figure 1 two variants of theKL02 models are shown. (At the top of the figure Earth rheologicalparameters of the models are given, with red and green lettering

Maps of Secular Time-Rate ofChange in Geoid

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representing values for the top and bottom maps, respectively. Allmaps are geoid rate in mm/yr.) A noteworthy feature is shown in thelower frame of Figure 1; the smallest prediction of geoid variabilityover the continents in the Northern Hemisphere, this due to thesmall value of the upper and deepest mantle viscosity that is as-sumed. Note the lack of suppressed prediction in the SouthernHemisphere, this due to the younger history of Antarctic deglaciationin IJ05. Also note in the lower frame of Figure 1, that the modelresolves youthful peculiarities of the load history in southwest Green-land, with the prediction here of negative rate of surface geoid change:a feature that could mimic ice mass loss. It appears in no otherEarth structure models in the suite. The effect of the most radicalvariability in viscosity (confined to the deepest mantle) is shown inFigure 2 for the WKWZ series of models, which relied on the ICE-3G load model (not assumed here) and used data especially sensi-tive to the upper half of the mantle.

Also of notable contrast is when acceptable Earth structure isderived from different data, and different starting ice load histories;giving, in the end, remarkably similar present-day geoid rate predic-tions. Such is the case for contrasting WKWZ and PZW modelsshown in Figure 3. In Figure 4 two predictions for two Earth rheologicalstructures are shown. The two structures assumed are both foundacceptable using GRACE trends in North America in the TMD se-ries. The dual (or ‘degenerate’) solutions are classic in GIA studies.The ‘harder’ deep mantle viscosity case (TMD2 at the top frame)shows muted amplitudes interior to the continent of Antarctica rela-tive to TMD1 (bottom frame), while more robust responses occur inthe oceanic Southern Hemisphere in TMD2, due to the longer re-laxation times and lower wave number responses of the lower man-tle in the later model. Note in Figure 4, in contrast however, howsimilar the predictions are within continental Canada.

The main advantage of using these GIA predictions offered at theGGFC Special Bureau for Mantle web site is that there exists amore appropriate balance of glacial loading/unloading betweenSouthern and Northern Hemispheres in the models, accounting forICE5G and IJ05, and Patagonian loads simultaneously.

The load assumes an Antarctic, Antarctic Peninsula + Patagonianload from the Southern Hemisphere that contribute a total of 10.36meters of equivalent eustatic sea level rise since 21 kyr BP. Withthe exception of additional mass that correspond to small and dis-tributed ice masses in the far eastern parts of Siberia andKamchatka, which amount to less than 0.3 meters of equivalenteustatic sea level rise since last glacial maximum (LGM), the North-ern Hemispheric part of the ice load history relies on the chronol-ogy and mass distribution of the ICE5G model. However, in order to

Additional Notes on the HybridLoad Model Assumed

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Fig. 1: Variants of the KL02 series, with the lower frame representing a case with the lowest value of uppermantle viscosity represented in the suite of models. It is of interest that Kaufmann and Lambeck (2002)selected the later set (green) parameters when accounting for present-day melting of Antarctica in theirmodeling scheme.

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Fig. 2: Variants of the WKWZ series, with only the bottom viscosity of the mantle 650 km above the CMBbeing varied between top (‘hard’ post-perovskite) and lower (‘soft’ post-perovskite) frames. Three orders ofmagnitude difference in viscosity is assumed between the two predictions. Note, again, the larger predictionfor Southern Hemisphere with the lower viscosity, now confined to a ‘CMB asthenosphere’. The values of theupper and mid mantle viscosity keep rebounding geoids large in the Northern Hemisphere in both models.

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Fig. 3: Contrast between one representative stratified rheologies from the WKWZ series, with one from thePZW series. Note that there is relatively little difference between the model predictions and that the upperand deepest mantle viscosity values are similar. WKWZ and PZW used ICE3G and 5G, respectively.WKWZ used ICE3G plus Hudson Bay proximal constraints, and PZW used ICE5G with GRACE and RSLconstraints.

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Fig. 4: Contrast between two acceptable solutions determined with the aid of GRACE trend for theLaurentide (TDM series). Note that there are relatively large differences outside of Canada.

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merge the IJ05-Patagonian (PAT) models of Ivins and James (2004,2005) with that of Peltier (2004), and still respect the data con-straining the timing of sea-level rise since LGM far from the sites ofthe deglaciating ice sheets, along with approximate relative ampli-tudes of ice thicknesses at different geographic locations in theNorthern Hemisphere, a simple mass-based scheme was used formerging. The modification to northern components of ICE5G re-quired that they be increased in mass by 6% throughout the iceloading and unloading. This increase compensated for the decreaseof the Southern Hemisphere in the IJ05-PAT models, with the totalmean LGM sea-level rise amounting to 122.12 meters in the mergedglobal modified IJ05-ICE5G model assumed in all calculations pre-sented here and for those Stokes rate coefficients that aredownloadable from the web site. All computations are performedusing code developed by Erik R. Ivins at the Jet Propulsion Labora-tory, with the exception of an associated Legendre polynomialClenshaw summation routine kindly provided by Dr. Simon Holmes(Holmes and Featherstone, 2002).

NASA’s Earth Science Program, Solid Earth and Surface Proc-esses Focus Area at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Insti-tution of Technology, funded this work.

DeMets, C. and D.S. Wilson (2008). Toward a minimum changemodel for recent plate motions: calibrating seafloor spreading ratesfor outward displacement, Geophys. J. Int., 174, 825–841.

Dyke, A. S., A. Moore, and L. Robertson (2003). Deglaciation ofNorth America, Tech. Rep. Open File 1574, scale 1:7,000000,Geol. Surv. of Can., Ottawa.

Glasser, N.F., K.N. Jansson, S. Harrison, and J. Kleman (2008).The glacial geomorphology and Pleistocene history of SouthAmerica between 38°S and 56°S, Quaternary Sci. Rev., 27, 365–390.

Holmes, S.A. and W.E. Featherstone (2002). Spherical harmonicexpansions fully normalised associated Legendre functionsClenshaw summation, J. Geodesy, 76, 279–299.

Huang, J. and D. Zhao (2006). High-resolution mantle tomographyof China and surrounding regions, J. Geophys. Res., 111, B09305,doi:10.1029/2005JB004066.

Ivins, E.R. and T.S. James (2004). Bedrock response to Llanqihue,Holocene and present-day glaciation in southernmost SouthAmerica, Geophys. Res. Lett., 31, L-24613, doi:10.1029/2004GL021500.

Ivins, E.R. and T.S. James (2005). Antarctic glacial isostatic ad-justment: A new assessment, Antarctic Science, 17(4), 537–549.

Ivins, E.R. and D. Wolf (2008). Glacial isostatic adjustment: New



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developments from advanced observing systems and modeling,J. Geodynamics, 46, 69–77, doi:10.1016/j.jog.2008.06.002.

Kaufmann, G. and K. Lambeck (2002). Glacial isostatic adjust-ment and the radial viscosity profile from inverse modeling. J.Geophys. Res., 107, B-2280, doi:10.1029/2001JB000941.

Makintosh, A., D. White, D.B. Gore, J. Pickard, and P.C. Fanning(2007). Exposure ages from mountain dipsticks in Mac. RobertsonLand, East Antarctica, indicate little change in ice-sheet thick-ness since the Last Glacial Maximum, Geology, 270, 551–554.

Paulson, A., S. Zhong, and J. Wahr (2007). Inference of mantleviscosity from GRACE and relative sea level data, Geophys. J.Int., 171, 497–508.

Peltier, W. R. (2004). Global glacial isostatic adjustment and thesurface of the ice-age Earth: The ICE-5G (VM2) model andGRACE, Annu. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci., 32, 111–149.

Rangelova, E. and M. G. Sideris (2008). Contributions of terrestrialand GRACE data to the study of the secular geoid changes inNorth America, J. Geodynamics, 46, 131–143.

Ramillien, G., A. Lombard, A. Cazenave, E.R. Ivins, M. Llubes, F.Remy, and R. Biancali (2006). Interannual variations of the massbalance of the Antarctica and Greenland ice sheets from GRACE,Global and Planetary Change, 53, 198–208.

Tamisiea, M. E., J. X. Mitrovica, and J. L. Davis (2007). GRACEgravity data constrain ancient ice geometries and continentaldynamics over Laurentia, Science, 316, 881–883.

Tarasov, L. and W. R. Peltier (2004). A geophysically constrainedlarge ensemble analysis of the deglacial history of the NorthAmerican ice sheet complex, Quat. Sci. Rev., 23, 359–388.

Velicogna, I. and J. Wahr (2006). Measurements of time-variablegravity snow mass loss in Antarctica, Science, 311, 1754–1756.

Wolf, D., V. Klemann, J. Wünsch, and F-P. Zhang (2006). AReanalysis and Reinterpretation of Geodetic and Geological Evi-dence of Glacial-Isostatic Adjustment in the Churchill Region,Hudson Bay, Surveys in Geophysics, 27, 19–61.

Erik R. Ivins

Flow in the fluid outer core and motion of the inner core with respectto the outer core can result in various geodetic phenomena observ-able from the Earth’s surface or space. These phenomena includevariations in the Earth’s rotation and orientation, surface gravitychanges, geocenter variations, and surface deformations. Althoughsmall, these variations can or could be observed by very precisespace geodetic techniques. Observation of these effects yieldsunique insight into the core, which cannot be observed directly, andthe resulting better understanding of the core will lead to improvedmodels and predictions for the geodetic quantities.

Special Bureau for the CoreIntroduction

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Special Bureau for Loading

Special Bureau forGravity/Geocenter

The Special Bureau for the Core is responsible for collecting, ar-chiving, and distributing data related to the core and plays a role inpromoting and coordinating research on this topic. In particular, theSBC focuses on theoretical modelling and observations related tocore structure and dynamics (including the geodynamo), and oninner core – outer core – mantle interactions. The SBC has abouttwenty members from the fields of geomagnetism, Earth rotation,geodynamo modelling (numerical and experimental), and gravim-etry. The SBC has set up a web site (<>) as the central mechanism for providing services to thegeophysical community. Since one of the goals of the SBC is todistribute general information on the core, to make the geophysicalcommunity aware of the various geodetic effects that could be linkedwith the core, and to stimulate, support and facilitate core research,we present on our website concise explanations on topics as coreconvection, core flow, geomagnetism, core-mantle boundary tor-ques, inner core differential rotation, Earth’s rotation changes dueto the core, and core composition. Additionally, we have built andcontinuously update a bibliography of articles relevant to the corethat at present contains more than a thousand references.

The web site presently contains model data on core flow and coreangular momentum. Most data are based on the observed surfacegeomagnetism field, and various hypotheses and physical assump-tions are used to determine the flow and the angular momentum ofthe core. Moreover, a high-resolution time series is given that isdetermined by subtracting computed atmospheric angular momen-tum series from a time series for length-of-day variations. In addi-tion to the data, a description is given of the relevant theories and ofthe dynamical assumptions used for constructing the flows.

Tim Van Hoolst

No report submitted.

No report submitted.

Data products


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3.6 Combination Centres3.6.1 ITRS Combination Centres3.6.1.1 Deutsches Geodätisches Forschungsinstitut (DGFI)

The work of the ITRS Combination Centre at DGFI concentrated in2007 on analyses of the ITRF computations and comparisons ofthe different strategies. Another focus was on the handling of non-linear station motions, which is an important issue for future ITRFrealizations.

The ITRF2005 was officially released by the ITRS Centre in October2006. At the end of 2006 the ITRF2005 results were analysed andcomparisons between the IGN and DGFI solutions were performed(see IERS Annual Report 2006, section A major outcomeof the analysis and comparisons was that there is a good agree-ment between the ITRF2005 solutions of IGN and DGFI after applingsimilarity transformations. Most of the similarity transformation pa-rameters are small within their standard deviations, except for thescale and its time variation of the SLR network. A significant differ-ence of nearly 1 ppb (offset at the reference epoch 2000.0) and 0.13ppb/yr (rate) between the DGFI and IGN solutions has been found,which accumulates to nearly 2 ppb at the end of 2007. This scalediscrepancy was extensively discussed within the IERS and theTechniqes’ Services, in particular with the ILRS. As a consequenceof the fact, that SLR observations are not consistent with theITRF2005, it was decided by IGN to provide a second (re-scaled)ITRF2005 for SLR users. Taking into account this situation, it wasnecessary to perform further investigations on the ITRF computa-tion strategies. It was agreed by IGN and DGFI to identify thediffererences in the computation strategies between both ITRS Com-bination Centres and to perform further test computations to as-sess the effect of the differences on the combination results.

The computation strategy of IGN is based on the solution level bysimultaneously estimating similarity transformation parameters w.r.t.the combined frame along with the adjustment of station positions,velocities and EOPs. The general concept of DGFI is the combina-tion of normal equations and the common adjustment of stationpositions, velocities and EOP. A comparison of the combinationstrategies of both ITRS Combination Centers is provided in Tab. 1.

A major difference is that IGN is estimating similarity transforma-tion parameters between epoch solutions as well as between per-technique solutions and the combined frame. DGFI accumulatesnormal equations without estimating similarity transformations. Theestimation of similarity transformation parameters has some prob-

Introduction and overview

Comparison of IGN and DGFIcombination strategies

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Table 1: Comparison of the combination strategies of IGN and DGFI



Time series combination

Stacking of minimum constrained solutions, 7 transformation param.

Accumulation of normal equations, without transformations

Inter-technique combination

Combination of per-technique solutions, 14 transformation param. IGN selected set of local ties

Accumulation of per-technique normal equations, without transform. DGFI selected set of local ties

ITRF2005 datum – Origin – Scale – Rotation – Rotation rate

SLR VLBI 3 NNR conditions w.r.t. ITRF2000 3 NNR conditions w.r.t. NUVEL-1A

SLR VLBI + SLR (weighted mean) 3 NNR conditions w.r.t. ITRF2000 3 NNR conditions w.r.t. APKIM2005

lems: (1) terrestrial networks in different epochs are not geometri-cally similar at the accuracy-level of the station coordinates (mm)due to irregular (crustal) deformations; (2) if the entire referenceframe (station network) is moving with respect to the given datum, asimilarity transformation from the new to the old positions by pa-rameter estimation changes the datum and thus violates the defini-tion of the reference system; (3) all common motions of the sta-tions of the reference network are transformed into the similarityparameters (shift of origin, change of orientation, scale factor). Ac-cording to the ITRS definition, the datum parameters of the terres-trial reference system shall be fixed in the geocenter, and coordi-nate changes caused by the station movements must go to theindividual station coordinates and not to the datum.

The selection and the weighting of local tie information is a criticalissue for the combination of different space techniques, since thedistribution of “good” co-location sites is relatively sparse (see Fig.1). A “good” co-location site means, that the differences betweenthe local tie measurements and the space geodetic solutions arerelatively small (below 15 mm).

The geographical distribution of SLR tracking stations is in particu-lar problematic in the southern hemisphere. There are 8 co-locationsites between SLR and GPS. Fig. 2 shows the observation statis-tics of these sites. Among them are two stations with very few SLRdata (Easter Island and Conception), and Arequipa, which has beenaffected by post-seismic deformation after the earthquakes in June,2001. Tab. 2 shows the different sets of co-location sites used byIGN and DGFI.

Effect of co-location sites andhandling of local ties

Co-location sites betweenSLR and GPS

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We investigated the effect of a different local tie selection on thecombination results by means of similarity transformations. Weperformed two solutions with different sets of co-location sites. Asshown in Tab. 3 there is an impact of almost 1 ppb on the scaledifference between SLR and VLBI, if different sets of local ties areselected. However, taking into account the standard deviations forthe scale offsets and time derivatives, the observed differences arenot significant. Furthermore, the results depend on the similaritytransformations.

Fig. 1: Distribution of “good” co-location sites between GPS, SLR and VLBI

Table 2: SLR and GPS co-location sites in the southernhemisphere.

Site name DGFI IGN

Harthebeesthoek Used Used

Easter Island Not used Used

Arequipa Used Used

Conception Not used Used

Mt. Stromlo Used Down-weighted

Orroral / Tidbinbilla Used Down-weighted

Yaragadee Used Down-weighted

Tahiti / Pamatai Used Down-weighted

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From the time series analysis of the ITRF2005 data it was found,that for most of the stations seasonal signals with amplitudes up to2 cm are visible, especially in the height component (see Fig. 3 asan example). These seasonal signals may be caused by atmos-pheric and hydrological loading effects, which are presently notreduced from the original observations. In other cases, also instru-mentation effects (rather than geophysical ones) may be responsi-ble for the observed signals.

Deficiencies regarding the current reference frame computationsare that the temporal variations of station positions are describedonly by constant velocities. Deviations of the station motions froma linear model (e.g., seasonal variations) will produce errors in thecombination results. In particular for stations with relatively shortobservation time spans (i.e., < 2 years) seasonal variations will

Fig. 2: Observation periods for SLR and GPS co-location sites in the southern hemisphere.

Handling of non-linear stationmotions

Table 3: Scale differences between SLR andVLBI observations obtained from two solutions.Solution 1 refers to the local tie selection used byDGFI, and solution 2 to the IGN selection (seeTab. 2).

Solution type ∆ Scale offset [ppb]

∆ Scale rate [ppb/yr]

Solution 1 0.26 ± 0.41 0.03 ± 0.09

Solution 2 1.05 ± 0.44 0.11 ± 0.10

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affect the velocity estimations. The alignment of epoch solutions toa reference frame with positions and constant velocities is alsoaffected by non-linear station motions. The shape of these non-linear motions differs between stations. Fig. 4 shows two examplesfor the mean average shape of such annual variations.

While the Brasilia time series clearly shows a maximum and aminimum, Ankara has not a clear minimum. The averaged annualmotions of both stations can be rather well mathematically repre-sented by sine/cosine annual and semi-annual functions. The com-putation of a mean (averaged) annual motion is problematic, in par-ticular if the seasonal variations are different over the observationtime span. It is also clear, that the additional parameters will affectthe stability of the solution, which is in particular a problem forstations with rather short observation time spans. Thus, the han-dling of seasonal variations in station positions is a challenge forfuture ITRF computations.

Fig. 3: Seasonal variations for the height component for the GPS station in Irkutsk, Siberia. Thetime is given in Julian Days (w.r.t. 1.1.2000) from 1996.5 until the end of 2005.

Fig. 4: Shape of the “averaged” annual signal for two ITRF2005 stations. The fitted curve represents themathematical approximation by annual and semi-annual sine/cosine functions.

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References Angermann D., Drewes H., Krügel M., Meisel B.: Advances in ter-restrial reference frame computations, IAG Symposia Cairns,Springer, 2007.

Angermann D., Drewes H., Gerstl M., Krügel M., Meisel B.: DGFIcombination methodology for ITRF2005 computation, Proceed-ings of the IAG Symposium Geodetic Reference Frames GRF2006 Munich, Springer, in press.

Drewes H.: Reference Systems, Reference Frames, and the Geo-detic Datum – basic considerations, Proceedings of IUGG/IAGGeneral Assembly, Perugia, Springer, in press.

Krügel M. and Angermann D.: Frontiers in the combination of spacegeodetic techniques, Proceedings of IAG Symposia Cairns,Springer, 2007.

Meisel, B., Angermann, D., Krügel, M.: Influence of time-variableeffects in station positions on the terrestrial reference frame,Proceedings of the IAG Symposium Geodetic Reference FramesGRF 2006 Munich, Springer, in press.

Müller H., Angermann D.: Some Aspects Concerning the SLR Partof ITRF2005. In: Luck J., Moore Ch., Wilson P. (Hrsg.): Proceed-ings of the 15th International Workshop on Laser Ranging, EOSSpace Systems PTY Limited, Canberra, 2008.

Detlef Angermann, Hermann Drewes, Michael Gerstl,Barbara Meisel, Manuela Seitz

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3.6 Combination Centres Institut Géographique National (IGN)

The IGN ITRS Combination Centre concentrated its activity duringthe year 2007 on the analysis of new, post ITRF2005 data. Morespecifically two main analyses were performed:

• Assessment of the IVS VLBI scale behaviour using new re-processed 24-session solutions where the mean pole tide cor-rection was applied;

• Assessment of the quality of local ties in an ITRF-like combi-nation.

After the release of the ITRF2005 it was discovered that the IVSVLBI solutions included in the ITRF2005 construction did not in-clude the mean pole tide correction as recommended by the IERSConventions 2003. This correction seems to produce a constantoffset of 0.5 ppb on the VLBI TRF scale. The IVS generated a newVLBI time series of 24-hour sessions that include the mean poletide correction. This new series was analysed by the usual stack-ing procedure. Figure 1 illustrates the IVS VLBI scale behaviourover time with respect to ITRF2005 showing clearly the 0.5 ppboffset. We note the poor VLBI scale estimate in the early dates,whereas it stabilizes after 1988. These new results demonstratethat the scales of IVS VLBI and ILRS SLR solutions included in the

Assessment of IVS VLBI andILRS SLR scales with respect

to ITRF2005

Fig. 1: IVS (mean pole tide correction applied), ILRS (ITRF2005 augmented by recentdata) and DORIS-IGN (ITRF2005 augmented by recent data) scale annual averagedvariations with respect to ITRF2005.

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ITRF2005 combination could not be equal. In addition, data sup-plied for ITRF2005 augmented by recent weekly solutions from ILRSand DORISIGN were also stacked with respect to ITRF2005. TheILRS SLR scale behaviour shown in Figure 1 after or around theyear 2002 still exhibits a significant drift which is certainly due tomany factors, including the ILRS network changes, the geographicdistribution of SLR observations and the range bias effects. FromFigure 1, it could easily be seen that fitting a line over the ILRSscale yields a scale bias of about 0.5 ppb at epoch 2000.0 withrespect to the new IVS VLBI solution. The ILRS is working on newreprocessed solutions where the range bias corrections have beenre-evaluated for all ILRS stations. Figure 1 displays also the DORISIGN scale behaviour over time which seems to be close to IVSscale, although it is more scattered.

In order to evaluate the quality and the impact of local ties in theITRF combinations, we selected here the most pertinent sites con-necting GPS, SLR and VLBI co-located stations. Using the localties of these co-located stations, we elaborated an ITRF2005-likecombination and computed the Weighted Root Mean Scatter of thetie residuals in East, North and Up components. This test combi-nation involves 22 GPS-SLR and 29 GPS-VLBI tie vectors. Notethat GPS network enforces the connection between VLBI and SLR,

Assessment of the quality oflocal ties in an ITRF-like


Fig. 2: Local tie residuals as results of an ITRF2005-like combination.

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given the fact that there are 7 usable VLBI-SLR co-locations only, avery small number to allow reliable connection between these twotechniques. As results of this test combination, Figure 2 illustratesthe local tie residuals over the 51 involved sites, indicating that thelocal tie quality (in terms of WRMS) is at the level of 3–5 mm.Figure 2 exhibits also differences larger than 1 cm for approximately20 % of the involved co-locations. We recall here that the usualITRF combination incorporates the local ties with appropriate weight-ing in order to avoid contaminating the ITRF solution with the tieerrors. Note also that the ITRF2005 combination involved about 100SINEX files of local ties where about 45 % of them are with fullvariance covariance information.

Zuheir Altamimi, Xavier Collilieux

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3.6.2 Combination Research Centres3.6.2.1 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI) – Centro di Geodesia Spaziale


Combination researchactivity and products

1. ILRS combined SSC/EOPweekly solution

The Italian Space Agency’s (ASI) Space Geodesy Center (CGS),located near Matera, Italy, is a Fundamental Geodetic Station, host-ing three permanent Space Geodetic systems (SLR since 1983,VLBI since 1990, GPS since 1995) providing raw observational data,acquired, screened and archived continuously and then forwardedto the IERS Technique Centres (ILRS, IVS, IGS). Since severalyears, in addition to the single-technique data analysis productsprovided to ILRS, IVS, IGS, IERS as Analysis Center (AC), ASI-CGS consolidated its role of Combination Center (IERS CRC, ILRSCC).

In 2007, the ASI-CGS combination activities, within the ILRS frame,have been focussed on the continuous production of the ILRS offi-cial combined weekly solution and its further analysis to preparethe new long term contribution to the ITRF, as well as on the prepa-ration of the experimental combined ILRS orbital products. Moreo-ver, other combination products and value-added geophysical prod-ucts based on combined geodetic products have been realized,such as the Mediterranean area combined solution and the deriva-tion of excitation functions from the estimated EOP’s.

Every Wednesday ASI-CGS issues the weekly ILRS official solu-tion (ILRSA) derived from the combination of individual contributingSLR solutions based on the observations to Lageos 1-2 and Etalon1-2 satellites, providing them to the users via the CDDIS and EDCarchives, and hereto IERS. The combination methodology relies onthe direct combination of loose constrained solutions, described inprevious IERS reports. In 2007, two more AC’s joined the opera-tional weekly production (namely GA, Australia and GRGS, France),raising to eight the number of official ILRS contributing ACs. TheILRSA solutions contain:

1. Weekly coordinates of the worldwide SLR tracking network2. Daily EOP’s (xpole, ypole, LOD), ITRF2000-framed for IERS

Bulletin B, ITRF2005-framed since November 2007

The transition to the new ITRF2005 was performed in November2007 and its impact on the individual and combined solutions hasbeen evaluated on a 2-year long time series (Jan 2006 – Oct 2007),as plotted below. Besides the expected stability for the Core Sites,a significant improvement is reflected also on the non-Core Sites,whose average differences (3d WRMS) with respect to ITRF2005 islimited by 20 cm in the case of the ILRS combined solutions, evenif the apparent rising trend proves the need of frequently updatingthe ITRF.

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To prepare the new ILRS contribution to ITRF on a longer data spancovering the majority of SLR tracking history, a critical analysis hasbeen started in 2007 on the already submitted SSC time seriesfrom the contributing AC’s, and guidelines to all AC’s in order toproperly analyze the older data set have been set up.

An experimental ILRS combined orbital product has been understudy since September 2007: in principle, it consists in a com-bined set of state vectors (SV’s) for Lageos 1-2, Etalon 1-2 satel-lites, aligned to the EOP/SSC weekly product.

The ILRS AC’s are requested to provide their orbital solutions inthe form of SP3-formatted files, in the same ECEF in which theyprovide their ‘loose’ SSC/EOP solutions, with SV’s every 2 minutes(Lageos) and every 15 minutes (Etalon), covering the whole week,while the ILRS CC’s are requested to develop a combination proce-dure to provide an optimal ILRS combined product. The ASI-CGScombination procedure is under design; basically, it will include anhom*ogeneous transformation of the SP3 files to the ITRF of refer-ence, by using the Helmert parameters estimated in the SSC/EOP

Fig. 1: ILRSA SSC differences w.r.t. ITRF2000 and w.r.t. ITRF2005 (2006–2007)

2. ILRS combined orbitalweekly solution

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combination and reported in the weekly summary report, and aweighted average of the state vectors, based on a unique weeklyweight for each AC solution reflecting the agreement of each solu-tion to the reference ITRF (3d WRMS of SSC residuals).

The initial study phase started with the analysis of the availableSP3 test files from the ILRS AC’s (in 2007, ASI and DGFI only);comparison tests showed, as an initial result, a 5-cm level positionagreement in the Lageos 1 orbit after the proper similarity transfor-mation.

Twice a year, ASI-CGS produces a combined velocity solution forthe Mediterranean area using its original single-technique velocitysolutions (SLR, VLBI and GPS) that cover the whole data spanacquired by the three co-located systems from the beginning ofacquisitions in Matera. The ASIMed solution (<>) gives a detailed picture of theresidual velocity field in the area, profiting of the dense permanentGPS coverage. The semiannual updating profits of the improve-ments in the velocity field information as geodetic sites becomestable in terms of their data acquisition history.


XX mmeeaann


YY mmeeaann


ZZ mmeeaann


VVXX mmeeaann


VVYY mmeeaann


VVZZ mmeeaann

ssttdd LLAAGGEEOOSS 11 mm mm mm mmmm//ss mmmm//ss mmmm//ss 66 ddaayyss 00,,000011 00,,000044 --00,,001100 --00,,000011 00,,000011 00,,000011 00,,005533 00,,006600 00,,005555 00,,006622 00,,006611 00,,003344 11 ddaayy --00,,000033 00,,000066 --00,,001122 00,,000011 00,,000011 --00,,000011 00,,003355 00,,003377 00,,004444 00,,005588 00,,005544 00,,002266

Table 1: ILRSA EOP differences w.r.t. IERS C04 for 2006

3. The ASIMed solution

Fig. 3: Italian residual velocity field from ASIMed2007_ver2.0

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ASI-CGS continued the pre-operational production and the testing/validation phase for the geodetic excitation functions from its ownestimation of EOP values (at present SLR only; the current use ofCGS VLBI and GPS EOP is also under testing) to make themavailable on the ASI geodetic web site (<>):the daily geodetic excitation functions are produced every Tuesdayalong with the operational weekly SLR solution, staked and com-pared whenever possible with the atmospheric excitation functionsfrom the IERS SBA, under the IB and non-IB assumption, includingthe “wind” term.

The atmospheric and geodetic excitation functions show clearsimilarities, not considering the expected systematic differences,as in the plots above, relevant to the x and y components. An evenclearer and quantifiable correlation is shown in the z component:the linear dependence between the atmospheric and geodetic val-ues is evident (R2 > 0.94 over two years of values) as it is shown inthe following plots (a systematic bias has been removed from theatmospheric values). The product is expected to be published onthe GeoDAF web site during 2008.

4. The EOP excitation functions

Fig. 3: x-y Excitation Functions 2006 – 2007 from ASI, SBA values

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Giuseppe Bianco, Vincenza Luceri, Cecilia Sciarretta

Fig. 4: z Excitation Functions 2006 from ASI, SBA values

Fig. 5: Linear regression of z Excitation Functions 2006–2007 from ASI,SBA values

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Staff Astronomical Institute, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, andDepartment of Geodesy, Czech Technical University, Prague


Combination of EOP andstation coordinates

The CRC is an integral part of the Center for Earth Dynamics Re-search (CEDR) that joins five Czech institutions active in astronomyand geosciences research. The combination research in precedingyears was maintained principally in two different, and more or lessindependent, directions. In one approach we combined some of theEarth Orientation Parameters using the ‘combined smoothing’ al-gorithm that we recently proposed, without changing the underlyingreference frames (terrestrial, celestial). In the other one, we fol-lowed the direction of combining non-SINEX particular solutions ofdifferent techniques to determine the Earth orientation parameterssimultaneously with station coordinates. In 2007, we continued ouractivities by merging these two approaches together. Our PhD stu-dent, Vojtech Štefka, is responsible for solving this problem.

We started to use constraints similar to the ones used to define‘smoothness’ of the resulting curve in Vondrák smoothing method,in order to ensure the continuity and smoothness of Earth Orienta-tion Parameters of our non-rigorous combination. To this end, atransfer function, corresponding to appropriate value of the weightfor these constraints, was empirically estimated and used to com-pute three-year solution. Our numerical solutions of the combina-tion were so far based on solving full normal equation matrix, whichwas a rather time consuming task. Therefore, the more effectivealgorithm for sparse systems from the GNU Gama package (<>) has been recently implemented.This decreased the necessary computation time by about one or-der.

Astronomical Institute: Dr. Jan Vondrák (Primary Scientist),Dr. Cyril Ron, Vojtech Štefka

Department of Geodesy: Prof. Jan Kostelecký (Head of CEDR),Dr. Ivan Pešek, Prof. Aleš Cepek

Štefka V., Pešek I.: 2007, Implementation of the Vondrák’s smoothingin the combination of results of different space geodesy tech-niques, Acta Geodyn. Geomater., Vol. 4, No. 4 (148), 129–132.

Štefka V., Pešek I., Vondrák J.: 2008, Three-year solution of EOPby combination of results of different space techniques, In: N.Capitaine (ed.) Journées 2007 Systèmes de référence spatio-temporels, Observatoire de Paris, 2008, in press

Jan Vondrák, Ivan Pešek

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IERS Annual Report 2007 139 Deutsches Geodätisches Forschungsinstitut Deutsches Geodätisches Forschungsinstitut (DGFI)

DGFI contributionsto GGOS-D

In the year 2007, the activities of the IERS Combination ResearchCentre at DGFI concentrated on contributions to the IERS Combi-nation Pilot Project and the closely related German project GGOS-D as well as on updates of the SLR intra-technique combination.

Within the IERS Combination Pilot Project (CPP), DGFI providesindividual SLR and VLBI solutions and combined SLR solutions tothe ILRS and IVS, respectively. DGFI has been accepted by theIERS as a Combination Centre for the inter-technique combinationof the weekly/daily SINEX files provided by the Techniques’ Serv-ices. Studies and inter-technique combinations performed in theyear 2007 concentrated on the weighting, the handling of local tiesand the datum definition. The DGFI combination software DOGS-CS has been updated and preparations for the generation of weeklycombined solutions on a routine basis have been performed.

Although GGOS-D is not an IERS project, the work is very closelyrelated to the DGFI research performed as IERS Combination Re-search Centre. GGOS-D is funded by the German Ministry for Re-search and Education in the frame of the programme GEOTECHNO-LOGIEN. The project involves four institutions: GeoForschungs-Zentrum Potsdam (GFZ), Bundesamt für Kartographie und Geodäsie(BKG) in Frankfurt am Main, Institut für Geodäsie und Geoinformation,Universität Bonn (IGG-B), and DGFI. In 2007, DGFI has performedthe following major activities within GGOS-D:

• Based on the common standards and models that have beenimplemented in the different software packages (OCCAM forVLBI, DOGS-OC for SLR), the long time series of VLBI andSLR data have been hom*ogeneously reprocessed at DGFI.Furthermore, the two individual SLR solutions of DGFI andGFZ were combined at DGFI.

• In cooperation with GFZ Potsdam and TU Munich, the GPSand VLBI data were reprocessed by applying different (fullyhom*ogenized) tropospheric mapping functions (solution 1: NiellMapping Function (NMF) and constant a-priori zenith delay;solution 2: Vienna Mapping Function (VMF) and a-priori ze-nith delay from ECMWF). Based on these solutions the VLBIand GPS height time series were analysed and compared.Furthermore, investigations regarding the estimation of load-ing coefficients from the GPS and VLBI height time serieshave been carried out.

• A major focus of the DGFI work in 2007 was on the computa-tion of a GGOS-D terrestrial reference frame (TRF) from the

DGFI contributions to theIERS Combination Pilot


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VLBI, SLR and GPS long time series. The TRF computationconsists of the two following major steps: (1) Accumulation ofthe time series normal equations per technique and analyis ofthe time series solutions; (2) Inter-technique combination ofthe accumulated multi-year normal equations per technique.Research objectives addressed include the handling of non-linear station motions, the developments of strategies for theselection of co-location sites and the implementation of localtie information, as well as the weighting and the datum defini-tion of the final TRF solution.

In 2007, DGFI has refined the intra-technique combination method-ology and software for an automated combination of the individualSLR solutions. The variance component estimation, which wasmainly implemented for an automatic weighting, turned out to be auseful tool also for outlier analysis of the input solutions. The soft-ware for a daily automatic combination with seven days input solu-tions has been developed and tested for automatic processing. Alsoin 2007 the test phase for a weekly combination of orbit solutionsstarted. The software is in development.

This work was partly funded by the project GGOS-D within theGEOTECHNOLOGIEN programme of the Federal Ministry of Edu-cation and Research (BMBF: Bundesministerium für Forschungund Technologie), FKZ 03F0425C.

Kelm, R.: Rigorous variance component estimation in weekly intra-technique and inter-technique combination for global terrestrialreference frames. Proceedings of the IAG Symposium GeodeticReference Frames GRF 2006 Munich, Springer, in press.

Krügel, M., Thaller, D., Tesmer, V., Rothacher, M., Angermann, D.,Schmid, R.: Troposphere parameters: Combination based on onhom*ogeneous VLBI data. In: Schuh, H., A. Nothnagel, C. Ma(Eds.): VLBI special issue. Journal of Geodesy, 81, 515–527,DOI 10.1007/s00190-006-0127-8, 2007.

Krügel, M, Angermann, D., Drewes, H., Gerstl, M., Meisel, B.,Tesmer, V., Thaller, D.: GGOS-D Reference Frame Computations.GEOTECHNOLOGIEN Sciene Report, No. 11, ISSN 1619-7399,2007.

Meisel, B., Angermann, D., Krügel, M.: Influence of time-variableeffects in station positions on the terrestrial reference frame,Proceedings of the IAG Symposium Geodetic Reference FramesGRF 2006 Munich, Springer, in press.

Tesmer, V., Böhm, J., Heinkelmann, R., Schuh, H.: Effect of differ-ent tropospheric mapping functions on the TRF, CRF, and posi-tion time series estimated from VLBI. In: Schuh, H., Nothnagel,

SLR intra-techniquecombination


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A., Ma, C. (Eds.): VLBI special issue. Journal of Geodesy, 81,409–421, DOI 10.1007/s00190-006-0127-8, 2007.

Tesmer, V., Böhm, J., Meisel, B., Rothacher, M., Steigenberger, P.:Atmospheric loading coefficients determined from hom*ogeneouslyreprocessed GPS and VLBI time series, 5th IVS General MeetingProceedings, 2008.

Thaller, D., Krügel, M., Rothacher, M., Tesmer, V., Schmid, R.Angermann, D.: Combined Earth Orientation Parameters (EOP)based on hom*ogeneous and continuous VLBI and GPS data. In:Schuh, H., A. Nothnagel, C. Ma (Eds.): VLBI special issue. Jour-nal of Geodesy, 81, 529–541, DOI 10.1007/s00190-006-0127-8,2007.

Detlef Angermann, Hermann Drewes, Rainer Kelm,Barbara Meisel, Manuela Seitz, Volker Tesmer

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FFI has during the last 25 years developed a software packagecalled GEOSAT (Andersen, 1995) for the combined analysis of VLBI,GNSS (GPS, GALILEO, GLONASS), SLR and other types of sat-ellite tracking data (DORIS, PRARE and altimetry). The observa-tions are combined at the observation level with a consistent modeland consistent analyses strategies. The data processing is auto-mated except for some manual editing of the SLR observations.

In the combined analysis of VLBI, GNSS and SLR observations,the data are processed in arcs of 24 hours defined by the durationof the VLBI session. The result of each analyzed arc is a statevector of estimated parameter corrections and a Square Root Infor-mation Filter array (SRIF) containing parameter variances and cor-relations. The individual arc results are combined into a multiyearglobal solution using a Combined Square Root Information Filterand Smoother program called CSRIFS. With the CSRIFS programany parameter can either be treated as a constant or a stochasticparameter between the arcs. The estimation of multiday stochasticparameters is possible and extensively used in the analyses. Theadvantages of the combination of independent and complementaryspace geodetic data at the observation level is discussed in(Andersen, 2000).

After six years of development and validation a completely newversion of the GEOSAT software is ready for routine processing ofspace geodesy observations and tracking data towards spacecraftsin the Solar system. The software will automatically detect if thespacecraft is in cruise mode or is orbiting around a central body. Inthe latter case, the central body is automatically identified and astate-of-the-art gravity field for the central body is read from a file. Ifthe central body is the Earth, all dynamics will be represented in alocal geocentric space-time frame of reference. If the central bodyis another body in the Solar system (any planet, natural satellite, ora „big“ comet or asteroid), all dynamics will be represented in aSolar system barycenter space-time frame of reference with theorigin at the center of mass of the central body. If the spacecraft isin cruise mode, all dynamics will be represented in a Solar systembarycenter space-time frame of reference with the origin at the centerof mass of the Solar system. These celestial reference frames areconsistent to the mm level for Earth satellites within GEOSAT. An-other improvement is that all bodies between the spacecraft andthe Sun is tested for possible eclipse effects and the fraction ofreduction in light on the spacecraft is accounted for. If the space-craft is not in cruise mode and the central body is not the Earth, thetrajectory of the central body can be calculated if the data allow it.

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IERS Annual Report 2007 143 Forsvarets forskningsinstitutt

In GEOSAT the „spacecraft“ can either be an artificial satellite, aplanet, a natural satellite of a planet, an asteroid, or a comet. Pre-liminary orbits are available in GEOSAT for the 300 largest aster-oids and for the largest comets. With this software it will be possi-ble to reduce terrestrial error contributions in the analyses of deepspace tracking data. Off cause, all „terrestrial-like“ parameters for acelestial body (different from the Earth) can, if the tracking dataallow it, be estimated. Signal delays (for MW and SLR) through theneutral atmosphere of the Earth is calculated from 3D raytracingusing time-series of numerical weather data from the EuropeanCenter for Medium-range Weather Forecast. Other important im-provements and changes have been described in previous IERSAnnual Reports.

The new version of GEOSAT has two very useful features:1) It can simultaneously combine data from virtually any number

of VLBI, SLR, and GNSS instruments at a collocated site eitherobserving simultaneously or in different time windows. All informa-tion will contribute to the estimation of the migration of an automati-cally selected master reference point at each station. Time seriesof eccentricity vectors will also be estimated.

2) The solve-for model parameters in combined processing of theVLBI + SLR + GNSS can either be instrument-dependent, tech-nique-dependent, microwave-dependent, optical-dependent, or site-dependent. The switching between the different types is extremelysimple. A simple application would be to in a first run treat thezenith wet delay parameters as instrument-dependent parameterswhich means that e.g. a station with two GPS receivers and oneVLBI instrument will have three estimates of this parameter. If theresults are consistent, these parameters can be estimated as asingle parameter represented by a microwave-dependent param-eter in a second run. The same can be tested for clock parametersfor collocated clocks etc.

The project goal several years ago was to demonstrate the con-cept of simultaneous combination of different types of data at thesingle observation level with very limited amounts of data. Now weplan to go one step further with the processing of several years ofVLBI+SLR+GNSS data including 100–200 GNSS stations per day.We have for this purpose installed an array of 10 computers withaltogether 40 cpu’s, 60 GB Ram, and 10 TB disk space.

Present analysis status:• We have produced OMC files (Observed minus Calculated

and observation partial derivatives wrt potential solve-for pa-rameters) for the period Jan 2000 to Dec 2007 for VLBI, GPSand SLR. Data from around 170 GPS stations are included.

• We have produced combined (at the observation level) ap-proximately 1000 arcs (24 hours each) of either VLBI + SLR +

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GPS (when VLBI is available) or SLR + GPS. We have per-formed extensive testing to find a proper parameterization atthe combination level and found that one quite tightly con-strained atmospheric parameter needs to be estimated for allMW data within a collocated station. Furthermore, if differentMW instruments are connected to the same H-M clock, onesingle linear clock drift estimated parameter is sufficient. Offcause, each MW instrument must have each own estimatedclock offset. One example is the GPS receivers NYAL andNYA1, and the VLBI instrument at Ny-Ålesund, where theestimated clock offsets of the two GPS receivers differ bytypically 10–20 picoseconds. Note that the antennas and ca-bles are not identical. The cable lengths are also different. Foreach arc a single combined set of coordinates is estimatedfor each station in addition to eccentricity vectors betweenthe antenna phase centers.

• Produce SRIF arrays for all VLBI + SLR + GPS or SLR + GPSarcs between Jan 2000 to Dec 2007.

• Combine these arrays to a multi-year global solution with timesseries of e.g. the coordinates of one reference marker perstation and the eccentricity vectors.

• Write software to represent GEOSAT solutions in the SINEXformat.

• Observations from the GALILEO navigation system will beapplied when available. Only minor changes in GEOSAT arerequired for this extension.

Andersen, P. H. (2000) Multi-level arc combination with stochasticparameters. Journal of Geodesy 74: 531–551.

Andersen, P. H. (1995) High-precision station positioning and sat-ellite orbit determination. PhD Thesis, NDRE/Publication 95/01094.

Per Helge Andersen


Future plans

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IERS Annual Report 2007 145 Institute of Geodesy and Geoinformation, Bonn Institute of Geodesy and Geoinformationof the University of Bonn (IGGB)

The Institute of Geodesy and Geoinformation of the University ofBonn has been operating an IERS Combination Research Center(CRC) since 2001 in cooperation with the Deutsches GeodätischesForschungsinstitut (DGFI) in Munich. The CRC and its efforts areclosely linked to the tasks of the Analysis Coordinator of the Inter-national VLBI Service for Geodesy and Astrometry (IVS) hosted byIGGB.

In 2007, combination research has again been devoted to thecombination of the IVS Analysis Center’s contributions to the regu-lar IVS products. This research lead to a new combination processfor the two IVS EOP series (rapid and quarterly solutions) whichhas been made operational on January 1, 2007. Routine combina-tions of IVS are now being made exclusively on the basis of datum-free normal equations in SINEX format. In 2007, five IVS AnalysisCenters (BKG, DGFI, GSFC, IAA and USNO) contributed to theIVS combined products by providing input in the form of datum-freenormal equations. The rapid solutions contain only R1 and R4 ses-sions and new data points are added twice a week as soon as theSINEX files of the five IVS Analysis Centers are available. For thequarterly solution, updated every three months, almost all availabledata of 24-hour sessions from 1984 onwards are used. Since thisseries is designed for EOP determinations, those sessions areexcluded which are observed with networks of limited extension orwhich are scheduled for a different purpose like radio source moni-toring.

The advantage of the new combination strategy is that one com-mon terrestrial reference frame (e.g. ITRF2005) is applied after thecombined datum-free normal matrix is generated. Thus, it is guar-anteed that an identical datum is used in the combination processfor all input series. After datum definition, the combined system ofnormal equations is solved (inverted) and the full set of EOP (polecomponents, UT1–UTC, and their time derivatives as well as twonutation offsets in dpsi, depsilon w.r.t. the IAU2000A model areextracted. These results are added to the two EOP time series inthe IVS EOP Exchange format, the rapid solution file (ivs07r1e.eops)and the quarterly solution file (ivs07q4e.eops). Companion files con-taining the nutation offsets in the X, Y paradigm are routinely gener-ated through a standard transformation process (ivs07r1X.eops,ivs07q4X.eops). At the same time the combined SINEX files (da-tum-free normal equations) are also available on the web for furthercombination with other techniques. The weighted RMS differencesbetween the individual IVS Analysis Centers and the combined prod-ucts have been reduced from roughly 80 – 100 µas to 50 – 60 µas inall components.

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As part of the quality assessment of the combination process,long-term time series of station positions of each individual IVSAnalysis Center, derived from the submitted normal equations, havebeen compared with each other. Through this, systematic offsets inthe height component of up to 1 cm have been detected betweensolutions analysed with the VLBI analysis software packagesOCCAM and CALC/SOLVE. In order to find the reason for thesediscrepancies several models used in both software packages havebeen compared in close cooperation with the VLBI group at DGFI.It turned out that the systematic offsets were mainly caused bydifferences in the pole tide model. In the CALC/SOLVE solutions, amodel for the annual mean pole was used, basically setting themean pole coordinates to zero, which was not in agreement withthe IERS Conventions 2003. Therefore, all analysis centers usingCALC/SOLVE reprocessed their solutions with the conventional poletide model according to the IERS Conventions 2003 and most ofthe discrepancies disappeared. Since the IVS input to ITRF2005was affected by the same inconsistency, the ITRF2005 may beaffected by this oversight, though not to the full extent.

The work reported here has kindly been funded by the GermanBundesminister für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF) under theGeotechnologien Project „Beobachtung des Systems Erde aus demWeltraum“, FKZ 03F0425D.

Axel Nothnagel, Thomas Artz, Sarah Böckmann

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IERS Annual Report 2007 147 GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam (GFZ)

Introduction Most of the work related to the IERS CRC at GFZ is embedded inthe project “GGOS-D” (see Section 3.7.2 “WG on Combination” formore details). The major features of this project are the high degreeof standardization of the modeling and parameterization betweenthe software packages used, the consistent reprocessing of all ob-servations and the exchange of datum-free normal equation sys-tems (NEQs). Thus, the resulting time series of parameters arevery hom*ogeneous and a rigorous combination of the individual con-tributions is possible. The following topics were studied in 2007:

• Subdaily Earth rotation parameters from GPS and VLBI

• SLR combination including low-degree harmonics of the Earth’sgravity field

• Combined Earth Orientation Parameters

• Combination of the GPS ground network and Low EarthOrbiters (LEOs)

The space geodetic techniques GPS and VLBI are able to observesubdaily variations in Earth rotation that are mainly caused by oceantides. As the periods of these tides are well-known, their ampli-tudes can be estimated in a weighted least squares adjustmentusing subdaily ERP time series as pseudo-observations. Suchsubdaily ERP models were determined from hom*ogeneously re-processed GPS and VLBI longtime series. The GPS series(Steigenberger et al., 2006) covers the time period January 1994 tillOctober 2005 with an ERP spacing of 2 hours. The VLBI solutionwas computed by Goddard Space Flight Center from 3804 VLBIsessions between 1980 and 2007 with a parameter spacing of 1hour. The largest tidal amplitudes of the GPS and VLBI subdailyERP models estimated from these series as well as the IERS2003model (McCarthy and Petit, 2004) are shown in Fig. 1. The polarmotion amplitudes in general agree on the level of 4.2 to 9.4 µas,the UT1 amplitudes differences are between 0.5 and 1.1 µs. Themaximum differences can reach up to 16.9 µas and 2.4 µs, respec-tively.

As the GPS and VLBI subdaily ERP models discussed aboveshowed a high level of consistency, a simple combined GPS/VLBImodel has been computed. Tab. 1 lists the RMS differences of theGPS and VLBI single-technique models and the combined modelw.r.t. the IERS2003 model. A significant RMS reduction of 15 and40 % could be achieved for diurnal and semidiurnal prograde polarmotion, respectively. For retrograde polar motion, the RMS differ-ences of the combined model are slightly worse compared to theGPS model but smaller by a factor of almost two compared to theVLBI model. For UT1, the impact of the combination is smaller: the

Subdaily Earth RotationParameters from GPS and


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Fig. 1: Major tidal amplitudes in polar motion from GPS (blue), VLBI (red) and the IERS2003 model (green):(a) diurnal prograde polar motion; (b) semidiurnal prograde polar motion; (c) semidiurnal retrograde polarmotion.

−100 0 100 200




Cosine [ µas]


[ µa


−20 0 20 40 60−80




Cosine [ µas]

−100 −50 0 50 100 1500






Cosine [ µas]

(a) (b) (c)













diurnal RMS differences of the combined model are slightly largerthan that of the single-technique solutions whereas for semidiurnalUT1, the RMS values of the combined model are almost the sameas for the GPS-only model.

Since the space-geodetic techniques GPS and VLBI now have along history of data, the time series of Earth orientation parameters(EOP) that can be estimated covers more than a decade. Althoughcomputing a solution for the entire time span including station coor-dinates, velocities and all EOPs in only one step yields the mostconsistent parameters, it may be very time consuming. Therefore,the question arises how large the differences are compared to thefull solution if the time series of EOP is computed from sub-inter-vals of data, e.g., one day, one week, one year, etc.

We compared time series of EOPs derived from daily solutionswith the time series derived from a full solution for the time span1994 until 2006. Figure 2 shows the differences exemplarily for thex-pole in case of a combined GPS-VLBI solution (WRMS of the

Table 1: Mean RMS differences of the GPS and VLBI single-technique and thecombined subdaily ERP models w.r.t. the IERS2003 model.

GPS VLBI Combined

Prograde diurnal polar motion [µas] 4.2 4.3 3.7

Prograde semidiurnal polar motion [µas] 2.7 3.3 2.0

Retrograde semidiurnal polar motion [µas] 2.8 5.8 3.1

Diurnal UT1 [µs] 0.38 0.38 0.44

Semidiurnal UT1 [µs] 0.60 0.67 0.59

Combined Earth OrientationParameters

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differences: 76.7 µas). It becomes clear that the largest differencesare visible in the early years, whereas only marginal differences arepresent for epochs later than approximately 1997. Similar compari-sons were done for the GPS-only time series and the VLBI-onlytime series. As regards the GPS-only time series, the results looksimilar to those for the combined time series (WRMS of the differ-ences: 70.7 µas), whereas the comparison between the daily VLBIsolutions and the multi-year VLBI solution shows differences of thesame size for the whole time span (WRMS of the differences: 177.8µas) that are in the order of the differences seen for the early yearsof the combined time series (Fig. 2). From this behavior it can beconcluded, that time series of EOP derived from daily solutionsdiffer most from a multi-year solution if the observing network of thecorresponding day is clearly weaker than the full network of themulti-year solution.

Weekly SLR solutions for the years 1993–2007 with estimated lowdegree gravity field coefficients were used to check the correspond-ence between the geometric translations and the degree one grav-ity field coefficients. Both sets of parameters represent the samephenomenon – the motion of the geocenter – and should give ap-proximately the same result. We calculated two multiyear-solu-tions – in the first one, the gravity field coefficients were fixed totheir a priori values and the geometric translations were set up asparameters and estimated. In the second solution, the degree onegravity field coefficients were estimated. In Figs. 3–5 the time se-ries of the parameters are presented. There is a good agreementbetween the geometric translations and the gravity field coefficients,the discrepancy seen in the time series of the Y-translation and theS11 coefficient might be caused by the influence of the a priorireference frame and by crustal deformations. The correlation be-tween these two sets of parameters is on the level of 0.97–0.99.

Fig. 2: Comparison of time series of x-pole derived from daily solutions with the time series derived from afull solution for the time span 1994 until 2006 (combined GPS-VLBI solution).

1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006−1




∆ x−




Combined daily − combined multi−year: Bias = 0.6 µas, drift = 1.07 µas/y, WRMS = 76.7 µas

SLR Combination IncludingLow Degree Harmonics of the

Earth’s Gravity Field

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The C00 gravity field coefficient and the geometric scale were com-pared in the same way, the result is shown in Fig. 6. Since thecorrespondence between geometric scale and C00 is not as directas in the case of translations and degree one gravity field coeffi-cients, it is likely that these parameters can be estimated simulta-neously. Indeed in the normal equation system the correlation be-tween them is on the level of 0.006, which means that they areseparable. In the long term we see in Fig. 6, however, that besidesa constant bias of about 1.8 ppb, a high correlation of about 0.93exist between the time series.

The IERS CRC at GFZ has continued determining station posi-tions, Earth Orientation Parameters (EOPs), and spherical harmonicgravity field coefficients of low degree in the integrated mode usingits EPOS software, see Zhu et al. (2004). The advantage of theintegrated approach is the simultaneous and consistent process-ing of all available observational data and the estimation of all pa-rameters including those needed to accurately account for the de-ficiencies of dynamic, geometric and observational models. Theconstellation processed comprises GPS ground stations of the IGS-and GFZ-networks, the GPS satellites, as well as the Low EarthOrbiters (LEOs) CHAMP and GRACE. The observational data in-clude GPS and SLR tracking data to the GPS and LEO satellites,

Combination of the GPSGrund Network and Low

Earth Orbiters (LEOs)

Fig. 3: X-translation and gravity field coefficient C11. Fig. 4: Y-translation and gravity field coefficient S11.

Fig. 5: Z-translation and gravity field coefficient C10. Fig. 6: Scale and gravity field coefficient C00.

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as well as accelerometer, attitude, and K-Band inter-satellite meas-urements collected on-board the LEOs, where the K-Band data arespecific to GRACE. The dense and accurate CHAMP and GRACEdata allow a high resolution of the sought for reference frame pa-rameters.

Processing the data of the year 2004 in the framework of GGOS-D, it could be proved in terms of reduced residuals and reducedscatter of parameter time series that the integrated mode deliversmore accurate results than the commonly applied sequentialprocessing of the GPS and the LEO constellations. With a ratherloose datum definition and solving for the aforementioned param-eters, the integrated mode directly gives insight into the correla-tions and the separability of the estimated parameters. Thus it be-came clear that the possibility exists of estimating the geometricand the dynamic reference frame in one step. The results havebeen compared to time series derived independently from pure SLRobservations to the LAGEOS satellites and to routine products fromthe GRACE mission.

The combination of LAGEOS and GRACE on the normal equa-tion level was analyzed for the generation of low-degree harmonics.In addition, preparations were made for a new LEO mission, theTerraSAR-X mission, which also carries the GPS two-frequencyreceiver of type CHAMP and GRACE. TerraSAR-X POD resultsproduced operationally indicate few centimeter orbit accuracies inthe sequential processing mode.

This work was partly funded by the project “GGOS-D” within theGeotechnologien-Projekt of the Deutsches Bundesministerium fürBildung und Forschung (BMBF, Federal Ministry of Education andResearch), under the promotional reference 03F0425A. DanMacMillan (NVI Inc./Goddard Space Flight Center) provided the VLBIsubdaily ERP series.

Koenig, R., Neumayer, K.H., and Vei, M. (2007): Some Effects ofData Handling and Background Models on the SLR Dynamicaland Geometrical Reference Frame. EGU General Assembly 2007,Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 9, Abstract No. EGU2007-A-03874, 2007.

Koenig, D., Koenig, R., Neumayer, K.H., and Rothacher, M. (2007):Geodetic Earth System Parameters from GPS/CHAMP/GRACEIntegrated Processing. EGU General Assembly 2007, Geophysi-cal Research Abstracts, Vol. 9, Abstract No. EGU2007-A-09823,2007.

Koenig, D., Koenig, R., and Panafidina, N. (2007): Combination ofGround Observations and LEO Data. GEOTECHNOLOGIEN; Ob-servation of the System Earth from Space, Status Seminar 22–

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23 November 2007, Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humani-ties, Munich, Programme & Abstracts, GEOTECHNOLOGIENScience Report No.11, pp. 67–69, KoordinierungsbueroGEOTECHNOLOGIEN, Potsdam, 2007.

Koenig, D., Koenig, R., Neumayer, K.H., Rothacher, M., Schmidt,R., Flechtner, F., and Meyer, U. (2007): Station Coordinates, LowDegree Harmonics, and Earth Rotation Parameters from an Inte-grated GPS/CHAMP/GRACE Processing. Poster G43C-1475,AGU Fall Meeting, 2007.

McCarthy, D.D., and G. Petit (eds.) (2004): IERS Conventions (2003),IERS Technical Note 32, Frankfurt am Main: Verlag des Bundes-amtes für Kartographie und Geodäsie

Steigenberger, P., M. Rothacher, R. Dietrich, M. Fritsche, A. Rülke,and S. Vey (2006): Reprocessing of a global GPS network, Jour-nal of Geophysical Research, 111, B05402, doi 10.1029/2005JB003747

Zhu, S., Reigber, C., and Koenig, R. (2004): Integrated Adjustmentof CHAMP, GRACE, and GPS data. Journal of Geodesy, Vol. 78,No. 1–2, pp. 103–108.

Markus Rothacher, Daniela Thaller,Peter Steigenberger, Rolf König, Natalia Panafidina

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IERS Annual Report 2007 153 Groupe de Recherches de Géodésie Spatiale Groupe de Recherches de Géodésie Spatiale (GRGS)


1 Analyses of theObservations of the various

techniques using GINS

1.1 Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR),OCA/GEMINI, Grasse

(F. Deleflie, P. Bério, D. Feraudy)

A rigorous approach to simultaneously determine both a terrestrialreference frame (TRF) materialized by station coordinates and EarthOrientation Parameters (EOP) is now currently applied on a routinebasis in a coordinated project of the Groupe de Recherches deGéodésie Spatiale (GRGS). To date, various techniques allow thedetermination of all or a part of the Earth Orientation Parameters:Laser Ranging to the Moon (LLR) and to dedicated artificial satel-lites (SLR), Very Large Baseline Interferometry on extra-galacticsources (VLBI), Global Positioning System (GPS) and more re-cently DORIS introduced in the IERS activities in 1995. Observa-tions of these different astro-geodetic techniques are separatelyprocessed at different analysis centres using unique software pack-age GINS DYNAMO, developed and maintained at GRGS. GPS atCLS, Toulouse (S. Loyer) and NOVELTIS (T. Lalanne), Doris atCLS, Toulouse (L. Soudarin), SLR at the Observatoire de la Côted’Azur, Grasse (F. Deleflie, Ph. Bério), LLR at CNES, Toulouse (J.Ch. Marty) and at the Observatoire de Paris (G. Francou), VLBI atthe Observatory of Bordeaux (G. Bourda, P. Charlot).

The final combination as well as the validation and various postanalyses are performed at the Observatoire de Paris (D. Gambis, T.Carlucci, J.Y. Richard). An exhaustive description can be found inGambis et al. (2008). In the following sections, each component ispresenting a general description of its procedures as well as recentsignificant improvements.

Observations of LAGEOS 1 and 2 satellites have been processedover 9-day arcs with 2-day overlaps. The network comprises about30 observing stations. The final RMS values are in the range of 1cm for both satellites. Weekly normal equations are derived relativeto a range bias per week, per station and per satellite, station coor-dinates and EOP at 6-hour intervals, in addition to empirical dy-namical parameters, following ILRS recommendations. Final resultsare obtained with a three week delay. Two modifications were re-cently implemented: the use of the difference between the centre ofreflection and the centre of mass as dependant of the type andpower of the laser and the use of the tropospheric correction de-rived from ECMWF meteorological models. In addition, SLR obser-vations are currently processed in an operational way, at GEMINI/OCA in Grasse, France, which became an official ILRS AC at theend of 2007. Some differences exist between the two parameterisa-tions; in particular atmospheric loading is accounted for the CRCproject, but is not included in products delivered to ILRS, affectingthe geocentre motion.

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1.3 Global Positioning System(GPS),

CLS (S. Loyer, H. Capdeville,L. Soudarin)

1.4 Very Long BaselineInterferometry (VLBI),

Observatoire de Bordeaux(G. Bourda, P. Charlot)

1.2 DOPPLER Orbitography andRadiopositioning Integrated by

Satellite (DORIS),CLS, Toulouse (L. Soudarin)

A new processing chain including several evolutions has been setup in 2007. Its main characteristics are a new set of models wasdefined for the orbit computation. The GRACE-derived gravity modelEIGEN-GL04S which includes annual and semi-annual terms ofthe low degree coefficients (up to 50), ITRF2005 and an a prioritropospheric zenith delays, derived from ECMWF meteorologicalmodel. In addition an updated version of the software is used (GINS7.2). The data processing is now fitted for a weekly delivery of theproducts requested by IDS and CRC. The analysis of the data fromJan. 2007 is performed using this new chain. Satellites processedare SPOT2, SPOT4, SPOT5 and ENVISAT. These evolutions leadto improvements of the determination of the coordinates times se-ries, EOP, scale factor, geocentre. For example, the precision ofthe weekly positioning estimated from 2-year coordinate time se-ries is now in a range of 6 to 18 mm for all the stations (weighted 3Drms).

The period 2007–2008 is associated with the intensification of theoperational activities in delivering weekly NEQ to the CRC Combi-nation Centre in Paris and solutions to IGS (including EOP, Orbitsand stations coordinates). The weekly solutions were delivered forevaluation during a period of 8 months and at the end of May 2008the group was officially labelled Analysis Centre of the IGS.

The significant improvements are the automatic processing ac-tivities as well as the development of a new pre-processing programcalled “Prairie” able to take in charge the Glonass data. The rou-tinely processed network by the CNES-CLS IGS Analysis Centrecontains now around 85 GPS sites. The latency of the processingis now 10 days.

VLBI data acquired on a regular basis by the International VLBIService for Geodesy and Astrometry (IVS) are processed using theGINS software in order to estimate the Earth Orientation Param-eters (EOP) and station positions. These include both IVS inten-

Fig. 1: Internal orbit overlappings (non weighted 3D RMS).

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IERS Annual Report 2007 155 Groupe de Recherches de Géodésie Spatiale

2 Combination procedureusing DYNAMO at Paris

Observatory(J.Y. Richard, D. Gambis,

T. Carlucci)

sive sessions (i.e. daily one-hour long experiments) and the so-called IVS-R1 and IVS-R4 sessions (i.e. two 24-hour experimentsper week). Based on these data, weekly normal matrices are pro-duced for combination with the data acquired by the other tech-niques (SLR, GPS, DORIS). The free parameters include stationpositions and the five EOP along with clock and troposphere pa-rameters. The clocks are modelled using piecewise continuous lin-ear functions with breaks every two hours. The tropospheric zenithdelays are modelled in a similar way except that breaks are appliedevery hour. The a priori terrestrial reference frame used in 2007 isITRF2005 (Altamimi et al. 2007) while the celestial frame is fixed tothe ICRF (Ma et al. 1998, Fey et al. 2004). Overall, a total of 20stations have been used in such sessions. The final post-fit weightedrms residuals for the VLBI time delay is of the order of 30 picoseconds(i.e. about 1 centimetre) for the IVS-R1 and IVS-R4 sessions, andless for the intensive ones. Comparison of the EOP results withthose published by the IVS indicates an agreement at the 0.2 maslevel.

The datum-free normal equations (NEQs) weekly derived from theanalyses of the different techniques are collected and stacked atParis Observatory to derive solutions of station coordinates andEarth Orientation Parameters (EOP). Two approaches are made:the first one consists in accumulating normal equations derivedfrom intra-technique single run solution in a single run combinedsolution; the second one leads to weekly combinations of NEQs.Results are made available at the IERS site (ftp <>)in the form of SINEX files. The strength of the method is the use ofa set of identical up-to-date models and standards in unique soft-ware for all techniques. In addition the solution benefits from mutualconstraints brought by the various techniques; in particular UT1and nutation offsets series derived from VLBI are densified and com-

Table 1: GPS products quality compared to IGS combined solution.

Orbits vs IGS Combined orbit: TX = 2 +/- 1.5 mm ; TY = 0.3 +/- 1 mm ; TZ = -2 +/- 3 mm RX = -17 +/- 35 µas ; RY = -75 +/- 65 µas ; RZ = 38 +/- 60 µas Scale = 1 + /- 0.05 ppb ; WRMS3D : 3.2 +/- 0.35 cm

Stations vs IGS05 (bias + rms) Nord = 0 +/- 2.5 mm ; Est = 0 +/- 1 mm ; Up = 0 +/- 6 mm

Pole vs IGS solution (bias + rms) Xp = 5 +/- 25 µas ; Yp = 43 +/- 30 µas ; LOD = -1.5 +/- 32 µs Xp_rate = -56 +/- 90 µas/day ; Yp_rate = -6.5 +/- 90 µas /day

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2.1 First step: intra-techniquesolution

plemented by respectively LOD and nutation rates estimated byGPS. The analyses we have performed are extending over 2005–2008. They show that the accuracy and stability of the EOP solu-tion are very sensitive to a number of critical parameters mostlylinked to the terrestrial reference frame realization, the way thatminimum constraints are applied and the quality of local ties. Wepresent thereafter the procedures which were applied, recent analy-ses and the latest results obtained. For an exhaustive presenta-tion, refer to Gambis et al. (2008).

The combination is performed in two steps. Weekly NEQs derivedby the dedicated analysis centres have been cumulated for eachtechnique over 2005–2008 to derive a single run solution. Stationsminimum variances are applied. The mean measurement residualslead to the determination of the weight of each technique in theglobal combination. The weighting procedure is based on the vari-ance component estimation method as suggested by Helmert anddescribed in Sahin et al. (1992). The weights determined in theseanalyses have been fixed in the operational combinations. The rela-tive weights are used in the matrices combinations. They should becarefully considered since contributions to EOP and station coordi-nates are different according to techniques. For instance, VLBI isthe only technique to determine both UT1 and nutation offsetswhereas satellite techniques can only bring some information ontheir respective rates. GPS-derived polar motion is more accurate.SLR brings a constraint in the long-term stability of the latter com-ponents. In addition, changes in the weights of the respective tech-

Fig. 2: Y pole 40 cumulated GPS weekscompared to IERS EOP CO4.

Fig. 3: UT1–TAI 40 cumulated GPS weekscompared to IERS EOP C04.

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2.2 Second step: inter-techniquecombination

3 Assessment of the EOPsolutions derived

niques can have significant effects on the final estimation quality.Figures 2 and 3 show the X pole and UT1 dynamo solutions overforty weeks of 2005 cumulated using only GPS observations. Con-tinuity constraints are fixed to 2 mas for X and Y poles and 30 µs forUT1.

The four intra technique NEQs derived over the three years are thenaccumulated into a single NEQ containing EOP at six-hour inter-vals. In this process local ties associated with ITRF2005 were con-sidered. A global reference frame consistent with ITFR2005 is ob-tained, station positions rates being fixed to ITRF values in theprocess. Figure 4 and 5 show results with combination of the fourtechniques GPS, VLBI, DORIS, and SLR. The weighting set are forGPS = 5.212, SLR = 1.709, VLBI = 1.927, and DORIS = 1.102. Thecontinuity constraint on Earth parameters are weak, 2 mas for Xpole and Y pole and 20 ms for UT1.

EOP are computed with respect to the IERS EOP C04 (Gambis,2004) used as the reference and corrected by the diurnal and subdiurnal model (Ray et al., 1994). Station position corrections arecomputed with respect to ITRF2000 positions (Altamimi et al., 2002)corrected with models from the IERS conventions (McCarthy andPetit, 2004). As previously mentioned, station velocity rates areheld fixed to ITRF2000 values. This appears not to be critical overtime intervals limited one year. Polar motion and UT1 are derived at6-hour intervals whereas pole offsets are derived on a 12-hour ba-sis. For the sake of comparisons, EOP sub-diurnal values are mod-

53 400 53 500 53 600 53 700 53 800 53 900 54 000 54 100 54 200 54 300 54 400-100







dates / MJD

x pole

/ m


Comparaison solution CO4 & Dynamo GPS + VLBI + SLR + DORIS


/ dynamo

xpole / CO4

53 400 53 500 53 600 53 700 53 800 53 900 54 000 54 100 54 200 54 300 54 400-1.5






dates / MJD


le /


RMS = 0.2338 mas

différence x pole / dynamo - x pole / CO4

53 400 53 500 53 600 53 700 53 800 53 900 54 000 54 100 54 200 54 300 54 400-33.3










dates / MJD


/ s

Comparaison solution CO4 & Dynamo GPS + VLBI + SLR + DORIS

UT1-TAI / dynamoUT1-TAI / CO4

53 400 53 500 53 600 53 700 53 800 53 900 54 000 54 100 54 200 54 300 54 400-150






dates / MJD


- TA


N -


- T

AI) C04

/ us

RMS = 19.87 us

différence UT1-TAI / dynamo - UT1-TAI / CO4

Fig. 4: X pole compared with IERS EOP CO4,residuals rms = 234 µas over 2005–2007.

Fig. 5:UT1–TAI compared with IERS EOP C04,residuals rms = 19.9 µs over 2005–2007.

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elled by a piecewise linear fit to yield values at 0:00 hour. Figure 6shows the difference of this combined solution with C04 used asthe reference and their RMS. The values obtained show the goodquality of the results obtained. Note the significant bias in Y poledue to the current inconsistency between the C04 and the ITRF2000.This inconsistency was removed by the realignment of the 05C04respectively to ITRF2005 system.

The combination process based on datum-free NEQ is now doneon a routine basis since the beginning of 2005 in a coordinatedproject within the frame of GRGS. The project is still in a researchphase for the processing of individual techniques as well as for thefinal combination. We already demonstrated the good quality of the

4 Conclusion

Fig. 6: EOP: differences of GRGS solution with05C04 over 2005–2006. From top to bottom: Xand Y-pole, UT1 and nutation offsets. RMS areabout 0.070 mas for pole and 12 microsecondsfor UT1.

Fig. 7: Plots showing the differences between theGRGS combined solution and combined intra-technique solutions IVS, LRS and IGS for X-polecomponent over 2005–2006.

Fig. 8: Nutation offset dx relatively to the IAU2000 nutation model. Nutation drifts derived fromGPS analyses at 12 h-intervals allow to densifynutation series derived from 24-h VLBI sessions.From top to bottom, GRGS combined, GSFC andIAA solutions.

Fig. 9: LSQ periodogram of nutation offsets dx(blue) and dy (red) relatively to MHB2000 nutationmodel. Significant peaks appear in particular at 7days and at fortnightly time scales.

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results for EOP as well as for station coordinates. The global com-bined solution benefits from the mutual constraints brought by thedifferent techniques. Better results are expected after the improve-ment in the processing of the individual techniques. The strength ofthe method is the use of a set of identical up-to-date models andstandards in unique software. In addition the solution benefits frommutual constraints brought by the various techniques; UT1 andnutation offsets derived from VLBI are constrained and complementedby respectively LOD and nutation rates estimated by GPS. BeforeEOP and station coordinates be derived on an operational basiswith an optimal accuracy different problems have to be studied andsolved. It appears that the EOP and station coordinate solutionsare sensitive to a number of critical parameters linked to the terres-trial reference frame realization mostly local ties whose errors propa-gate in an unpredictable way in the station coordinates and EOPseries. We are here in a context of service oriented researches.This implies that we have to find and apply the optimal values forthe critical parameters involved, minimum constraints for stations,EOP continuity constraints and techniques weights. This “tuning”is essential to provide to the community, consistent, accurate andstable products.

Altamimi, Z., Sillard, P., Boucher, C., 2002: ITRF2000: A new Re-lease of the International Terrestrial Reference Frame for EarthScience Applications. J. Geophys. Res. 107(B10), 2214, doi:10.1029/2001JB000561.

Altamimi, Z., Collilieux X., Legrand J., Garayt B., Boucher, C., 2007:ITRF2005: A new release of the International Terrestrial Refer-ence Frame based on time series of station positions and EarthOrientation Parameters, J. Geophys. Res. 112, B09401, doi:10.1029/2007JB004949.

Dobler, D., 2006: Amélioration des modèles de pression de radia-tion solaire au sein du logiciel Gins de calcul d’orbite pour lessatellites des constellations GPS et Galileo, Rapport de stageCNES/ENSICA, Toulouse.

Fey, A.L., Ma, C., Arias, E.F., Charlot, P., Feissel-Vernier, M.,Gontier, A.-M., Jacobs, C.S., Li, J., MacMillan, D.S., 2004: TheSecond Extension of the International Celestial Reference Frame:ICRF-EXT.2, Astron. J. 127, 3587–3608.

Gambis, D., 2004: Monitoring Earth Orientation at the IERS usingspace-geodetic observations, state-of-the-art and prospective, J.Geod. 78(4–5), 295–303, doi: 10.1007/s00190-004-0394-1.

Gambis D., R. Biancale, T. Carlucci, J.-M. Lemoine, J.-C. Marty, G.Bourda, P. Charlot, S. Loyer, T. Lalanne, L. Soudarin and F.Deleflie, 2008: Global combination from space geodetic tech-niques, GRF2006, Springer Verlag series, accepted.

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Loyer, S., 2006: Projet CHAMP/GRACE/GPS, Noveltis NOV-3451-NT-3865.

Ma, C., Arias, E.F., Eubanks, T.M., Fey, A.L., Gontier, A.-M., Jacobs,C.S., Sovers, O.J., Archinal, B.A., & Charlot, P., 1998: The Inter-national Celestial Reference Frame as realized by Very LongBaseline Interferometry, Astron. J. 116, 516–546.

McCarthy, D.D., Petit, G., 2004: IERS Conventions 2003, IERSTechnical Note No. 32, Frankfurt am Main.

Nothnagel, A., 2005: VTRF2005 – A combined VLBI Terrestrial Ref-erence Frame, Proceedings of the 17th Working Meeting on Eu-ropean VLBI for Geodesy and Astrometry, pp. 118–124.

Ray, R. D., Steinberg, D. J., Chao, B. F., 1994: Science 264, 830.Sahin, M., Cross, P. A. and Sellers P. C., 1992: Bull. Géod. 66,


Jean-Yves Richard, Daniel Gambis, Teddy Carlucci,Jean Michel Lemoine, Richard Biancale, Géraldine Bourda,

Sylvain Loyer, Laurent Soudarin, Florent Deleflie

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IERS Annual Report 2007 161 Institut Géographique National Institut Géographique National (IGN)

Intra-technique combination The stacking procedure implemented in the Combination and Analy-sis of Terrestrial Reference Frames (CATREF) software is based ona Euclidian similarity. This relationship links every individual framewith the stacked frame, which is estimated simultaneously with the7 Helmert parameters that parameterize this relationship. The inde-pendent analysis of their temporal behaviour is of great importancefor guiding the choice of the origin and scale of the ITRFs. So thestacking procedure is regularly conducted for each geodetic tech-nique by extending the input frame time series with the most recentdata. This procedure also ensures a constant assessment of thegeodetic product using a limited number of parameters of interestthat are meaningful for reference frame analyses.

The station position residual time series from VLBI, SLR andGPS that are by-products of the ITRF2005 stacking analyzes havebeen also extensively studied in Ray et al., 2008 and Collilieux etal., 2007.

A particular attention has been paid to the understanding of theSLR scale and translation variations over time. The influence of theSLR range bias handling strategy on the SLR scale has been care-fully studied and has been shown to significantly impact the SLRscale behaviour. A temporal de-correlation method has been devel-oped to optimally estimate SLR station range biases from SLRdata (Coulot et al., 2008). Supplementary analyses have been ledto study SLR translation and scale variations related to the networkeffect. The use of additional constraints on station displacementsmay reduce the aliasing effect occurring between global bias pa-rameters and station individual motions (Collilieux et al., 2008), seeFigure 1.

The availability of frame time series makes possible a rigorous com-bination of the station positions and EOPs from the space geodetictechniques (Altamimi et al., 2007). This joint combination enforcesthe mutual consistency between the estimated secular frame andits consistent set of EOPs. ITRF2005 combination strategy is ap-plied regularly to all available data sets from IERS technique serv-ices including the most recent data, in cooperation with the IERSEarth orientation centre. This procedure can be used to assess theconsistency between the EOP series 05C04 and the ITRF2005(Altamimi et al., 2008).

IGN, being part of the Groupe de Recherche en Géodésie Spatiale(GRGS), has been involved in the IERS Combination Pilot Project(CPP). Research on the combination of station positions and Earth

Helmert parameter analysis

ITRF and EOPs consistency

Multi-technique combinationat the observation level

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Orientation Parameters (EOPs) at the observation level has beencarried out (Coulot et al., 2007) and is still underway. A new modelingof the station position parameters, which involves Helmert param-eters directly in the observation equations, is being implemented toensure that the combined reference frame is well defined and self-consistent. Eight months of data from SLR (LAGEOS I and II),VLBI, DORIS (SPOT2, SPOT4, SPOT5, ENVISAT, JASON), andGPS have been stacked using this model. First results demon-strate its benefit for estimating time series of multi-technique refer-ence frames. Currently, the impact of the introduction of local tieson the combined frame is studied as well as the proper way to usethem. To ensure a better consistency of this combined reference

Fig. 1: ILRS solution Helmert parameters from ITRF2005analysis, in light gray. Estimated parameters constrained withGPS results according to Collilieux et al., 2008, in black.Solid lines correspond to 10 weeks average values.a) X component, b) Y component, c) Z component.

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frame, the use of other common parameters like zenithal tropo-spheric delays or multi-technique satellite orbital parameters willbe investigated.

Altamimi Z., X. Collilieux, J. Legrand, B. Garayt, and C. Boucher,ITRF2005: A new release of the International Terrestrial Refer-ence Frame based on time series of station positions and EarthOrientation Parameters, Journal of Geophysical Research, 112,9401, doi: 10.1029/2007JB004949, 2007.

Altamimi Z., D. Gambis, and C. Bizouard, Rigorous combination toensure ITRF and EOP consistency, Proceedings of the Journées2007 “Systemes de Référence Spatio-Temporels: The CelestialReference Frame for the Future”, N. Capitaine (ed.), pp. 151–154, Obs. de Paris, France, 2008.

Collilieux X., Z. Altamimi, D. Coulot, J. Ray and P. Sillard, Compari-son of VLBI, GPS, SLR height residuals from ITRF2005 usingspectral and correlation methods, Journal of Geophysical Re-search, 112, 12403, doi:10.1029/2007JB004933, 2007.

Collilieux X., and Z. Altamimi, Impact of the network effect on theorigin and scale: Case study of Satellite Laser Ranging, Pro-ceedings IUGG 2007, Perugia, 2008, in press.

Coulot D., P. Berio, R. Biancale, J.-M. Lemoine, S. Loyer, L. Soudarin,and A.-M. Gontier, Toward a direct combination of space-geo-detic techniques at the measurement level: Methodology and mainissues, Journal of Geophysical Research, 112, B05410, doi:10.1029/2006JB004336, 2007.

Coulot, D., P. Berio, P. Bonnefond, P. Exertier, D. Féraudy, O. Laurain,and F. Deleflie, Satellite Laser Ranging biases and TerrestrialReference Frame scale factor, Proceedings IUGG 2007, Perugia,2008, in press.

Ray, J., Z. Altamimi, X. Collilieux, and T. van Dam, Anomalous har-monics in the spectra of GPS position estimates, GPS Solu-tions, 12, pp. 55–64, 2008.

Xavier Collilieux, Zuheir Altamimi, David Coulot, Arnaud Pollet


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3.6 Combination Centres Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)


Data Products

The uncertainty in our knowledge of the Earth’s changing orienta-tion in space is a major source of error in tracking and navigatinginterplanetary spacecraft. Because the Earth’s orientation changesrapidly and unpredictably, measurements must be acquired fre-quently and processed rapidly in order to meet the near-real-timeEarth orientation requirements of the interplanetary spacecraft navi-gation teams. These requirements are currently met at JPL by us-ing the global positioning system (GPS) to provide daily deter-minations of polar motion and length-of-day within 24 hours of ac-quisition. Single baseline very long baseline interferometry (VLBI)measurements are taken twice-per-month by the Time and EarthMotion Precision Observations (TEMPO) project in order to providethe benchmark Universal Time (UT) measurements between whichthe GPS length-of-day measurements are integrated. The KalmanEarth Orientation Filter (KEOF) is then used to combine the GPSpolar motion and length-of-day measurements with the TEMPO VLBIvariation-of-latitude and UT0 measurements, along with other pub-licly available Earth orientation measurements including proxy meas-urements such as atmospheric angular momentum (AAM), in orderto generate and deliver the required polar motion and UT1 Earthorientation parameters to the spacecraft navigation teams.

Reference series of Earth orientation parameters are generatedannually at JPL. During 2007, three such reference series weregenerated: (1) SPACE2006, consisting of values and rates for polarmotion and UT1 spanning September 28, 1976 to February 10,2007 at daily intervals, was generated by combining Earth orienta-tion measurements taken by the space-geodetic techniques of lu-nar and satellite laser ranging (SLR), VLBI, and GPS; (2) COMB2006,consisting of values and rates for polar motion and UT1 spanningJanuary 20, 1962 to February 10, 2007 at daily intervals, was gen-erated by additionally including the BIH optical astrometric meas-urements with the space-geodetic measurements used to gener-ate SPACE2006; and (3) POLE2006, consisting of values and ratesfor just polar motion spanning January 20, 1900 to January 21,2007 at monthly intervals, was generated by additionally includingthe ILS optical astrometric measurements with the other opticalastrometric and space-geodetic measurements used to generateCOMB2006. These three reference series can be obtained by anony-mous ftp to <>. Areport describing the generation of these series [Gross, 2007] isalso available at this site.

The near-real-time Earth orientation requirements of the interplan-etary spacecraft navigation teams are met by once-per-day updat-

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Research activities

ing the annually generated reference series. The updated Earthorientation series are generated by additionally incorporating meas-urements that are rapidly available such as the GPS measurementsfrom the JPL Analysis Center of the IGS and the AAM measure-ments from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP)that are used as proxy length-of-day measurements. In addition,short-term predictions of the EOPs are produced. The updated andpredicted EOP series can be obtained by anonymous ftp to <>.

Research activities during 2007 were largely concerned with bothevaluating alternate sources of AAM forecasts and with evaluatingthe potential impact of oceanic angular momentum (OAM) fore-casts on UT1 predictions [Gross et al., 2008]. Predictions of UT1are improved when dynamical model-based forecasts of the axialcomponent of AAM are used as proxy length-of-day (LOD) fore-casts. For example, JPL’s predictions are improved by nearly afactor of 2 when AAM forecast data from NCEP are used. Given theimportance of AAM forecasts on the accuracy of UT1 predictions,other sources of AAM forecasts should be sought. So the angularmomentum of the forecasted wind fields from the European Centrefor Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) was evaluated asa potential alternate source of AAM forecasts.

JPL’s Kalman Earth Orientation Filter was run 73 times during 19March 2004 to 22 July 2004 to predict polar motion and UT1. Theseruns were reprocessed using AAM forecasts from ECMWF insteadof from NCEP. Since the angular momentum of only the 5-day windforecasts from NCEP are used at JPL to predict UT1, only the 5-day wind forecasts from ECMWF were used during the reprocess-ing. It was found that if no AAM forecasts are used to predict UT1,the error in the predictions grows rapidly, becoming 33.7 cm afterjust 7 days. But when AAM forecasts are used, the error is dramati-cally reduced, becoming only 19.2 cm after 7 days with the NCEPforecasts, and 20.1 cm with the ECMWF forecasts. Thus, duringthis time period, AAM forecasts produced by ECMWF have nearlythe same impact on UT1 predictions as those produced by NCEP.

To assess the potential impact of OAM forecasts on UT1 predic-tions, an OAM series was added to the AAM forecasts and thepredictions regenerated. Since actual OAM forecasts are not cur-rently available, analyses from the ECCO/JPL data assimilatingocean model kf066b were treated as if they were forecasts. AddingOAM to AAM forecasts was found to improve the accuracy of theUT1 predictions only slightly, reducing the error of the 7-day predic-tion from 19.2 cm to 17.9 cm when added to the NCEP AAM fore-casts, and from 20.1 cm to 19.4 cm when added to the ECMWFforecasts.

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Acknowledgments The work described in this paper was performed at the Jet Propul-sion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contractwith the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Gross, R. S., Combinations of Earth orientation measurements:SPACE2006, COMB2006, and POLE2006, Jet Propulsion Labo-ratory Publ. 07-5, 25 pp., Pasadena, Calif., 2007.

Gross, R. S., O. de Viron, and T. van Dam, The impact on EOPpredictions of AAM forecasts from the ECMWF and NCEP, inProceedings of the Journées 2007 Systemes de Référence Spatio-Temporels: The Celestial Reference Frame for the Future, editedby N. Capitaine, pp. 126–127, Obs. de Paris, France, 2008.

Richard Gross

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3.7 IERS Working Groups3.7.1 Working Group on Site Survey and Co-location

The IERS Working Group on Site Survey and Co-location (jointlywith IAG Sub-Commission 1.2 – WG 2, SC1.2-WG2) was estab-lished in February 2004. The major goals and objectives of the WGare:

Site Survey and Standards• Develop, test, compare and set standards on site survey meth-

ods, including observational techniques, network design, clas-sical adjustment, geometrical modelling and/or direct meas-urement techniques for invariant point determination, referenceframe alignment, software implementation and SINEX genera-tion. This will include the development of a standards docu-ment for undertaking site surveys;

• Preparation and coordination of a Pilot Project (PP) on sitesurvey. The PP includes test campaigns to be used for thecomparison of different approaches to local tie surveys ad-dressing each of the technical elements;

• Develop standards for the documentation of site surveys, in-cluding survey report content and format; and

• Suggest a pool of expertise to provide advice to survey teams,as required, on standards for site surveys.

Coordination•· Liaise with local and international survey teams undertaking

site surveys at important co-location sites;

• Liaise with the technique combination groups to ensure WGsite survey products meet user requirements;

• Coordinate as required and make recommendations to ob-servatories as to survey scheduling and re-survey frequency;

• Develop and distribute software tools to the community toassist in the generation of site survey products, includingSINEX generation software; and

• Provide a forum to raise the profile of site survey as a criticallyimportant independent geodetic technique.

Site Survey Research• Investigate new site survey methodologies, including observa-

tional techniques, observational modelling, invariant point defi-nition, geometrical modelling and/or direct measurement tech-niques for invariant point determination, reference frame align-ment and structural deformation analysis.

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Meetings in 2007

Future Planning• The WG will make recommendations and prepare for the fu-

ture in respect to the ongoing site survey needs of the com-munity and how these needs will be met in the long term (toaddress issues outside of the scope of this WG).

• Develop recommendations as to how the community can pro-vide the IERS database with all information relevant to inter-technique combination and to the maintenance of the ITRF.

One meeting was held in 2007 at EGU in Vienna jointly with theGGOS Networks and communication working group. Copies of pres-entations from that meeting can be found at <>.

The meeting was well attended and presentations from a numberof speakers illustrated current topics of interest. A particular em-phasis was placed on attempting to establish a new methodologyfor monitoring collocation vectors in near real time. The current sur-vey methodology is episodic and as such will not pick up variationsto the collocation vector between surveys. The need to continuallyrefine accuracies was also discussed. With the GGOS aim of refin-ing the accuracy of the ITRF below the 1mm level it becomes im-perative that component accuracies are well below that level of ac-curacy. Current local tie accuracies are at the 1 – 5 mm level andas such need to be refined further.

As usual the meeting also stressed the need to continue to de-velop the concept of Local Ties as a key component of the tech-nique combinations and reference frame definition and to ensure allcollocated sites have up to date tie information.

Geoscience Australia continues to undertake monitoring surveysat the Australian sites. A new calibration pier at Mt Stromlo hasbeen constructed in an attempt to refine the accuracy of the Miniconear real time IVP monitoring system. The IVP was showing anapparent seasonal motion through the Minico system. It is believedthat the tallest of the four calibration piers was actually movingseasonally and this was biasing the IVP results at the 0.5 mmlevel.

Plans are also being developed for local tie infrastructure at theYarragadee site which will have a 12 m VLBI telescope installed in2009. A methodology for surveying the relationship between theVLBI dish, Moblas 5 system, Proposed NGSLR system and thevariety of GNSS sites is being developed.

IGN is now undertaking routine local tie surveys at numeroussites and offers this service to observatory operators who are un-able to complete their own surveys.

Other Activities

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Future Meetings

Pierguido Sarti from the Italian Istituto di Radioastronomia (IRA)reports that in 2007 they have completely re-surveyed MedicinaVLBI-GPS eccentricity and Noto elevation axis using terrestrialobservations.

The working group has planned to meet again at the AGU2008meeting in San Francisco, US.

Gary Johnston

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3.7.2 Working Group on Combination

GGOS-D Project

The major three items addressed in this report are (1) the ongoingresearch in the German GGOS-D project, (2) the development ofsoftware by a few groups to combine the space geodetic tech-niques on the observation level, and (3) the Unified Analysis Work-shop in December 2007 in Monterey. A lot of additional materialconcerning combination may be found in Section 3.6 of this report.The huge amount of combination work done for the ITRF generationis described in Sections 3.5.5. and 3.6.1. and will not be addressedhere.

Since GGOS-D is one of the major projects presently aiming at arigorous combination of the different space geodetic techniques,we will shortly present the status of the project here. By the end of2007, the time series of SINEX files from the individual space tech-niques except DORIS were all available, processed in a hom*ogene-ous way according to well-defined common standards. The soft-ware packages involved were modified to follow these standardsnot only concerning modelling, but also parameterization. A DORISsolution with daily resolution was contributed by Pascal Willis. Thissolution did not follow yet all the details of the standards agreedupon in the GGOS-D project. A solution according to the GGOS-Dstandards is planned, however. For VLBI as well as SLR, two solu-tions were generated based on two independent software pack-ages. For GPS, the second solution is not yet finished for the entiretime interval from 1994 to 2006.

Combination tests have been performed with the various seriesconcerning:

• Combination of the technique-specific solutions (VLBI, SLR)

• Combination of troposphere zenith delay and gradient param-eters derived from VLBI and GPS solutions

• Combination of subdaily ERPs from GPS and VLBI

• Combination of UT1–UTC from VLBI and LOD from GPS

• Combination of nutation offsets from VLBI and nutation ratesfrom GPS

• Local ties between the individual techniques

The generation of a full TRF solution based on these hom*ogene-ous, reprocessed solutions is a primary goal of the project, but hasnot yet been finished.

Detailed comparisons have been made, however, between thesereprocessed series and the corresponding series of the IAG Tech-nique Services and the IERS. These comparisons show the refinedquality of the reprocessed series. Especially in the case of GPS a

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considerable improvement in consistency and hom*ogeneity hasbeen achieved compared to the official IGS solutions. A plannedreprocessing organized by the IGS will most probably cure thisdeficiency in the next 1–2 years.

More information about the project GGOS-D is available at <> and in the papers listed at the end of this report.

In the last few years some groups and institutions started to workhard on the combination of the major space geodetic techniques onthe observation level. The first question certainly is, to what extenta rigorous combination can be done on the normal equation (orvariance-covariance) level (by one or more software packages) andwhere a combination on the observation level is a necessity.

If we assume that the computers at our disposal have infiniteresources (memory, CPU time, disk space, ...) and that we areable to achieve that a set of software packages is using exactly thesame models and parameterizations, a combination including allcommon parameters is feasible on the normal equation level and isfully equivalent to a combination on the observation level. Since ourcomputer resources are not infinite, however, and the various soft-ware packages are still quite diverging there are some good rea-sons to integrate the techniques on the observation level, withinone unique software package:

• The capability to process all the different observation types inone software system is ideal in the sense that the consist-ency of the models (standards and conventions) andparameterizations is guaranteed. On the longer run it is ex-tremely demanding to keep different software packages toconform to the same models and parameterizations etc. Withonly one package, the software updates will more or less au-tomatically be realized for all observation types, reducing thework load significantly compared to a group that might beusing different packages for different observation types.

• The estimation of parameters with a very high temporal reso-lution or the estimation of stochastic quantities is possibleand poses no problems. With more than one package involved,the size of the normal equation systems to be generated andthen combined to encompass all the common parameters (e.g.,clock parameters of ultra-stable oscillators connected to theVLBI and the GPS instrumentation) might just be too large tohandle, especially with the full variance-covariance informa-tion.

• It is possible to set up a variance-covariance component esti-mation based on the original observations to improve theweighting of techniques and observation groups with respect

Combination of the SpaceGeodetic Techniques on the

Observation Level

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to each other to answer questions such as “Is an elevation-dependent weighting reasonable?”, “For which techniquesshould it be done?”, etc.).

• For some possible future applications like observations fromsatellites with VLBI senders, GPS receivers and SLR retro-reflectors onboard (co-location in space) or satellites with aradio telescope onboard observing quasars will ask for orbitdetermination based, e.g., on GPS and VLBI observations.Since orbit force models and orbit parameterization are notwell-standardized, it would be very difficult to use differentsoftware packages in this case. Most of the VLBI packagesof today have no orbit determination capability anyway.

The development of a software package that is capable of process-ing all the major space geodetic techniques at a very high level ofsophistication is a long-term goal that requires many man-years ofwork. It has to be said, that for the majority of problems to beaddressed nowadays (weighting factors between techniques, localtie issues, handling of systematic biases, …), the necessary stud-ies can already be done based on normal equation systems orvariance-covariance solutions.

Presently, the major software developments in this field are tak-ing place at the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC; softwareGEODYN), at the Groupe de Recherches de Géodésie Spatiale inToulouse (GRGS; software GINS/DYNAMO), at the GeoForschungsZentrum in Potsdam (GFZ; software EPOS), and at the Astronomi-cal Institute, University of Berne and Technical University of Munich(AIUB and TUM; software BERNESE).

Recently the processing of VLBI data has been implemented intoGEODYN, making it thus suitable for the processing of the majortechniques. GINS/DYNAMO is capable of analyzing (among oth-ers) GPS, SLR, DORIS and VLBI data. Even the processing of LLRdata is part of GINS and the GRGS activities. GRGS is processingand combining all the techniques now on a routine basis. The com-bination is done based on normal equations. The GFZ softwareEPOS has been used since a long time to analyse a large variety ofobservation types (GPS, SLR, DORIS, altimetry XO, inter-satellitemeasurements, …). Only VLBI is not yet included in this package.The BERNESE GPS Software is presently being modified to allowfor the processing of SLR measurements to LAGEOS-type satel-lites, VLBI, DORIS and gravity mission data.Other packages might follow.

One of the problems faced by an institution working on a combi-nation on the observation level is the fact, that the institution orgroup has to understand all the processing details of all the majorspace geodetic techniques. In principle, such an institution has toreach the level of performance in processing the various space geo-

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detic techniques that is equal or close to the performance of thebest analysis centers of the corresponding service. In addition, thegroup has to be able to process large amounts of data from all themajor techniques. To gain the experience to process 10–20 yearsof data from each of the techniques is a non-trivial and extremelytime-consuming effort. As long as the solutions produced by aninstitution combining the techniques on the observation level arenot among the best of the various technique services, it will bedifficult to compete with a combination based on the solutions ofthe individual services. But, as computers get faster and faster, andcheaper as well, these processing capabilities will eventually arise.

This was the first workshop under the umbrella of both GGOS andIERS, with themes concerning the common, integrating and unify-ing aspects of the analysis of the individual space geodetic tech-niques. Participation was on invitation only and the participantswere selected by the individual services to have a high level of ex-pertise present at the workshop for the themes to be discussed.

A detailed description of the Unified Analysis Workshop is givenin Section 4.2

See Section 3.3 “Analysis Coordinator” (this volume) for a detailedlist.

Krügel, M., D. Angermann (2007): Frontiers in the combination ofspace geodetic techniques. IAG Symposia, Vol. 130, Springer.

Krügel, M., D. Thaller, V. Tesmer, M. Rothacher, D. Angermann, R.Schmid (2007): Tropospheric parameters: combination studiesbased on hom*ogeneous VLBI and GPS data, Journal of Geod-esy, 81, 515–527, DOI 10.1007/s00190-006-0127-8.

Steigenberger, P., M. Rothacher, A. Rülke, M. Fritsche, S. Vey(2006): Reprocessing of a global GPS network, Journal of Geo-physical Research, 111, B05402, DOI 10.1029/2005JB003747.

Steigenberger, P., V. Tesmer, M. Krügel, D. Thaller, R. Schmid, S.Vey, M. Rothacher (2007): Comparisons of hom*ogeneously re-processed GPS and VLBI long time-series of troposphere zenithdelays and gradients, Journal of Geodesy, 81, 503–514, DOI10.1007/s00190-006-0124-y.

Thaller, D., M. Krügel, M. Rothacher, V. Tesmer, R. Schmid, D.Angermann (2007): Combined Earth orientation parameters basedon hom*ogeneous and continuous VLBI and GPS data, Journal ofGeodesy, 81, 529–541, DOI 10.1007/s00190-006-0115-z.

Markus Rothacher

Unified Analysis Workshop inMonterey, 2007

Meetings and Workshops


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3.7.3 Working Group on Prediction


WG Meetings

The IERS Working Group on Prediction (WGP) was tasked to de-termine what Earth orientation parameter (EOP) prediction prod-ucts are needed by the user community and to examine the funda-mental properties of the different input data sets and algorithms(see IERS website <>). The task to determine what prediction products areneeded by the user community has been answered by means ofthe EOP prediction survey developed by the WGP. Broad participa-tion in the survey was solicited by IERS from those on the IERSmailing lists, those who receive IERS Rapid Service/PredictionCenter (RS/PC) products, and any others thought to have an inter-est in EOP predictions (see IERS Message No. 104). The task tounderstand fundamental properties of input data sets and algorithmsis in progress. A repository for data sets and results was estab-lished at the University of Luxembourg, input data sets were identi-fied and placed in the repository, algorithms were identified, andinformation on various algorithms was gathered. A session on “Pre-diction, Combination, and Geophysical Interpretation of Earth Ori-entation Parameters” was part of the 2007 Journées meeting inMeudon, France. At the close of that session, a panel drawn fromthe membership of the WGP discussed critical issues that need tobe resolved for progress to be made in EOP prediction.

Because the Journées meeting is an important forum for research-ers in the fields of Earth rotation, reference frames, astrometry, andtime, significant WGP participation was anticipated and one pur-pose of the scheduled EOP prediction panel discussion was tosolicit input and suggestions from the other conference attendeeson the topics being considered by the WGP. The WGP met on 18September 2007 after the closing of the Journées conference todiscuss feedback from the panel discussion, plans for the reposi-tory, and comparison criteria for algorithms.

Additional informal meetings among the WGP members wereheld at the 2007 April European Geophysical Union (EGU) meetingin Vienna and at the 2007 December American Geophysical Union(AGU) meeting in San Francisco. Survey results, input data con-siderations, algorithm considerations, methodology for making com-parisons, and future plans were discussed.

Given the variety of high-precision applications that need EOP pre-dictions, the first task of the WGP was to determine whether thecurrent IERS products are adequate or whether modifications and/or improvements are necessary to meet more stringent require-ments. To understand the needs of various users, the survey re-

EOP Prediction SurveyResults

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WG Activities

spondents were asked to characterize what type of user they wereand then to specify their requirements in terms of desired accura-cies and characteristics of EOP predictions. Although each cat-egory of user has different needs, the survey confirmed that mostusers need polar motion accuracies of 1 milli-arcsecond or betterand UT1–UTC accuracies of 0.1 millisecond or better. The surveyalso confirmed that there is a large group of operational users thatneed daily predictions, tabular data, one-day spacing, and predic-tions up to 30 days. Although some users would like long-termpredictions, the terms of reference under which the IERS RS/PCoperates has been reconfirmed by the survey results. However, thereis a need for increased accuracy and the efforts of the WGP toexamine algorithms and incorporate potential new sources of dataappears to address that need. In addition there seems to be agrowing interest in daily and sub-daily predictions which requiremore timely measurements of EOP quantities and some increasedprocessing capability.

The EOP prediction survey results were summarized in a papergiven at the EGU Meeting in Vienna. Although much work on inputdata sets and algorithms has been accomplished, significant effortremains to complete a comprehensive assessment of the currentstate-of-the-art. Several questions remain such as loss of informa-tion if all data sets are reduced to a common epoch and the sensi-tivities of missing data sets to the prediction process. Geodeticdata sets are available but additional geophysical data sets areneeded for testing. In terms of algorithms, additional tests need tobe run to determine their robustness in the event of certain patho-logical situations and their reliability in an operational setting. Spe-cific algorithm questions remain with respect to problems associ-ated with individual prediction methods. Future plans include deter-mining optimum parameters for combination prediction algorithms,geophysical causes of prediction errors, and examining pathologi-cal timeframes for prediction. Other areas of investigation/issuesare identified in the papers of session IV of the Journées meeting(esp., Proc. Journées Systèmes de Référence Spatio-Temporels2007, pp. 200–201). The expectations of the WGP are to have de-finitive user requirements, a comprehensive look at prediction meth-ods, a comprehensive look at new data sets, and to produce anIERS technical note describing current-state-of-the-art EOP pre-diction.

For a detailed summary of the activities of IERS Working Groupon Prediction through September 2007, see Proc. JournéesSystèmes de Référence Spatio-Temporels 2007, pp. 145–150.

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Future Meetings In order to minimize travel costs, the WGP will continue to utilizethe opportunity to meet in conjunction with major conferences suchas the EGU in the spring and the AGU in the fall. However, mostinteraction among the members will continue to be by electronicmeans.

William Wooden

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3.7.4 IERS/IVS Working Group for the Second Realization of the ICRF

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3.7.4 IERS/IVS Working Group for the Second Realizationof the ICRF

The IERS/IVS Working Group had the following membership:

The activities of the Working Group included generation of VLBIresults in preparation for the new realization, presentations at vari-ous scientific meetings, and two working meetings.

In order to facilitate the distribution of relevant VLBI results direc-tories were established in the IVS data system, procedures wereestablished for submitting files, and standard formats were devised.The following groups generated and submitted source position timeseries:

Geoscience AustraliaParis ObservatoryBKG (Germany)DGFI (Germany)Institute of Applied Astronomy (Russia)Main Astronomical Observatory (Ukraine)Goddard Space Flight Center (USA)U.S. Naval Observatory

These time series are to be analyzed to decide the criteria for se-lecting defining sources and to identify unstable sources that willrequire special handling. In addition, the following groups generatedand submitted source position catalogues:

Geoscience AustraliaMain Astronomical Observatory (Ukraine)Goddard Space Flight Center (USA)U.S. Naval Observatory

These catalogues are to be used to identify systematic errors andto determine the actual level of uncertainty of the source positionsas a group.



O. Titov, AustraliaR. Heinkelmann, AustriaG. Wang, ChinaF. Arias, FranceP. Charlot, FranceA.-M. Gontier, FranceS. Lambert, FranceJ. Souchay, FranceG. Engelhardt, GermanyA. Nothnagel, GermanyV. Tesmer, GermanyG. Bianco, ItalyS. Kurdubov, Russia

Z. Malkin, RussiaE. Skurikhina, RussiaJ. Sokolova, RussiaV. Zharov, RussiaS. Bolotin, UkraineD. Boboltz, USAA. Fey, USAR. Gaume, USAC. Jacobs, USAC. Ma, USA, chairL. Petrov, USAO. Sovers, USA

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Relevant presentations were made by Working Group members atthe following meetings:

18th meeting of European VLBI for Geodesy and Astrometry, April12–13, ViennaSokolova, J., Malkin, Z.: On comparison and combination of radio

source cataloguesTesmer, V.: Effect of various analysis options on VLBI-determined


Journées 2007, September 17–19, Meudon

Ma, C.: Progress in the 2nd realization of ICRFCharlot, P. et al.: Selecting ICRF-2 defining sources based on source

structureMalkin, Z., Yatskiv Ya.: Next ICRF: Single global solution versus

combinationTitov, O.: Reference radio source apparent proper motionsBolotin, S.: Influence of different strategies in VLBI data analysis

on realizations of ICRFSokolova, J.: Effect of the reference radio source selection on VLBI

CRF realization

IAU Symposium 248, A Giant Step: from Milli- to Micro-arcsecondAstrometry, October 15–19, ShanghaiMa, C.: The second realization of the ICRF with VLBICharlot, P.: Source structure: an essential piece of information for

the next generation ICRF

The Working Group had short meetings at the Vienna TechnicalUniversity on April 12 and at the Paris Observatory on September19 to discuss some the issues related to the next ICRF. The majorissues to be addressed are:

• Selection of defining sources

• Treatment of source position variations• Improvement of geophysical and astronomical modeling

• Selection of data

• Integration of ICRF, ITRF and EOP

• Generation of final catalogue

Chopo Ma


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4.1 IERS Workshop on Conventions

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4 IERS Workshops4.1 IERS Workshop on Conventions

The IERS workshop on Conventions was held on September 20–21at the BIPM. A total of 65 participants from about 15 countriesattended the workshop. The group photo (taken on the second day)may be found at <>.

The Scientific Organizing Committee consisted of F. Arias, B.Luzum, G. Petit (chair), J. Ray, B. Richter, J. Ries, M. Rothacher,H. Schuh, T. van Dam, and P. Wallace.

The workshop programme, including all the presentations, maybe found at <>. Additional contributions, provided after the workshop, andthis summary may also be found on that same page.

This document is an extended summary of the presentations,discussions, and recommendations of the workshop. Without di-rectly following the order in the workshop programme, it is struc-tured in a list of 11 items, and concludes with a list of the recom-mendations.

1. Classification of models2. Criteria for choosing models3. Non-tidal loading effects4. New models5. Possible additions to the Conventions6. Technique-dependent effects7. Terminology concerning reference systems8. Practical application to the rewriting of some parts of Conven-tions (2003)9. Electronic diffusion of the Conventions10. Links with other fields of geodesy11. Next registered edition

The Position paper “Principles for conventional contributions to mod-elled station displacements” (<>), hereafter PP1, proposes to classify the mod-els and effects to be considered in the scope of the Conventionsinto three categories:

Class 1 (“reduction”) models are those recommended to be useda priori in the reduction of raw space geodetic data in order to deter-mine geodetic parameter estimates, the results of which are thensubject to further combination and geophysical analysis. The Class1 models are accepted as known a priori and are not adjusted inthe data analysis. Therefore their accuracy is expected to be atleast as good as the geodetic data (1 mm or better). Class 1 mod-

1. Classification of models

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els are usually derived from geophysical theories. Apart from a fewrare exceptions, the models and their numerical constants shouldbe based on developments that are fully independent of the geo-detic analyses and results that depend on them. A good example isthe solid Earth tide model for station displacements.

Class 2 (“conventional”) models are those that eliminate an ob-servational singularity and are purely conventional in nature. Thisincludes many of the physical constants. Other examples are theITRF rotational datum, specifying the rotation origin and the rota-tion rate of the ITRF. As indicated by their name, Class 2 may bepurely conventional or the convention may be to realize a physicalcondition. When needed, choices among possible conventions areguided by Union resolutions and historic practice, which may differin some cases.

Class 3 (“useful”) models are those that are beneficial (or evennecessary in some sense) but are not required as either Class 1 or2. This includes, for instance, the zonal tidal variations of UT1/LOD.An accurate zonal tide model is not absolutely required in dataanalysis though it can be helpful and is very often used internally ina remove/restore approach to regularize the a priori UT1 variationsto simplify interpolation and improve parameter estimation. In addi-tion, such a model is very much needed to interpret geodetic LODresults in comparisons with geophysical excitation processes, forinstance. Class 3 also includes models which cannot fulfil the re-quirements for Class 1 such as accuracy or independence fromgeodetic results, but are useful or necessary to study the physicalprocesses involved. Class 3 model effects should never be included(that is, removed from the observational estimates) in the externalexchange of geodetic results unlike Class 1 effects. Serious mis-understandings can otherwise occur.

It is proposed to distinguish three classes of models in theConventions. Class 1 (“reduction”) covers models which arephysically based, accurately determined and needed to ob-tain usable results in data analysis; Class 2 (“conventional”)models are also needed but are based on conventionalchoice; Class 3 (“useful”) includes the other models.

The IERS Conventions should strive to present a complete andconsistent set of the necessary models of the Class 1 and Class 2types, including implementing software. Where conventional choicesmust be made (Class 2), the Conventions provide a unique set ofselections to avoid ambiguities among users. The resolutions ofthe international scientific unions and historical geodetic practiceprovide guidance when equally valid choices are available, but mod-els of the highest accuracy and precision are always preferred.

R1 Classification of models

2. Criteria for choosingmodels

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Class 3 models are included when their use is likely to be suffi-ciently common, or to minimize potential user confusion.

For station displacement contributions, the Conventions shouldclearly distinguish models which are to be used in the generation ofthe official IERS products from other (Class 3) models. Models inthe first category, used to generate the IERS realization of the ce-lestial and terrestrial reference systems and of the transformationbetween them, are referred to as “conventional displacement con-tributions”.

Conventional displacement contributions should be of the Class1 type (essential and geophysically based) and generally obey thefollowing selection criteria, as specified in PP1:

• Include subdaily tidal variations: Since the beginning of spacegeodesy, the basic observational unit has consisted of dataprocessing integrations for 1 solar day or multiples. This choiceprovides a natural filter to dampen variations with periods near24 and 12 h (and higher harmonics) caused by environmental,geophysical (tidal), and technique-related sources. However, 1-day integration by itself is inadequate for the highest accuracyapplications. Unmodelled subdaily site variations can efficientlyalias into other geodetic parameters, such as the 12-h GPSsatellite orbits, and also alias into longer-term effects. In orderto minimize such difficulties, all tidal displacements with peri-ods near 24/12 h and having amplitudes of about 1 mm andgreater should be included a priori using conventional models.The most accurate models available should be applied, but anyresidual model errors will be strongly attenuated in data process-ing that use 24-h integrations (or multiples).

• Model corrections must be accurate: It is imperative that whenadjustments are applied directly to observational data based onany model, the errors introduced by the model must be muchsmaller than the effect being removed. This should be true overthe full spectral range affected but especially over intervals equalto or smaller than the geodetic integration span. If random er-rors in the subdaily band are increased, for instance, at theexpense of reducing systematic variations at seasonal periodsin 1-day processing samples, then it is clear that the correc-tions should not be applied a priori. Instead, suitably filteredcorrections may be considered in a posteriori studies withoutsuffering any degradation of the original geodetic analysis.

• Models must be independent of the geodetic data: In order toavoid circular reasoning and the possibility of propagating geo-detic errors into conventional geophysical models, the appliedmodels should be fully independent of the geodetic analyseswhich depend on them. Ideally they should be founded on geo-physical theories and principles that do not directly derive from

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geodetic results. Only in a few exceptional cases where geo-physical theory is inadequate (such as some parameters of thenutation model) is it necessary to rely upon geodetic estimateswithin an adjusted geophysical framework.

• Prefer models in closed-form expressions: For practical reasonsof implementation, portability, and independence of processingvenue, closed-form analytical models for site displacements aremost attractive.

• Allow flexibility in interpretation of geodetic results: To the ex-tent that geodetic results are sensitive to any particular geo-physical effect and the models for that effect are not necessarilyuniquely well realized or accurate, it is often desirable to meas-ure the relative performance of alternative models. In order to doso easily, geodetic results should be presented to researchersin a form that readily facilitates such comparisons as much aspossible. Generally this implies strong preference for a posteri-ori treatment of model displacements that are outside the subdailyband rather than requiring multiple processings of the same datawith various different a priori models. Note that this recommendedpractice is consistent with the traditional approach that has beenused to interpret excitation of Earth orientation variations, forexample.

These considerations are summarized in the following recommen-dation.

It is recommended that conventional station displacementsinclude only Class 1 (“reduction”) models, plus any technique-specific effects. Some specific criteria are that complete daily& sub-daily tidal variations should be included, and that mod-els must be accurate (with respect to observation errors), asindependent of geodetic data as possible, and preferably inclosed-form expressions for ease of use. In addition, it shouldbe sought to maintain flexibility to evaluate different modelseasily a posteriori when accuracy is questionable.

The classification of models and general criteria for their use andimplementation should be explicitly stated in the Conventions, asstated in the next recommendation:

It is recommended that the Introduction of the IERS Conven-tions be amended to include, in substance, the guiding prin-ciples and the selection criteria presented in R1 and R2 above.

Non-tidal loading effects are considered in PP1 and in the Positionpaper “Towards a conventional treatment of surface-load induced

R2: Choosing models forconventional station displacements

R3: Recommended Revision ofConventions Introduction

3. Non tidal loading effects

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deformations”, hereafter referred to as PP2 (<>).

As a brief summary, PP1 recommends not to include non tidalloading effects as conventional site model contributions and to ex-pand Chapter 7 to discuss these effects as Class 3 models. PP2recommends developing a dynamic reference Earth model (DREM)as the outcome of a sequence: first a model for atmospheric load-ing, then for the hydrological cycle, finally for all significant geo-physical processes.

These views are compatible considering that PP1 describes thegeneration of reference frames now and in the coming years, whilePP2 describes (i) studies to be conducted now and in the nextyears, for which models are needed, and (ii) future possible appli-cation to the generation of reference frames when models fulfil theconditions. It is not possible at this time to state when this will bepossible as DREMs should cover with adequate uncertainty the fullrange of significant geophysical processes in order to be used forreference frame generation.

Following section 2, PP1 specifically recommends that displace-ments due to non-tidal geophysical loadings not be included in thea priori modelled station positions, that is, in the “conventional dis-placement contributions”. These effects fail all contribution selec-tion criteria given above. Even if the somewhat arbitrary preferencefor models in closed-form expression (which is inconsistent withnon-tidal models) is relaxed, the other more important criteria can-not be ignored. The most serious obstacles are:

• Reliability in the subdaily band: At best, non-tidal environmentalmodels attempt to compensate mostly for seasonal variations,which are well outside the normal integration intervals for spacegeodetic data. None of the available global circulation modelsproperly account for dynamic barometric pressure compensa-tion by the oceans at periods less than about two weeks. In-stead, both “inverted barometer” (IB) and non-IB implementa-tions are produced as crude approximations of the actual Earthsystem behaviour even though these are both recognized asunreliable in the high-frequency regime. While effective at longerperiods (especially seasonal), the undesirable and unknown deg-radation that would affect subdaily integrations is not an accept-able side-effect.

• Inaccuracies of the models: The basic types of studies and analy-ses that are normally considered a precondition to the adoptionof a conventional model are mostly lacking for non-tidal models.Documentation of error analyses is a basic requirement thatmust be fulfilled. Specific studies on comparisons of products,

3.1 PP1: Handling Non-TidalDisplacements

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systematic effects and possible combination techniques are nec-essary: Some references may be found in PP1.

• Models must be free of tidal effects: Any non-tidal displacementcorrections applied should be strictly free of tidal contamina-tions, otherwise the geodetic results will be adversely affected.

• Risk of long-term biases in the reference frame: Because envi-ronmental models do not yet conserve overall mass or properlyaccount for exchange of fluids between states, use of non-tidalmodels in solutions for the terrestrial reference frame will gener-ally suffer from long-term drifts and biases that are entirely arti-ficial. This is an unacceptable circ*mstance.

• Need for new datum requirements for the reference frame: As anexample, introducing pressure-dependent non-tidal site displace-ment contributions into standard geodetic solutions would ne-cessitate the adoption of a global reference atmospheric pres-sure field. Such expansion of the ITRF datum to include suchnon-geodetic quantities may not be welcome nor understood byusers.

• Need to easily test alternative models: As noted in section 2, itis vital to be able to compare different non-tidal models easilyand efficiently, something that is not facilitated by direct inclu-sion of the models into geodetic analyses. It is far simpler tomake such comparisons and studies a posteriori as has beendone for many years in research into the excitation of Earthorientation variations. However, in solutions where non-tidaldisplacements have been applied, the full field of correctionsused must be reported in new SINEX blocks that will need to bedocumented and may nevertheless permit only an approximateremoval of the non-tidal corrections if the applied sampling isfiner than the geodetic integration interval.

Therefore non-tidal displacements must not be included in opera-tional solutions that support products and services of the IERS.Nevertheless the non-tidal loading effects can be readily consid-ered in a posteriori studies with no loss whatsoever. For this pur-pose, it is recommended that models of non-tidal stationdisplacements be made available to the user community throughthe IERS Global Geophysical Fluid Centre and its special bureaux,together with all necessary supporting information, implementationdocumentation, and software. Expansion of the IERS Conventions,Chapter 7, could include some essential aspects of this material toinform users, as Class 3 models. Continued research efforts arestrongly encouraged, particularly to address the outstanding is-sues listed above.

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R4: to include non-tidal modelsas Class 3

It is recommended that IERS Conventions, Chapter 7, be ex-panded to include the essential aspects of using non-tidalmodels in a posteriori studies and research, in order better toinform users.

PP2 describes steps that would be needed to obtain a consistentdescription of Earth shape, gravity field and rotation at the accu-racy level of 10-9 or better in an integrated approach. It proposes toextend the definition of the “regularized coordinates” by introducinga displacement field with components provided by the followingactions:

• Improving the operational prediction of displacements due toatmospheric loading.

• Setting up an operational computation of ocean-bottom pres-sure anomalies and the computation of the induced surfacedisplacements.

• Setting up an operational computation of terrestrial water stor-age anomalies and the computation of the induced surfacedisplacements.

• A consistency check based on mass conservation should beused to link the 3 components above and to ensure that largeerrors in mass conservation are detected/avoided.

PP2 concludes with 3 recommendations that make up steps toestablish a Dynamic Reference Earth Model (DREM):

• Recommendation 1 (atmosphere only): Recognizing that atmos-pheric loading is a geophysical process inducing surfacedisplacements at sub-daily to interannual time scales signifi-cant at an accuracy level of 1 ppb, and that signals of atmos-pheric loading in the shape, gravity field and rotation of the Earthcan be predicted with high accuracy, it is recommended that,as a first step, a dynamic reference model is developed andvalidated that consistently predicts with low latency the atmos-pheric loading signal in the surface displacement, gravity fieldand rotation of the Earth and that these predictions are takeninto account in the determination of the ITRF as well as theproducts providing low-latency access to ITRF.

• Recommendation 2 (hydrological cycle): Recognizing that massredistribution in atmosphere, oceans, and terrestrial hydrosphereare inherently related through processes in the global hydrologi-cal cycle, that these mass redistributions cause surfacedisplacements at sub-daily to interannual time scales signifi-cant at an accuracy level of 1 ppb, and that the feedback be-tween the individual components (reservoirs) of the hydrologicalcycle as well as the solid Earth also cause significant signals inthe shape, gravity field and rotation of the Earth, it is recom-

3.2 PP2: Handling Non-TidalDisplacements

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mended that a dynamic Earth model is developed and validatedthat consistently predicts the geodetic signals of mass redistri-bution in the global hydrological cycle and that accounts for thegeophysical interactions between the reservoirs of the hydro-logical cycle and the solid Earth.

• Recommendation 3 (all relevant geophysical processes): Rec-ognizing that monitoring of point motion and detection of “anoma-lous motion” are key applications of a modern global referenceframe and space geodetic techniques, and that for many appli-cations a predictive reference frame is required, and that such areference frame needs to be based on a DREM, it is recom-mended that a DREM is developed that accounts for all knowngeophysical processes significant at the level of 1 ppb and thatpredicts consistently the signals in Earth shape, rotation andgravity field caused by these processes.

Discussions determined that the change in the definition of “regu-larized coordinates” (associated with the ITRF) envisioned in PP2does not appear realistic in the foreseeable future. However studiestowards a DREM, following the steps proposed in PP2, should bepromoted. Given the wide range of geophysical processes involved,it was not clear which practical steps could be taken.

It is recommended that the IERS DB promotes the develop-ment of a dynamic reference Earth model.

Following previous work initiated by the Conventions Centre andthe Advisory Board, a number of papers have been presented at theworkshop, mostly in session 1 “Recent advances and validations ofthe IERS Conventions models”. The final discussion led to the propo-sition of updating the Conventions for the following models:

A model for S1/S2 atmospheric loading is provided by T. van Damand R. Ray. The model is based on the S1/S2 model by Ponte andRay (2003). The effect can be as large as 1 to 2 mm for stationheight components at equatorial regions and is significantly smallerat higher latitudes.

J. Böhm and V. Tesmer (<>) applied this model for the whole history of VLBI ob-servations. Work is continuing to quantify the influence of this modelon VLBI solutions.

J. Ries (additional contribution, see <>) applied this model to 6 monthsof SLR data and found a small improvement in the variance of theresiduals.

R5: Recommend the IERS DBto promote the development

of a DREM

4. New models

4.1. S1/S2 atmospheric loading

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It was recognized that the model is well founded, that the magni-tude of the effect is significant and that the expected accuracy ofthe model is sufficient. Although the benefits are hardly visible inthe results of VLBI and SLR analysis, the tests show that the modelis valid and still indicate an improvement. In addition, it is likely tobe useful for GPS analysis due to the resonance of this effect withthe orbital period. Like for other loading effects, the compensatingcounter motion of the solid Earth due to fluid loading effects (trans-lation of the observing network relative to the instantaneous centreof mass) should be included in the modelled station displacements,at least for those techniques that observe the dynamical motions ofnear-Earth satellites and respond to the centre of mass of the totalEarth system. (See section 8.3)

The recent update of Chapter 9 of the Conventions does considerhorizontal gradients in the general formulation of the troposphericdelay, but no conventional a priori values are provided for thesegradients.

P. Steigenberger, V. Tesmer, J. Böhm (<>) have investigated the use of apriori gradients in the analysis of GPS and VLBI observations. Theyshow that there is a clear systematic behaviour of station coordi-nates if no residual gradients are estimated, but that there is hardlyany difference if gradients are estimated unconstrained in the solu-tions. However when gradients are estimated and constrained, asin VLBI, there are systematic effects of order 40 µas on sourcedeclinations and < 2mm on station latitude. Therefore it is recom-mended to include in the tropospheric model a hydrostatic gradientdue to the equatorial bulge.

R. Biancale (<>) presented a software package based on the FES2004 oceantide model and its application to the EIGEN gravity field models. Itis proposed to adopt this package as conventional and to include itin Chapter 6 of the Conventions. Therefore FES2004 would be theconventional model of ocean tides, consistently for geopotentialand displacement. (This should be made clear in Chapter 7.)

In addition a S1/S2 atmospheric tides model (Biancale & Bodemodel) derived from ECMWF 3-hour surface pressure fields, ex-pressed in a similar form, is proposed.

It is also proposed to add a S1 ocean tide model (provided by F.Lyard at LEGOS). This S1 tide model is not purely gravitational, butthe hydrodynamic ocean tide is constrained by the S1 atmospherictide (see above). It is provided for users who cannot use oceancirculation models (such as MOG2D from LEGOS) which includethe S1 response of the ocean to the atmospheric pressure.

4.2. Troposphere model

4.3 Conventional model for theeffect of ocean tides on


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The conventional model for diurnal and semidiurnal EOP variations(Chapter 8) has not changed since IERS Conventions (1996). R.Ray (<>)considered the need to upgrade this model. New global tidal mod-els are much improved over the TPXO.2 model used in 1996. How-ever, a tidal model for EOP also requires global current velocity, butfew such models are available. Also a model should add atmos-pheric thermal tides to oceanic effects but no clear consistency isobtained between air-tide models. Therefore it is considered thatmore work is still necessary at this stage.

It is recommended to add new conventional models: a modelfor S1/S2 atmospheric loading as provided by T. van Damand R. Ray; a model for the tropospheric hydrostatic gradientdue to the equatorial bulge; a model for the effect of oceantides on geopotential based on FES2004 tidal model. Workon a new model for diurnal and semidiurnal EOP variationsshould be pursued.

Besides the new models mentioned above, additional material tothe Conventions is also under consideration. Two topics are specifi-cally proposed.

Dispersive effects of the ionosphere on the propagation of radiosignals are classically accounted for by linear combination of multi-frequency observations. In past years it has been shown that thisapproach induces errors on the computed time of propagation thatcan reach 100 ps for GPS. For wide-band VLBI observations, theinduced errors might reach a couple of ps. It is proposed to gatherin a new section the estimation of the effect of higher-order ne-glected ionospheric terms and possible conventional models forthese.

Needed improvements are generally small changes, but occur inmany different parts of the Conventions. They concern the terminol-ogy used, information on the magnitude of effects, and more detailon time of propagation model for ranging techniques. In addition asection on clock synchronization and transformations of proper timeto coordinate time (applied to GNSS) is recommended. See a re-view of possible improvements in the presentation by S. Klioner(<>).

Reports were presented from the analysis coordinators of the IVS,the IGS and the ILRS. For IVS (<>), thermal expansion, gravitational sag and tum-bling of reference point were mentioned as well as the general ques-

4.4 Model for diurnal andsemidiurnal EOP variations

R6: Recommended newconventional models

5. Possible additions to theConventions

5.1. Propagation of radio wavesthrough the ionosphere

5.2. Better documentation forrelativistic models

6. Technique-dependenteffects

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tion of local ties. For IGS (<>), antenna phase model, satellite orbit models, satel-lite attitude models, satellite signal polarization models, ionosphericdelay modelling (see section 5.1), inter-modulation signal delaybiases, SP3 orbit frame and relativistic effects for GPS clocks (seesection 5.2) were covered. For ILRS (<>), satellite force model, satellite attitudemodel, satellite centre-of-mass offset and measurement biases werementioned, along with the possible relation to other techniques.

Technique services should maintain documentation on theirtechnique-specific effects. Links to this documentation shouldappear in the IERS Conventions.

In addition, topics that concern (or may concern) several techniquescould be specified in the Conventions. Examples are the following:

• IVS needs a reference temperature to model antenna thermaldeformation. A “GPT-like” function, based on the present con-ventional model GPT, averaged over one year, might be suffi-cient to represent the true average temperature with adequateuncertainty (a few K). Harmonic representation of higher ordermay be useful (to be considered in a future version of the routineGPT). When defined, such a conventional reference tempera-ture should be used whenever needed, as all measurement tech-niques have temperature dependence.

• Non gravitational acceleration affects all satellites (GNSS/SLR),but the precise implementation of models is to be consideredas technique-dependent. However, a general description mightbe useful in the Conventions.

Terminology concerning reference systems has been a recurrenttopic for years. It mostly impacts Chapter 4 of the Conventions. It isaddressed in the presentation (<>) which discusses also the IUGG resolution onITRS passed at the 2007 IUGG GA in Perugia. It also presents theIAG Inter-Commission Working Group (WG 1.3) on ‘concepts andterminology related to Geodetic Reference Systems’, chaired byC. Boucher which aims at defining such a terminology. Note also alink with the IAG study group SC1.2-SG1- IC-SG1, on ‘Theory, im-plementation and quality assessment of geodetic reference frames’(jointly Commission 1, ICCT, IERS) chaired by A. Dermanis.

For direct application to the IERS Conventions, one option is tofirst update, in Chapter 4, the part describing the elaboration of thelatest realization (so far ITRF2005). When the IAG inter-commis-sion WG has concluded its work, the whole chapter should bereconsidered in view of the WG report.

R7: Technique-dependent effects

7. Terminology concerningreference systems

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This is described in sections 1 and 2 above, concluding with R2 insection 2.

PP1 made the specific recommendation that the text of the IERSConventions, Chapter 4, section 4.1.3, be replaced starting fromthe 4th paragraph to the end of the section with the following newtext:

“The general model connecting the instantaneous a priori posi-tion of a point anchored on the Earth’s crust at date t, X(t), and aregularized position X R(t), is X(t) = XR(t) + [Σi dXi(t)]. The purpose ofthe introduction of a regularized position is to remove mostly high-frequency time variations (mainly geophysically excited) using con-ventional corrections dXi(t) in order to obtain a position with regulartime evolution. Among other reasons, such regularization permitsimproved estimation of the actual instantaneous station positionsbased on observational data. In this case, XR(t) can be expressedby using simple models and numerical values. The current stationmotion model is linear (position at a reference epoch t0 and veloc-ity): X R(t) = X0 + X’ * (t – t0).

The numerical values are (X0 , X’), which collectively constitute aspecific TRF realization for a set of stations determined consist-ently. For some stations it is necessary to consider several dis-crete linear segments in order to account for abrupt discontinuitiesin position (for example, due to earthquakes or to changes in ob-serving equipment).

Conventional models are presented in Chapter 7 for the currentlyrecognized dXi(t) corrections, namely those due to solid Earth (body)tides, ocean tidal loading, polar motion-induced deformation of thesolid Earth (pole tide), ocean pole tide loading, and loading from theatmospheric S1/S2 pressure tides. All of these models, except theatmospheric S1/S2 pressure tides, include long-period variationsoutside the subdaily band. While not necessary, this approach isrecommended in order to maintain consistency with longstandingpractice and to minimize user confusion. Station displacementsdue to non-tidal loadings are not recommended to be included inoperational solutions but studies for research purposes are encour-aged.

The compensating counter motions of the solid Earth due to allthe fluid loading effects (‘geocenter motion’ of the observing net-works relative to the ITRF origin) should generally be included in themodelled station displacements, at least for those techniques thatobserve the dynamical motions of near-Earth satellites, which re-spond to the centre of mass of the total Earth system.

8. Practical application to therewriting of some parts of

Conventions (2003)

8.1 Conventions introduction

8.2 Conventions Chapter 4

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Additional station-dependent corrections may be recommendedby the various Technique Services due to effects that are notgeophysically based but nonetheless can cause position-likedisplacements. These generally affect each observing methods indistinct ways so the appropriate models are technique-dependentand not specified by the IERS Conventions.”

Position paper 3 (<>) intends to give directions so that the question of theorigin of the terrestrial reference system (i.e. “geocentre motion”) istreated in a consistent manner throughout the Conventions. Whena phenomenon (such as the ocean tides) causes displacements offluid masses, the centre of mass of the fluid masses moves andmust be compensated by an opposite motion of the centre of massof the solid Earth. The stations, being fixed to the solid Earth, aresubject to this counter-motion. There is considerable confusion inthe use of “geocentre motion” to represent the vector between the“instantaneous centre of mass of the whole Earth” (here noted CM)and the “origin of ITRF” (here noted CF). However a consistent prac-tice in the recent IERS applications has been to use this vector asoriented “from CM to CF”, so that it is proposed to use this conven-tion in all cases. It could help to use a new name for this vector, e.g.“origin translation”. Implications on different chapters of the Con-ventions include:

In chapter 7, the “tidal” component of the origin translation asso-ciated with all modelled loading effects should be modelled at theobservation level, following the procedure used for ocean loading inthe update 25/11/2006 of Conventions.

In chapter 4, the description of ITRF elaboration should mentionexplicitly the conventional procedure used to account for the “sea-sonal” component of the origin translation.

In chapter 5, the EOP formulation should be specified in the trans-formation TRS-CRS. As the EOP values used are referenced to theITRF origin, it is to be mentioned explicitly that ITRF coordinates(i.e. not referred to the instantaneous CM) should be used.

B. Luzum and G. Brockett (<>) considered several options for the electronicdissemination of the Conventions. From the discussion following, itseemed to emerge a consensus that the system of occasional‘registered editions’ which are produced with an interval of a fewyears is still preferred. For the time being, the registered edition willremain the ‘paper’ edition, which is used in a wider community thanthe IERS.

The current approach of providing updates between registerededitions through electronic means in both TeX and PDF files with

8.3 Changes to Chapters 4, 5 and 7

9. Electronic diffusionof the Conventions

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full archiving of successive evolutions is supported. Additional elec-tronic augmentations to the Conventions will be explored in thefuture as resources permit.

B. Luzum and M.S. Carter (<>) reviewed the current situation of Conventionssoftware from a software engineering perspective and proposed someguidelines to improve the situation. In particular, the inclusion oftest cases for accepted software and the improvement in the docu-mentation of the code were seen as achievable goals. Additionalimprovements such as improved error trapping, formal version con-trol, improved formal testing, improved consistency between sub-routines, and providing code in additional languages, while benefi-cial, are not seen as practical at this time.

M. Gerstl (<>) recommended that the Conventions software be fully normal-ized and proposed some technical choices. Such an approach hasmerits but would require more manpower than is currently avail-able.

In following discussions it was determined that minimum require-ments were to provide all source code on the Conventions web site,to ensure version control, to provide documentation on the argu-ments, and to provide test cases. The importance of this issue wasstressed, because very often the software itself is the de factoconvention, much more than the description of the model in theConventions or in the literature.

It is recommended that, when a model needs to be coded inan independent routine or set of routines, the ConventionsCentre will provide all source code on the Conventions website along with documentation on the arguments and testcases, and will ensure version control.

J. Ihde (<>) pre-sented conclusions of the IAG Inter Commission Project 1.2 “Verti-cal reference frames” which he chaired. ICP1.2 considered draftConventions for the definition and realization of a Conventional Ver-tical Reference System (CVRS) and also recognized the need forconventions for the definition and realization of an absolute gravityreference system (IGSN71 – IAG WG in preparation). The continu-ation of this work is proposed as an IAG Inter-Commission WorkingGroup for the Global Vertical Reference System (GVRS).

During the session “Evolution of the Conventions” and in the finalgeneral discussion, it was widely recognized that a new registerededition is needed, which should implement the conclusions of thismeeting. It is foreseen that it could appear in the time frame 2008/2009.

R8: IERS Conventions software

10. Links with other fieldsof geodesy

11. Next registered edition

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It is recommended to assemble a new registered edition ofthe IERS Conventions, implementing the conclusions of thisworkshop, aiming at a publication date in 2009.

It is proposed to distinguish three classes of models in theConventions. Class 1 (“reduction”) covers models which arephysically based, accurately determined and needed to ob-tain usable results in data analysis; Class 2 (“conventional”)models are also needed but are based on conventionalchoice; Class 3 (“useful”) includes the other models.

It is recommended that conventional station displacementsinclude only Class 1 (“reduction”) models, plus any technique-specific effects. Some specific criteria are that complete daily& sub-daily tidal variations should be included, and that mod-els must be accurate (with respect to observation errors), asindependent of geodetic data as possible, and preferably inclosed-form expressions for ease of use. In addition, it shouldbe sought to maintain flexibility to evaluate different modelseasily a posteriori when accuracy is questionable.

It is recommended that the Introduction of the IERS Conven-tions be amended to include, in substance, the guiding prin-ciples and the selection criteria presented in R1 and R2 above.

It is recommended that IERS Conventions, Chapter 7, be ex-panded to include the essential aspects of using non-tidalmodels in a posteriori studies and research, in order better toinform users.

It is recommended that the IERS DB promotes the develop-ment of a dynamic reference Earth model.

It is recommended to add new conventional models: a modelfor S1/S2 atmospheric loading as provided by T. van Damand R. Ray; a model for the tropospheric hydrostatic gradientdue to the equatorial bulge; a model for the effect of oceantides on geopotential based on FES2004 tidal model. Workon a new model for diurnal and semidiurnal EOP variationsshould be pursued.

R9: Next registered edition of theIERS Conventions

Summary ofRecommendations

R1: Classification of models

R2: Choosing models forconventional station displacements

R3: Recommended Revision ofConventions Introduction

R4: To include non-tidal models asClass 3

R5: Recommend the IERS DBto promote the development

of a DREM

R6: Recommended newconventional models

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Technique services should maintain documentation on theirtechnique-specific effects. Links to this documentation shouldappear in the IERS Conventions.

It is recommended that, when a model needs to be coded inan independent routine or set of routines, the ConventionsCentre will provide all source code on the Conventions website along with documentation on the arguments and testcases, and will ensure version control.

It is recommended to assemble a new registered edition ofthe IERS Conventions, implementing the conclusions of thisworkshop, aiming at a publication date in 2009.

Gérard Petit, Brian J. Luzum,and the workshop organizing committee

R7: Technique-dependent effects

R8: IERS Conventions software

R9: Next registered edition of theIERS Conventions

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4.2 GGOS Unified Analysis Workshop

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In cooperation with the GGOS Executive Committee the IERS Cen-tral Bureau organised the first GGOS Unified Analysis Workshop,taking place in Monterey, California, USA from December 6 to 8,2007. By invitation representatives of the IAG services (GGOS, IERS,IGFS, IGS, IVS, ILRS, IDS) were selected by these individual serv-ices, 5 – 6 per service, in total 44 scientists.

The scope of the workshop was to support one of the importantgoals of GGOS, which is to advance the combination and integra-tion of the various space and in-situ geodetic techniques. This goalcan only be achieved with the help of all the IAG Services, andespecially the IERS and IGFS.

Even if considerable progress has been made in the effort to-wards a rigorous combination of the various space geodetic tech-niques (e.g. the realization of ITRF2005, making use of a new ap-proach based on time series of SINEX files), there are still manydeficiencies (missing parameters), inconsistencies and system-atic effects to be addressed. Therefore the important topics of theworkshop were the following:

• Assessment of technique-specific systematic biasesaffecting the co-location on the ground and on satellites

• Step by step inclusion of all parameter types common tomore than one observation technique

• Definition of common standards for all these parameters andtheir a priori values/models

• Improvements in combination strategies and rigorousness

• Development of new products based on a rigorous combina-tion of the space geodetic techniques

• Setup of a common data portal for the products and data,and the definition of meta data and data flow

The workshop was intended to be a forum to exchange informationand results and thus increase the common understanding of all thetechnique representatives for each of the individual techniques asthey contribute to GGOS.

Position papers were put together by the chairs and co-chairs ofthe six sessions, which were in details:

• Session 1: Details of Product Generation of the Servicesand Future

• Session 2: Technique-Specific Biases and Effects at Co-Location Sites/Satellites

4.2 GGOS Unified Analysis Workshop

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196 IERS Annual Report 2007

• Session 3: Standardization/Extension of CommonParameterization

• Session 4: Combination Strategies and Aspects

· Session 5: New Products Based on Inter-technique Combi-nations

• Session 6: GGOS Portal and Meta Data Flow

The detailed programme including the position papers and presen-tations is available at <>.

The workshop ended with the following action items and recom-mendations:

• Extension of the SINEX format for other parameter typesand representations

• Tests on atmospheric loading: application on the observa-tion or solution level?

• Generation of daily SINEX files (IVS Intensives and IGSRapids)

• Parameterization and modeling for the next ITRF

• Benchmark tests for models common to several techniques

• Documentation of AC modeling standards andparameterization

• Definition of meta data standards (e.g. SINEX meta datablock)

The detailed and updated list can be found at <>.

Bernd Richter

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The IERS was established as the International Earth Rotation Serv-ice in 1987 by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) and theInternational Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) and it be-gan operation on 1 January 1988. In 2003 it was renamed to Inter-national Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service. IERS is amember of the Federation of Astronomical and Geophysical DataAnalysis Services (fa*gS).

The primary objectives of the IERS are to serve the astronomical,geodetic and geophysical communities by providing the following:

• The International Celestial Reference System (ICRS) andits realization, the International Celestial Reference Frame(ICRF).

• The International Terrestrial Reference System (ITRS) andits realization, the International Terrestrial ReferenceFrame (ITRF).

• Earth orientation parameters required to study earthorientation variations and to transform between the ICRFand the ITRF.

• Geophysical data to interpret time/space variations in theICRF, ITRF or earth orientation parameters, and modelsuch variations.

• Standards, constants and models (i.e., conventions)encouraging international adherence.

IERS is composed of a broad spectrum of activities performed bygovernmental or selected commercial organizations.

IERS collects, archives and distributes products to satisfy theobjectives of a wide range of applications, research and experi-mentation. These products include the following:

• International Celestial Reference Frame.

• International Terrestrial Reference Frame.

• Monthly earth orientation data.

• Daily rapid service estimates of near real-time earthorientation data and their predictions.

• Announcements of the differences between astronomicaland civil time for time distribution by radio stations.

• Leap second announcements.

• Products related to global geophysical fluids such as massand angular momentum distribution.

• Annual report and technical notes on conventions andother topics.

• Long term earth orientation information.

Appendix 1: IERS Terms of Reference

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The accuracies of these products are sufficient to support currentscientific and technical objectives including the following:

• Fundamental astronomical and geodetic referencesystems.

• Monitoring and modeling earth rotation/orientation.• Monitoring and modeling deformations of the solid earth.• Monitoring mass variations in the geophysical fluids,

including the atmosphere and the hydrosphere.• Artificial satellite orbit determination.• Geophysical and atmospheric research, studies of

dynamical interactions between geophysical fluids andthe solid earth.

• Space navigation.

The IERS accomplishes its mission through the following compo-nents:

• Technique Centers.• Product Centers.• ITRS Combination Center(s)• Research Center(s)• Analysis Coordinator.• Central Bureau.• Directing Board.• Working Groups.

Some of these components (e.g., Technique Centers) may be au-tonomous operations, structurally independent from IERS, but whichcooperate with the IERS. A participating organization may also func-tion as one or several of these components (except as a DirectingBoard).

The TCs generally are autonomous independent services, whichcooperate with the IERS.

The TCs are responsible for developing and organizing the ac-tivities in each contributing observational technique to meet theobjectives of the service. They are committed to produce opera-tional products, without interruption, and at a specified time lag tomeet requirements. The products are delivered to IERS using des-ignated standards. The TCs provide, as a minimum, earth orienta-tion parameters and related reference frame information, as wellas other products as required.

The TCs exercise overall control of observations from their spe-cific techniques, archiving, quality control and data processing in-cluding combination processing of data and/or products receivedfrom their participating organizations. TCs are the various interna-tional technique specific services: IGS, ILRS, IVS, IDS and possi-ble future TCs.


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PCs are responsible for the products of the IERS.

Such centers are the following:

• Earth Orientation Center, responsible for monitoring earthorientation parameters including long term consistency,publications for time dissemination and leap second an-nouncements.

• Rapid Service/Prediction Center, responsible for publica-tion of semiweekly (possibly daily?) bulletins of prelimi-nary and predicted earth orientation parameters.

• Conventions Center, under the guidance of the IERS Con-ventions Editorial Board, responsible for the maintenanceof the IERS conventional models, constants and stand-ards.

• ICRS Center, responsible for the maintenance of the ICRS/ICRF.

• ITRS Center, responsible for the maintenance of the ITRS/ITRF, including network coordination (design collocation,local ties, and site quality). For this purpose the Center isalso responsible to provide the ITRS Combination Centers(see below) with specifications, and to evaluate their re-spective results.

• Global Geophysical Fluids Center, responsible for provid-ing relevant geophysical data sets and related computa-tional results to the scientific community.

ITRS Combination Center(s) are responsible to provide ITRF prod-ucts by combining ITRF inputs from the TCs and others. Such prod-ucts are provided to the ITRS Center.

Research Center(s) are responsible for carrying out research on aspecific subject. They are established by the DB and are related toa corresponding Product Center. Research Center(s) are limited toa term of 4–5 years.

The AC is responsible for the long-term and internal consistency ofthe IERS reference frames and other products. He is responsiblefor ensuring the appropriate combination of the TC products into thesingle set of official IERS products and the archiving of the productsat the Central Bureau or elsewhere.

The AC serves for a four-year term, renewable once by the DB.The responsibility of the AC is to monitor the TC and PC activitiesto ensure that the IERS objectives are carried out. This is accom-plished through direct contact with the independent TC AnalysisCoordinators or equivalent. Specific expectations include qualitycontrol, performance evaluation, and continued development of ap-





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propriate analysis methods and standards. The AC interacts fullywith the Central Bureau, the Product Centers and the CombinationResearch Center(s).

The Central Bureau is responsible for the general management ofthe IERS consistent with the directives and policies set by theDirecting Board, i.e., acts as the executive arm of the DirectingBoard. The CB facilitates communications, coordinates activities,monitors operations, maintains documentation, archives productsand relevant information and organizes reports, meetings and work-shops.

Although the Chairperson of the Directing Board is the officialrepresentative of the IERS at external organizations, the CB isresponsible for the day-to-day liaison with such organizations. TheCB coordinates and publishes all documents required for the sat-isfactory planning and operation of the Service, including stand-ards/conventions/specifications regarding the performance, func-tionality and configuration requirements of all elements of the Serv-ice including user interface functions.

The CB operates the communication center for the IERS. It dis-tributes and/or maintains a hierarchy of documents and reports,both hard copy and electronic, including network information, stand-ards, newsletters, electronic bulletin board, directories, summa-ries of performance and products, and an Annual Report.

The Directing Board consists of the following members:

• Two representatives from each Technique Center to be se-lected by the Technique Center’s governing board or equiva-lent. The two representatives will represent that techniqueregarding

a. its network and coordination with other techniques,

b. the details of the technical analyses.

It is desired that, as part of reciprocity agreements, IERS repre-sentatives are to become members of the Technique Centers’directing boards.

• One representative from each Product Center.

• Representative of the Central Bureau.

• IERS Analysis Coordinator.

• Representatives of IAU, IAG/IUGG and fa*gS.

The Chairperson is one of the members of the DB elected by theBoard for a term of four years with the possibility of re-election forone additional term. The Chairperson does not vote, except in caseof a tie. He/she is the official representative of IERS to external



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organizations.The DB exercises general control over the activities of the service

and modifies the organization as appropriate to maintain efficiencyand reliability, while taking full advantage of the advances in tech-nology and theory.

Most DB decisions are to be made by consensus or by a simplemajority vote of the members present, provided that there is a quo-rum consisting of at least one half of the membership. In case of alack of a quorum, the voting is by correspondence. Changes in theTerms of Reference and Chairperson of the DB can be made by atwo third majority of the members of the DB.

For the DB to effectively assess the value of IERS services to theuser communities, and to ensure that the service remains up todate and responsive to changing user needs, the DB will organizereviews of the IERS components at appropriate intervals. The DBwill decide, on an annual basis, those components that are to bereviewed and from time to time may select other activities for re-view, as it deems appropriate. The Central Bureau provides the sec-retariat of the DB.

The Board shall meet at least annually and at such other timesas shall be considered appropriate by the Chairperson or at therequest of five members.

Working Groups may be established by the DB to investigate par-ticular topics related to the IERS components. Working groups arelimited to a term of two years with a possible one-time re-appoint-ment. The IERS Analysis Centre Coordinator and the Director ofthe Central Bureau are ex officio members of each working group,and may send official representatives to meetings which they areunable to attend. Working groups may also collaborate with otherscientific organizations like, e.g., IAG, CSTG.

The chair of a working group must prepare, at least annually, areport about the activities of the group to be included in the IERSAnnual Report. Working group chairs are invited to participate inDB meetings.

Individuals or groups wishing to establish an IERS Working Groupmust provide the following at least two weeks prior to the IERSDirecting Board Meeting where DB approval is requested.

• Draft charter clearly specifying:

ο Proposed goals (two pages at maximum),ο Proposed structure of the group or project,ο Working plan including schedule / deadlines

including the anticipated end of work,

• Candidate for a chairperson to be appointed by the DB(optional),


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• Initial list of members,

• Proposed plans for an operational phase (if applicable),

• Draft IERS message to inform the IERS community.

Persons representing organizations that participate in any of theIERS components, and who are not members of the Directing Board,are considered IERS Associate Members. Ex officio IERS Associ-ate Members are the following persons:

IAG General Secretary

IAU General Secretary

IUGG General Secretary

President of fa*gS

President of IAG Commission 1

President of IAG Subcommission 1.1

President of IAG Subcommission 1.2

President of IAG Subcommission 1.4

President of IAG Commission 3

President of IAG Subcommission 3.1

President of IAG Subcommission 3.2

President of IAG Subcommission 3.3

President of IAU Commission 8

President of IAU Commission 19

President of IAU Commission 31

Head of IAU Division I

IERS Correspondents are persons on a mailing list maintained bythe Central Bureau, who do not actively participate in the IERS butexpress interest in receiving IERS publications, wish to participatein workshops or scientific meetings organized by the IERS, orgenerally are interested in IERS activities.

October 28, 2008



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Appendix 2: Contact addresses of the IERS Directing Board

Chopo Ma(address see below)

Markus RothacherETH Zurich, Institute of Geodesy and PhotogrammetryHPV G52Schafmattstr. 348093 ZürichSwitzerlandphone: ++41-44-633-3375fax: ++41-44-633-1066e-mail: [emailprotected]

Daniel GambisObservatoire de Paris61, avenue de l’Observatoire75014 ParisFrancephone: ++33-1-40512226fax: ++33-1-40512291e-mail: [emailprotected]

Brian J. LuzumU.S. Naval ObservatoryEarth Orientation Department3450 Massachusetts Avenue, NWWashington, DC 20392-5420USAphone: ++1-202-762-1444fax: ++1-202-762-1563e-mail: [emailprotected]

Brian J. LuzumU.S. Naval ObservatoryEarth Orientation Department3450 Massachusetts Avenue, NWWashington, DC 20392-5420USAphone: ++1-202-762-1444fax: ++1-202-762-1563e-mail: [emailprotected]


Analysis Coordinator

Product CentresRepresentatives

Earth Orientation CentreRepresentative

Rapid Service/PredictionCentre Representative

Conventions Centre Representative

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Jean SouchayObservatoire de ParisSYRTE61, avenue de l’Observatoire75014 ParisFrancephone: ++33-1-40512322fax: ++33-1-40512291e-mail: [emailprotected]

Zuheir AltamimiInstitut Géographique National (IGN), LAREGEcole Nationale de Sciences Geographiques (ENSG)6-8 Avenue Blaise PascalCite Descartes, Champs-sur-Marne77455 Marne-la-Vallee, Francephone: ++33-1-6415-3255fax: ++33-01-6415-3253e-mail: [emailprotected]

Tonie van DamFaculté des Sciences, de la Technologie et de la CommunicationUniversity of Luxembourg162a, avenue de la Faïencerie1511 LuxembourgLuxembourgphone: ++352-46-66-44-6261fax: ++352-46-66-44-6567e-mail: [emailprotected]

Bernd RichterBundesamt für Kartographie und GeodäsieRichard-Strauss-Allee 1160598 Frankfurt am MainGermanyphone: ++49-69-6333-273fax: ++49-69-6333-425e-mail: [emailprotected]

ICRS Centre Representative

ITRS Centre Representative

Global Geophysical FluidsCentre Representative

Central BureauRepresentative

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IERS Annual Report 2007 205

Steven FisherJet Propulsion LaboratoryCommunications, Tracking and Radar Division (33)Mail Stop 238-5404800 Oak Grove Dr.Pasadena CA 91109USAphone: ++1-818-354-3435fax: ++1-818-354-8545e-mail: [emailprotected]


Jürgen MüllerUniversität HannoverInstitut für ErdmessungSchneiderberg 5030167 Hannover, Germanyphone: ++49-511-762-3362fax: ++49-511-762-4006e-mail: [emailprotected]

Erricos C. PavlisJoint Center for Earth Systems TechnologyUniversity of Maryland, Baltimore County1000 Hilltop CircleBaltimore, MD 21250, USAphone: ++1-410-455-5832fax: ++1-410-455-1893e-mail: [emailprotected]

Chopo MaPlanetary Geodynamics Laboratory, Code 698NASA’s Goddard Space Flight CenterGreenbelt, MD 20771USAphone: ++1-301-614-6101fax: ++1-301-614-6522e-mail: [emailprotected]

Technique CentersRepresentatives

IGS Representatives

ILRS Representatives

IVS Representatives

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Rüdiger HaasOnsala Space ObservatoryChalmers University of Technology439 92 Onsala, Swedenphone: ++46 31 772 55 30fax: ++46 31 772 55 90e-mail: [emailprotected]

Frank G. LemoinePlanetary Geodynamics Laboratory, Code 698NASA Goddard Space Flight CenterGreenbelt, MD 20771, USAphone: ++1-301-614-6109fax: ++1-301-614-6522e-mail: [emailprotected]


Aleksander BrzezinskiSpace Research CentrePolish Academy of SciencesBartycka 18a00-716 Warsaw, Polandphone: ++48-22-381 6287fax: ++48-22-840 3131e-mail: [emailprotected]

Clark R. WilsonUniversity of Texas at Austin, Department of Geological Sciences1 University Station C1100Austin, TX 78712-0254, USAphone: ++1-512-471-5008fax: ++1-512-471-9425e-mail: [emailprotected]

IDS Representatives

Union Representatives

IAU Representative

IAG / IUGG Representative

(Status as of October 2009)

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Markus RothacherETH Zurich, Institute of Geodesy and PhotogrammetryHPV G52, Schafmattstr. 348093 Zürich, Switzerlandphone: ++41-44-633-3375fax: ++41-44-633-1066e-mail: [emailprotected]

IERS Central BureauBundesamt für Kartographie und GeodäsieRichard-Strauss-Allee 1160598 Frankfurt am MainGermanyphone: ++49-69-6333-273/261/314/250fax: ++49-69-6333-425e-mail: [emailprotected]

Director: Bernd RichterScientific Assistant: Wolfgang R. Dick

International GNSS Service (IGS)IGS Central BureauJet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)M/S 238-540, 4800 Oak Grove DrivePasadena, CA 91109, USAphone: ++1-818-354-2077fax: ++1-818-393-6686e-mail: [emailprotected]

IGS Representatives to the IERS Directing Board:Steven Fisher, N.N.IERS Representative to the IGS Governing Board:Claude Boucher

International Laser Ranging Service (ILRS)ILRS Central BureauNASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Code 690.5Greenbelt, MD 20771, USAphone: ++1-301-614-6542fax: ++1-301-614-6099e-mail: [emailprotected]

ILRS Representatives to the IERS Directing Board:Jürgen Müller, Erricos C. PavlisIERS Representative to the ILRS Directing Board:Bob E. Schutz

Appendix 3: Contact addresses of the IERS components

Technique Centres

Analysis Coordinator

Central Bureau

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International VLBI Service (IVS)IVS Coordinating CenterNASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Code 926Greenbelt, MD 20771USAphone: ++1-301-614-5939fax: ++1-301-614-6099e-mail: [emailprotected]

IVS Representatives to the IERS Directing Board:Rüdiger Haas, Chopo MaIERS Representative to the IVS Directing Board: Chopo Ma

International DORIS Service (IDS)IDS Central BureauCLS8-10, rue Hermes, Parc Technologique du Canal31526 Ramonville CEDEX, Francephone: ++33 5 61 39 48 49 / 5 61 39 47 50fax: ++33 5 61 39 48 06e-mail: [emailprotected] representatives to the IERS:Frank Lemoine, N.N.IERS Representative to the IDS Governing Board: Ron Noomen

Earth Orientation CentreObservatoire de Paris61, Avenue de l’Observatoire75014 ParisFrancephone: ++33-1-40512226fax: ++33-1-40512291e-mail: [emailprotected]

Primary scientist and representative to the IERS Directing Board:Daniel Gambis

Rapid Service/Prediction CentreU.S. Naval Observatory, Earth Orientation Department3450 Massachusetts Avenue, NWWashington, DC 20392-5420USAphone: ++1-202-762-1444fax: ++1-202-762-1563e-mail: [emailprotected]

Primary scientist and representative to the IERS Directing Board:Brian J. Luzum

Product Centres

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Conventions CentreU.S. Naval Observatory, Earth Orientation Department3450 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, USAphone: ++1-202-762-0242fax: ++1-202-762-1563e-mail: [emailprotected]

Bureau International des Poids et MesuresPavillon de Breteuil, 92312 Sèvres Cedex, Francephone: ++33-1-45077067fax: ++33-1-45077059e-mail: [emailprotected]

Primary scientists:Brian J. Luzum (USNO), Gérard Petit (BIPM)Current representative to the IERS Directing Board:Brian J. Luzum

ICRS CentreU.S. Naval Observatory, Earth Orientation Department3450 Massachusetts Avenue, NWWashington, DC, USAphone: ++1-202-762-1519fax: ++1-202-72-1514e-mail: [emailprotected]

Observatoire de Paris, SYRTE61, Avenue de l’Observatoire75014 Paris, Francephone: ++33-1-40512322fax: ++33-1-40512291e-mail: [emailprotected]

Primary scientists:Ralph A. Gaume (USNO), Jean Souchay (Obs. Paris)Current representative to the IERS Directing Board:Jean Souchay

ITRS CentreInstitut Géographique National (IGN), LAREGEcole Nationale de Sciences Geographiques (ENSG)6-8 Avenue Blaise Pascal, Cite Descartes, Champs-sur-Marne77455 Marne-la-Vallee, Francephone: ++33-1-6415-3255fax: ++33-01-6415-3253e-mail: [emailprotected]

Primary scientist and representative to the IERS Directing Board:Zuheir Altamimi

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Global Geophysical Fluids CentreTonie van DamFaculté des Sciences, de la Technologie et de la CommunicationUniversity of Luxembourg162a, avenue de la Faïencerie1511 Luxembourg, Luxembourgphone: ++352-46-66-44-6261, fax: ++352-46-66-44-6567e-mail: [emailprotected]

Primary scientist and representative to the IERS Directing Board:Tonie van Dam

Special Bureau for the AtmosphereDavid A. SalsteinAtmospheric and Environmental Research, Inc.131 Hartwell AvenueLexington, MA 02421-3126, USAphone: ++1-781-761-2288, fax: ++1-781-761-2299e-mail: [emailprotected]

Special Bureau for the OceansRichard S. GrossJPL, Mail Stop 238-600, 4800 Oak Grove DrivePasadena, CA 91109-8099, USAphone: ++1-818-354-4010, fax: ++1-818-393-4965e-mail: [emailprotected]

Special Bureau for TidesRichard D. RayPlanetary Geodynamics Laboratory, Code 698NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC)Greenbelt, MD 20771, USAphone: ++1-301-614-6102, fax: ++1-301-614-6522e-mail: [emailprotected]

Special Bureau for HydrologyJianli ChenCenter for Space ResearchUniversity of Texas at AustinAustin, TX 78712, USAphone: ++1-512-232-6218, fax: ++1-512-471-3570e-mail: [emailprotected]

Special Bureau for the MantleErik R. IvinsJet Propulsion Laboratory4800 Oak Grove Dr., MS. 300-233Pasadena, CA 91109-8099, USAphone: ++1-818-354-4785, fax: ++1-818-354-9476e-mail: [emailprotected]

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Special Bureau for the CoreTim van HoolstRoyal Observatory of BelgiumRinglaan 3, 1180 Bruxelles, Belgiumphone: ++32-2-373-0668, fax: ++32-2-373-6731e-mail: [emailprotected]

Special Bureau for Gravity/GeocenterMichael M. WatkinsJPL, Mail Stop 238-600, 4800 Oak Grove DrivePasadena, CA 91109-8099, USAphone: ++1-818-354-7514, fax: ++1-818-354-4865e-mail: [emailprotected]

Special Bureau for LoadingHans-Peter PlagNevada Bureau of Mines and GeologyUniversity of NevadaMail Stop 178Reno, NV 89557-0088, USAphone: ++1-775-784-6691, fax: ++1-775-784-1709e-mail: [emailprotected]

Deutsches Geodätisches Forschungsinstitut (DGFI)Hermann DrewesDeutsches Geodätisches ForschungsinstitutAlfons-Goppel-Straße 11D-80539 München, Germanyphone: ++49-89-23031106, fax: ++49-89-23031240e-mail: [emailprotected]

Institut Géographique National (IGN), LAREGEcole Nationale de Sciences Geographiques (ENSG)Zuheir AltamimiInstitut Géographique National6-8 Avenue Blaise Pascal77455 Marne-la-Vallee, Francephone: ++33-1-6415-3255, fax: ++33-01-6415-3253e-mail: [emailprotected]

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan)Remi FerlandGeodetic Survey of Canada, Geomatics CanadaNatural Resources Canada (NRCan)615 Booth Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0E9, Canadaphone: ++1-613-995-4002, fax: ++1-613-995-3215e-mail: [emailprotected]

ITRS Combination Centres

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Working Groups

Working Group on Site Survey andCo-location

Pierguido SartiIstituto di Radioastronomia - IRAIstituto Nazionale di Astrofisica - INAFVia P.Gobetti N.10140129 BolognaItalyphone: ++390516399417, fax: ++390516399431e-mail: [emailprotected]

Brian J. LuzumU.S. Naval ObservatoryEarth Orientation Department3450 Massachusetts Avenue, NWWashington, DC 20392-5420USAphone: ++1-202-762-1444, fax: ++1-202-762-1563e-mail: [emailprotected]

Chopo MaPlanetary Geodynamics Laboratory, Code 698NASA’s Goddard Space Flight CenterGreenbelt, MD 20771USAphone: ++1-301-614-6101, fax: ++1-301-614-6522e-mail: [emailprotected]

Richard BiancaleGroupe de Recherches de Géodésie SpatialeCNES/GRGS18, Avenue Edouard Belin31055 Toulouse CedexFrancephone: ++33-61332978, fax: ++33-61253098e-mail: [emailprotected]

(Status as of October 2009)

Working Group on Prediction

IERS/IVS Working Group on theSecond Realization of the ICRF

Working Group on Combination atthe Observation Level

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Appendix 4: Electronic Access to IERS Products, Publicationsand Components

Central IERS web site


Earth orientation data


International Celestial ReferenceFrame

International Terrestrial ReferenceFrame

Geophysical fluids data

Publications note that all other products, publications and centres maybe accessed via this web site.

For a complete list of all IERS products see<>.

Rapid data and predictionsWeb access: access: - directory ser7

Monthly earth orientation dataWeb access: access: - directory iers/bul/bulb

Long term earth orientation dataWeb access: access: - directory iers/eop

Leap second announcementsWeb access: access: - directory iers/bul/bulc

Announcements of DUT1Web access: access: - directory iers/bul/buld

Web access:IERS Conventions 2003:

Web access: access: - directory iers/icrf

Web access: access: - directory pub/itrf

Web accesss:

IERS Messages

IERS Bulletins (Bulletin A)

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214 IERS Annual Report 2007 B, C, D)

IERS Technical Notes

IERS Annual Reports


Directing BoardWeb page:

Analysis CoordinatorWeb site:

Central BureauWeb site:

Earth Orientation CentreWeb site:

Rapid Service/Prediction CentreWeb site:

Conventions CentreWeb site:

ICRS CentreWeb site:

ITRS CentreWeb site:

Global Geophysical Fluids CentreWeb site: Bureaus:Special Bureau for the AtmosphereWeb site: Bureau for the OceansWeb site: Bureau for TidesWeb site: Bureau for HydrologyWeb site: Bureau for MantleWeb site: Bureau for the CoreWeb site:

IERS Components

Product Centres

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Special Bureau for Gravity/GeocenterWeb site: Bureau for LoadingWeb site:

International GNSS Service (IGS)Web site:

International Laser Ranging Service (ILRS)Web site:

International VLBI Service (IVS)Web site:

International DORIS Service (IDS)Web site:

Deutsches Geodätisches Forschungsinstitut (DGFI)Web site:

Institut Géographique National (IGN)Wep page:

National Resources Canada (NRCan)Web page:

Working Group on Site Survey and Co-locationWeb site:

Working Group on PredictionWeb page:

IERS/IVS Working Group on the Second Realization of theICRFWeb page:

Technique Centres

ITRS Combination Centres

Working Groups

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2MASS Two Micron All Sky Survey2QZ 2dF redshift surveyAAC Associated Analysis CentreAAM Atmospheric Angular MomentumAC Analysis CentreAC Analysis CoordinatorACC [IGS] Analysis Center CoordinatorADC Architecture and Data CommitteeAER Atmospheric and Environmental Re-

search Inc.AGU American Geophysical UnionAICAS Astronomical Institute, Academy of

Sciences of the Czech RepublicANDERRA Atmospheric Neutral Density Experi-

ment Risk ReductionAPCV Antenna [or Absolute] Phase Centre

VariationAPKIM Actual Plate KInematic and crustal

deformation ModelAPSG Asia-Pacific Space GeodynamicsAR Annual ReportASCII American Standard Code for Information

InterchangeASI Agenzia Spaziale ItalianaATNF Australia Telescope National FacilityAUS = AUSLIGAUSLIG Australian Surveying and Land Informa-

tion Group (now: Geoscience Australia )AWG Analysis Working GroupB1.0 USNO-B1.0 CatalogBIH Bureau International de l’HeureBIPM Bureau International des Poids et

MesuresBKG Bundesamt für Kartographie und

GeodäsieBMBF Bundesministerium für Bildung und

Forschung, GermanyCATREF Combination and Analysis of Terrestrial

Reference FramesCB Central BureauCC Combination CentreCCD Charge-Coupled DeviceCDDIS NASA Crustal Dynamics Data Informa-

tion System

Appendix 5: Acronyms

CEDR Center for Earth Dynamics ResearchCERGA Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches

Géodynamiques et AstronomiquesCF origin of ITRFCFHT Canada-France-Hawaii TelescopeCFHTLS CFHT Legacy SurveyCGS Centro di Geodesia Spatiale, ASICHAMP CHAllenging Minisatellite PayloadCLS Collecte Localisation SatellitesCM instantaneous centre of mass of the

whole EarthCMB core-mantle boundaryCMS Content Management SystemCNES Centre National d’Etude SpatialeCOD = CODECODE Centre for Orbit Determination in EuropeCONT continuous VLBI sessionCPC Climate Prediction CenterCPP IERS Combination Pilot ProjectCPU, cpu central processing unitCRC Combination Research CentreCRD CRF deepsouth [sessions]CRF Celestial Reference FrameCRMS CRF mediansouth [sessions]CSR Center for Space Research, University

of TexasCSRIFS Combined Square Root Information

Filter and Smoother (program)CSW Catalogue Service WebCVRS Conventional Vertical Reference SystemDB Directing BoardDept. DepartmentDGFI Deutsches Geodätisches

ForschungsinstitutDIS IERS Data and Information SystemDOGS DGFI Orbit & Geodetic Parameter

Estimation SoftwareDOMES Directory Of MERIT Sites (originally;

now of more general use)DORIS Doppler Orbit determination and

Radiopositioning Integrated on SatelliteDREM Dynamic Reference Earth ModelDUT1 = UT1–UTC

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5 Acronyms

IERS Annual Report 2007 217

ECCO Estimating the Circulation and Climateof the Ocean

ECMWF European Center for Medium RangeWeather Forecasting

EDC EUROLAS Data CenterEGU European Geosciences UnionEMR Energy, Mines and Resources Canada

(replaced by NRCan)ENSG Ecole Nationale de Sciences

GeographiquesEOC Earth Orientation CentreEOP Earth Orientation ParametersERIS Earth Rotation Information SystemERP Earth Rotation ParametersESA European Space AgencyESOC European Space Operations Center,

ESAEUMET-SAT European Organisation for the Exploita-

tion of Meteorological Satellitese-VLBI Electronic transfer VLBIEVN European VLBI Networkfa*gS Federation of Astronomical and Geo-

physical Data Analysis ServicesFCN Free Core NutationFESG Forschungseinrichtung

Satellitengeodäsie, Technical Universityof Munich

FFI Forsvarets forskningsinstituttFIRST Faint Images of the Radio Sky at

Twenty-CentimetersFITS Flexible Image Transport SystemFTLRS French Transportable Laser Ranging

StationFTP, ftp File Transfer ProtocolGA General AssemblyGA Geoscience AustraliaGAC GRACE Average of non-tidal atmos-

phere and ocean CombinationGAOUA Main Astronomical Observatory of the

Ukrainian Academy of SciencesGCM Gravity Satellite only Monthly solutionsGCRS Geocentric Celestial Reference SystemGEO Group on Earth ObservationsGeoDAF Geodetic Data Archiving Facility

GEOSS Global Earth Observation System ofSystems

GFZ GeoForschungsZentrum PotsdamGGAO Goddard’s Geophysical and Astronomi-

cal ObservatoryGGFC Global Geophysical Fluids CentreGGOS Global Geodetic Observing SystemGGOS-D GGOS – Deutschland (Germany)GIA glacial isostatic adjustmentGIUB Geodetic Institute of the University of

Bonn (now IGGB)GLDAS NASA’s Global Land Data Assimilation

SystemGLONASS Global Orbiting Navigation Satellite

System, RussiaGLOUP GLObal Undersea PressureGMES Global Monitoring of Environment and

SecurityGMF Global Mapping FunctionGNSS Global Navigation Satellite SystemGNU GNU’s Not UnixGOP Geodetic Observatory PecnyGPS Global Positioning SystemGPT Global Pressure and TemperatureGRACE Gravity Recovery and Climate Experi-

mentGRGS Groupe de Recherches de Géodésie

SpatialeGSC23 [Space Telescope] Guide Star Catalog

2.3GSFC Goddard Space Flight CenterGSI Geographical Survey InstituteGSM GRACE Satellite only ModelGVRS Global Vertical Reference SystemHCRF Hipparcos Celestial Reference FrameHEO High Earth OrbiterHST Hubble Space TelescopeIAA Institute of Applied Astronomy, St.

PetersburgIAG International Association of GeodesyIAU International Astronomical UnionICP [IAG] Inter Commission ProjectICRF International Celestial Reference FrameICRS International Celestial Reference Sys-

temIC-SG [IAG] Inter-Commission Study Group

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218 IERS Annual Report 2007

IC-WG [IAG] Inter-Commission Working GroupICSU International Council for ScienceID Identification/IdentifierIDS International DORIS ServiceIERS International Earth Rotation and Refer-

ence Systems Service (formerly:International Earth Rotation Service)

IGFS International Gravity Field ServiceIGGB Institute of Geodesy and Geoinformation

of the University of Bonn (formerlyGIUB)

IGN Institut Géographique NationalIGR IGS rapid (orbit)IGS International GNSS Service (formerly:

International GPS Service)IGSN71 International Gravity Standardization Net

1971ILRS International Laser Ranging ServiceILRSA ILRS Combination CentreINA = INASANINAF Istituto Nazionale di AstrofisicaINASAN INstitut AStronomii Rossijskoj Akademii

Nauk (Institute of Astronomy of theRussian Academy of Sciences)

IRA Istituto di RadioastronomiaIRIS International Radio Interferometric

SurveyingISO International Organization for Standardi-

zationISRO Indian Space Research OrganizationIT Information TechnologyITRF International Terrestrial Reference

FrameITRS International Terrestrial Reference

SystemIUGG International Union of Geodesy and

GeophysicsIVP invariant reference pointIVS International VLBI Service for Geodesy

and AstrometryJADE JApanese Dynamic Earth observation by

VLBIJAXA Japan Aerospace Exploration AgencyJCET Joint Center for Earth System Technol-

ogy, GSFCJ-MAPS Joint Milli-Arcsecond Pathfinder Survey

JPL Jet Propulsion LaboratoryJVAS Jodrell Bank-VLA Astrometric SurveyKEOF Kalman Earth Orientation FilterLaD Land DynamicsLAREG Laboratoire de Recherche en GeodesieLCA LEGOS in cooperation with CLSLCT Laser Communication TerminalLDAS Land Data Assimilation SystemLEGOS Laboratoire d'Etudes en Géophysique et

Océanographie SpatialesLEO Low Earth Orbit(er)LGM last glacial maximumLLR Lunar Laser RangingLOD Length of DayLPCE Laboratoire de Physique et Chimie de

l'EnvironnementLQAC Large Quasar Astrometric CatalogLR laser rangingLRA Laser Retroreflector ArrayLRO Lunar Reconnaissance OrbiterMAO = GAOUAmas milliarcsecond(s)µas microarcsecond(s)MCC Russian Mission Control CentreMCT Ministério da Ciência e Tecnologia,

BrasíliaMERIT Monitoring Earth Rotation and

Intercomparison of TechniquesMICOM Miami Isopycnic Coordinate Ocean

ModelMIS Meta Information SystemMIT Massachusetts Institute of TechnologymJy milli-JanskyMJD Modified Julian DayMOM Modular Ocean ModelMPIfR Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie

/ Max Planck Institute for Radio As-tronomy

ms millisecond(s)µs microsecond(s)MW microwaveNASA U.S. National Aeronautics and Space

AdministrationNCAR U.S. National Center for Atmospheric


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5 Acronyms

IERS Annual Report 2007 219

NCEP U.S. National Centers for EnvironmentalPrediction

NCL University of Newcastle upon TyneNEQ normal equationNERC Natural Environment Research Council,

UKNetCDF Network Common Data FormNGS U.S. National Geodetic SurveyNGSLR [NASA's] Next Generation SLRNICT National Institute of Information and

Communications TechnologyNMF Niell Mapping FunctionN.N. Nomen Nominandum [vacant, to be

nominated]NNR No-net-rotationNOAA U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric

AdministrationNOFS USNO Flagstaff StationNOGAPS [U.S.] Navy's Operational Global Atmos-

pheric Prediction SystemNPM Lick Northern Proper Motion ProgramNPS (U.S.) Naval Postgraduate SchoolNRAO [U.S.] National Radio Astronomy

ObservatoryNRCan Natural Resources, Canada (formerly:

EMR)NRL Naval Research LaboratoryNRT Nançay Radio Telescopens nanosecond(s)NSGF NERC Space Geodesy FacilityNVSS NRAO VLA sky surveyOAM oceanic angular momentumObs. Observatory, ObservatoireOCA Observatoire de la Côte d'AzurOCRF Optical Celestial Reference FrameOGC Open Geospatial ConsortiumOP Observatoire de ParisOPAR Paris Observatory IVS Analysis CenterOV [HST] orbital verificationPAA Priority Area AssessmentPC Product CentrePHP PHP: Hypertext PreprocessorPI Principal InvestigatorPM Polar MotionPMM Precision Measure MachinePNT positioning, navigation and timing

POCM Parallel Ocean Climate ModelPOD Precise [or Precision] Orbit Determina-

tionPOLAC Paris Observatory Lunar Analyses

CenterPP Pilot Projectppb parts per billion (10-9)PPN Precise-Position-NavigationPRARE Precise RAnge and Range-Rate Equip-

mentPREM Preliminary Reference Earth ModelPSR pulsar(s)PZT Photographic Zenith Tube [or Telescope]QSO Queued Service ObservationR&D Research and DevelopmentRDV Research and Development (sessions)

with the VLBARFI radio frequency interferencerms, RMS Root Mean SquareRRFID USNO Radio Reference Frame Image

DatabaseRSC Radio Source CoordinatesRSES Research School of Earth SciencesRS/PC IERS Rapid Service/Prediction CenterSAA South Atlantic AnomalySAR Synthetic-aperture radarSB Special BureauSBA Special Bureau for the AtmosphereSBC Special Bureau for the CoreSBGG Special Bureau for Gravity/GeocenterSBH Special Bureau for HydrologySBL Special Bureau for LoadingSBO Special Bureau for the OceansSCID Ad hoc Strategic Committee on Informa-

tion and DataSDSS Sloan Digital Sky SurveySIM NASA’s Space Interferometry MissionSINEX Solution (Software/technique)

INdependent EXchange FormatSIO Scripps Institution of OceanographySLR Satellite Laser RangingSNR signal-to-noise ratioSOAR Southern Astrophysical ResearchSOI SOAR Optical ImagerSPBU St Petersburg University

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220 IERS Annual Report 2007

SPM Yale/San Juan Southern Proper MotionProgram

SRIF Square Root Information Filter arraySYRTE (Laboratoire) Systèmes de Référence

Temps-EspaceTAI Temps Atomique International (Interna-

tional Atomic Time)TANAMI Tracking Active galactic Nuclei with

Australia Milliarcsecond InterferometryTC Technique CentreTEMPO Time and Earth Motion Precision Obser-

vationsTERAPIX Traitement Elementaire, Reduction et

Analyse des PIXelsToR Terms of ReferenceTRF Terrestrial Reference FrameTT Terrestrial TimeTU Technical UniversityTUM Technical University of MunichTWS terrestrial water storageUCAC USNO CCD Astrograph CatalogUFRJ Universidade Federal do Rio de JaneiroUniv. UniversityURAT USNO Robotic Astrometric TelescopeURL Uniform Resource Locator

USN = USNOUSNO United States Naval ObservatoryUT, UT0,UT1, UT1R Universal TimeUTAAM NOAA AAM analysis and forecast dataUTC Coordinated Universal TimeVLA Very Large ArrayVLBA Very Long Baseline Array, NRAOVCS [NRAO] VLBA Calibrator Source SurveyVLBI Very Long Baseline InterferometryVMF,VMF1 Vienna Mapping FunctionVO Virtual ObservatoryVOTable (Virtual Observatory) XML format for the

exchange of tabular dataWCS World Coordinate SystemWFI Wide Field ImagerWG working groupWGP IERS Working Group on PredictionWMAP Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy ProbeWMO World Meteorological OrganizationWRMS Weighted Root Mean SquareXML eXtensible Markup Languageyr year

Reporte 2007 - [PDF Document] (2024)


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