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Andreas Hellerschmied
Type of contribution: oral

Scheduling VLBI observations to satellites with the Vienna VLBI Software (VieVS)

Andreas Hellerschmied, Technische Universit"{a}t Wien Johannes B"{o}hm, Technische Universit"{a}t Wien R"{u}diger Haas, Chalmers University of Technology, Onsala Space Observatory Jan Kodet, Technische Universit"{a}t M"{u}nchen, Geodetic Observatory Wettzell Alexander Neidhardt, Technische Universit"{a}t M"{u}nchen, Geodetic Observatory Wettzell Lucia Plank, University of Tasmania

The observation of satellites with the VLBI technique is an interesting approach, providing a variety of new possibilities. Promising applications can be found, among others, in the field of inter-technique frame ties. Although several test observations to GNSS satellites have been carried out in recent years, this approach is still far away from being applied routinely. Difficulties already start during observation planning, with the standard scheduling software not being prepared to include satellites as observation targets. The new satellite scheduling module of the Vienna VLBI Software (VieVS) for the planning of satellite observations with VLBI antennas offers a solution to this. It allows the user to prepare schedules for selected satellites, which are simultaneously visible from a chosen station network. The schedule files are created in the current VEX format and provide the possibility to conduct actual satellite observations with standard VLBI antennas, e.g. those of the IVS network. By applying these schedules the antennas can be controlled directly by using sequences of discrete celestial coordinates. Specific modifications in the antenna control intended for satellite tracking are not required in this case. Several experiments with observations to GLONASS satellites were carried out on the baseline Onsala Wettzell in January 2014 based on schedules generated with VieVS. The correlations of the recorded data showed, that the observations and therefore the scheduling with VieVS were successful. The next step is to extend the new software to enable the creation of combined schedules with observations to satellites and to quasars in one session. The development of convenient scheduling software in the form of the new VieVS module is important to promote further research and development in this field of VLBI.