Operation Center


Scheduling observations to extragalactic radio sources is an integral part of geodetic and astrometric Very Long Baseline Interferometry. At TU Wien, we use the Vienna VLBI and Scheduling Software (VieVS) to generate those schedules. In particular, Matthias Schartner has been developing an improved scheduling tool in C++, called VieSched++ (Schartner and Böhm, 2019).

The newly founded DACH Operation Center is a joint cooperation between the Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy in Germany (BKG), ETH Zürich (ETHZ) and Technische Universität Wien (TU Wien). The main motivation to establish a new Operation Center (OC) was to bring together the scheduling expertise at TU Wien and ETHZ and the technical and operational expertise at BKG.

Together, it was possible to develop a fully automated scheduling procedure that is currently used for various IVS observation programs such as AUA, OHG, T2, INT2, INT3, EU-VGOS, VGOS-B and more. Within the cooperation, BKG is responsible for the technical aspects and is ensuring the long-term stability of the OC, while ETHZ and TU Wien are focusing on scientific studies and potential improvements to VLBI scheduling. All schedules of the DACH Operation Center can be accessed at https://www.bkg.bund.de/DE/Observatorium-Wettzell/IVS-VLBI-Operations_Center/IVS-VLBI-Operations_Center.html along with supporting plots and other material. More information about the DACH Operation Center can be read in the biennial report to the International VLBI Service for Geodesy and Astrometry (Schartner et al., 2021).

Further reading:

M. Schartner, C. Plötz, T. Klügel, W. Schwarz, T. Schüler, L. Kern, J. Böhm, B. Soja, DACH Operation Center Biennial Report 2019/2020, International VLBI Service for Geodesy and Astrometry 2019+2020 Biennial Report, edited by K. L. Armstrong, K. D. Baver, and D. Behrend, 2021 (access to pdf).

M. Schartner, J.Böhm, VieSched++: A new VLBI scheduling software for geodesy and astrometry, Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 131(1002), ab1820, 2019 (access to pdf).