Joint Working Group of Commission 1
Chair: Manuela Seitz (DGFI, Germany)
Terms of Reference
The International Terrestrial Reference Frame (ITRF) is based on a mathematical model, which describes the station movement as a piece-wise linear function of time. This motion is mainly driven by lithosphere plate motion and crustal deformations, which are assumed to be linear and constant over long time periods. Thus, the ITRF provides a very high long-term stability. Even if the linear component dominates the station motion, most of the station positions show additional non-linear effects. The most important causing reasons are atmospheric and hydrospheric mass load changes, which lead to seasonal and long-period position variations, and seismic events causing co-seismic abrupt and post-seismic exponentially decreasing movements of the stations. The approximation of non-linear seismic station motions within the ITRF is performed by estimating offsets and piece-wise constant velocities. Loading effects are not considered as they are very difficult to model or parameterize. One possible solution to overcome this problem would be to compute time series of epoch reference frames, which would provide the station positions at consecutive epochs. The mentioned types of non-linear station motion would be captured very well by such time series of epoch reference frames. A second advantage of epoch reference frame would be that a new solution could be available with a short time delay after a seismic event, when updated coordinates are requested.
Today, GPS-based weekly reference frames are a standard product of the IGS and serve as a near real-time reference frame. The datum of these frames is realized by an alignment to ITRF, which depends on the set of stations used for the alignment - due to station non-linear motions – and which does not account for a motion of the centre of figure w.r.t. the centre of mass. Epoch reference frames based on the combination of the four different techniques contributing to the ITRF would provide geocentric frames consistent to the ITRF.
The national reference frames consist of station positions at a certain epoch or are fixed to a moving plate and do often not consider regional station motions. Station positions resulting from todays measurments are derived in the actual ITRF or epoch reference frames and need to be transformed to the officially defined national reference frames. Especially, in the case of seismic active areas, the network geometry changes significantly over time and cannot be well represented by the current ITRF with linear station motions. Strategies must be developed, which allow for a transformation with a minimal reduction of accuracy.
The primary objective of the Working Group is to develop strategies for the computation of epoch reference frames, based on the combination of the space geodetic techniques VLBI, SLR, GNSS and DORIS on normal equation level and to assess their potentials in terms of accuracy, stability and global availability in order to provide recommendations to the IERS.
The development of computation strategies for epoch reference frames will comprise the following main topics:
(i) the evaluation of the individual contribution of the techniques to an epoch reference frame,
(ii) the analysis of the technique and combined solutions w.r.t. a suitable temporal resolution of the reference frame,
(iii) strategies for the weighting of the techniques and the implementation of the terrestrial difference vectors (local ties) for epoch reference frame computation will be developed,
(iv) the datum realization for combined epoch solutions will be investigated and
(v) finally, the accuracy and stability of the reference frame series will be assessed and recommendations to the IERS will be prepared.
The application of epoch reference frames, in particular on regional level, are a further important aspect, which will be kept in mind. But the full consideration of this topic would be beyond the scope of the actual WG and might be the topic of a subsequent WG.
Analysis of the need for an epoch reference frame for practical and scientific applications.
Development of strategies for the computation of epoch reference frames.
Analysis of possible frequencies of epoch TRF (weekly, monthly, quarterly, …).
Members of the Working Group:
|Thomas Artz, Universität Bonn , Germany
|Juan Baez, Universidad de Conception, Chile
|Mathis Bloßfeld, DGFI, Germany
|Xavier Collilieux, IGN, France
|Hermann Drewes, Germany
|Guido Gonzales, INEGI, Mexico
|Erricos Pavlis, UMBC, USA
|Takeshi Sagiya, Nagoya University, Japan
|Laura Sanchez, DGFI, Germany
|Manuela Seitz, DGFI, Germany
|Hana Spicakova, TU Vienna, Austria
|Peter Steigenberger, TUM, Germany
|Daniela Thaller, AIUB, Switzerland
Bloßfeld M., Seitz M.: The role of VLBI in the weekly inter-technique combination. IVS 2012 General Meeting Proceedings, edited by D. Behrend and K. D. Baver, NASA/CP-2012-xxxxxx, 2012
Sánchez L., Seemüller W., Seitz M.
: Combination of the Weekly Solutions Delivered by the SIRGAS Processing Centres for the SIRGAS-CON Reference Frame.
In: Kenyon S., M.C. Pacino, U. Marti (Eds.), "Geodesy for Planet Earth", IAG Symposia, 136: 845-851, DOI:10.1007/978-3-642-20338-1_106
Bloßfeld M., Müller H., Seitz M., Angermann D.
: Benefits of SLR in epoch reference frames.
Proceedings of the 17th ILRS Workshop, 2011
Seitz M.: Kombination geodätischer Raumbeobachtungsverfahren zur Realisierung eines terrestrischen Referenzsystems. DGK Reihe C 630, 2009