Dependency of geodynamic parameters on the GNSS constellation

Scaramuzza, Stefano Maurizio; Dach, Rolf; Beutler, Gerhard; Arnold, Daniel; Susnik, Andreja; Jäggi, Adrian (2018). Dependency of geodynamic parameters on the GNSS constellation. Journal of geodesy, 92(1), pp. 93-104. Springer-Verlag 10.1007/s00190-017-1047-5

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Significant differences in time series of geodynamic parameters determined with different Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) exist and are only partially explained. We study whether the different number of orbital planes within a particular GNSS contributes to the observed differences by analyzing time series of geocenter coordinates (GCCs) and pole coordinates estimated from several real and virtual GNSS constellations: GPS, GLONASS, a combined GPS/GLONASS constellation, and two virtual GPS sub-systems, which are obtained by splitting up the original GPS constellation into two groups of three orbital planes each. The computed constellation-specific GCCs and pole coordinates are analyzed for systematic differences, and their spectral behavior and formal errors are inspected. We show that the number of orbital planes barely influences the geocenter estimates. GLONASS' larger inclination and formal errors of the orbits seem to be the main reason for the initially observed differences. A smaller number of orbital planes may lead, however, to degradations in the estimates of the pole coordinates. A clear signal at three cycles per year is visible in the spectra of the differences between our estimates of the pole coordinates and the corresponding IERS 08 C04 values. Combinations of two 3-plane systems, even with similar ascending nodes, reduce this signal. The understanding of the relation between the satellite constellations and the resulting geodynamic parameters is important, because the GNSS currently under development, such as the European Galileo and the medium Earth orbit constellation of the Chinese BeiDou system, also consist of only three orbital planes.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Astronomy
08 Faculty of Science > Other Institutions > Emeriti, Faculty of Science

UniBE Contributor:

Scaramuzza, Stefano Maurizio; Dach, Rolf; Beutler, Gerhard; Arnold, Daniel; Susnik, Andreja and Jäggi, Adrian


500 Science > 520 Astronomy








Pierre Fridez

Date Deposited:

18 Jun 2019 12:45

Last Modified:

12 May 2022 14:08

Publisher DOI:





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