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Thomas Hobiger
Type of contribution: poster

Combining VLBI and GPS for inter-continental frequency transfer

Thomas Hobiger, Onsala Space Observatory /Chalmers University of Technology Carsten Rieck, SP Ruediger Haas, Onsala Space Observatory /Chalmers University of Technology Yasuhiro Koyama, NICT

For decades the Global Positioning System (GPS) has been the only space geodetic technique routinely used for inter-continental frequency transfer applications. In the past VLB) has also been considered for this purpose and the method's capabilities were studied several times. However, compared to GPS current VLBI technology only provides few observations per hour, thus limiting its potential to improve frequency comparisons. We therefore investigate the effect of combining VLBI and GPSI on the observation level in order to draw the maximum benefit from the strength of each individual technique. As a test-bed for our study we use the CONT11 campaign observed in 2011. First we review the frequency transfer performance that can be achieved with independent technique-specific analyses. With this analysis approach both techniques, GPS and VLBI, show similar frequency link instabilities at the level of 1e-14 to 1e-15 (MDEV) on inter-continental baselines for averaging times of one day. We also perform a combined analysis of VLBI and GPS data on the observation level and demonstrate that our combination approach leads to small but consistent improvements for frequency transfer of up to 10%, in particular for averaging periods longer than 3000 s. We discuss the implications of these findings and present our ideas about how VLBI can contribute to international frequency transfer tasks.