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Thomas Hobiger
Type of contribution: oral

CONT14 as a testbed for the combination of VLBI and GPS data on the observation level

Thomas Hobiger, Chalmers/Onsala Rüdiger Haas, Chalmers/Onsala

Co-located instruments at space geodetic observatories allow us to take benefit from sharing infrastructure at the site and make it possible to combine solutions from different techniques. Local ties relate between the reference points of the individual space geodetic techniques, but one can also take advantage from the close proximity of instruments and estimate troposphere parameters in site-wise models rather than parametrizing these unknowns for each technique separately. In order to realize such an approach, a suitable model for the nuisance parameters as well as proper weighting of the observations from the individual techniques are necessary. These aspects and the application of such an analysis strategy to VLBI and GPS data are being studied with the multi-technique space geodetic analysis software c5++. In doing so, variance component estimation (VCE) helps us to give proper weights to the observations from the individual techniques. In order to demonstrate the effectiveness of the concept of combination on the observation level, we are evaluating and comparing single- and multi-technique solutions from CONT14. Based on the experience gained from this exercise, we will suggest potential improvements for coming CONT sessions and discuss the necessary steps for rigorous combination on the observation level in general.