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Resolving VLBI correlator ambiguity in the time delay model improves precision of geodetic measurements

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posted on 2023-05-21, 12:27 authored by Titov, O, Melnikov, A, Yulia LopezYulia Lopez

The modern Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) relativistic delay model, as documented in the IERS Conventions, refers to the time epoch when the signal passes one of two stations of an interferometer baseline (selected arbitrarily from the pair of stations and called the 'reference station' or 'station 1'). This model consists of the previous correlation procedure used before the year 2002. However, since 2002 a new correlation procedure that produces the VLBI group delays referring to the time epoch of signal passage at the geocenter has been used. A corresponding correction to the conventional VLBI model delay has to be introduced. However, this correction has not been thoroughly presented in peer reviewed journals, and different approaches are used at the correlators to calculate the final group delays officially published in the IVS database. This may cause an inconsistency up to 6 ps for ground-based VLBI experiments between the group delay obtained by the correlator and the geometrical model delay from the IERS Conventions used in data analysis software. Moreover, a miscalculation of the signal arrival moment to the 'reference station' could result in a larger modelling error (up to 50 ps). The paper presents the justification of the correction due to transition between two epochs elaborated from the Lorentz transformation and the approach to model the uncertainty of the calculation of the signal arrival moment. Both changes are particularly essential for upcoming broadband technology geodetic VLBI observations.


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Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia



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School of Natural Sciences



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© The Author(s), 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the Astronomical Society of Australia. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License, (, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

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