Improving dUT1 from VLBI Intensive Sessions with GRAD gradients and ray-traced delays
- Post by: Johannes Böhm
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Exact knowledge of the angle of Earth rotation UT1 with respect to coordinated time UTC, dUT1, is essential for all space geodetic techniques. The only technique which is capable of determining dUT1 is Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI). So-called Intensive VLBI sessions are performed on a daily basis in order to provide dUT1. Due to the reduced geometry of Intensive sessions, there is however no possibility to estimate tropospheric gradients from the observations, which limits the accuracy of the resulting dUT1 significantly. This paper deals with introducing the information on azimuthal asymmetry from external sources, thus attempting to improve the dUT1 estimates. We use the discrete horizontal gradients GRAD and the empirical horizontal gradients GPT3 as well as ray-traced delays from the VieVS ray-tracer for this purpose, which can all be downloaded from the VMF server of TU Wien (http://vmf.geo.tuwien.ac.at). The results show that this strategy indeed improves the dUT1 estimates when compared to reference values from multi-station VLBI stations, namely by up to 15%. When converted to length-of-day (LOD), the estimates can be compared to LODs from global analyses of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS). Here, the improvement amounts to up to 7% compared to neglecting a priori information on azimuthal asymmetry.