Simulation of tracking scenarios to LAGEOS and Etalon satellites

Andritsch, F.; Grahsl, A.; Dach, R.; Schildknecht, T.; Jäggi, A. (2020). Simulation of tracking scenarios to LAGEOS and Etalon satellites. Journal of geodesy, 94(4) Springer-Verlag 10.1007/s00190-019-01327-w

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The International Laser Ranging Service (ILRS) provides weekly solutions for coordinates of Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) stations coordinates, geocenter coordinates, as well as Earth rotation parameters with a daily resolution. The ILRS standard solution is an important contribution to the International Terrestrial Reference Frame (ITRF). As of today, it is derived from SLR observations to the pairs of LAGEOS and Etalon satellites exclusively. In this paper, the effect of altering the tracking strategy for the LAGEOS and Etalon satellites on the weekly ILRS standard solution is studied. This is done by simulating various tracking scenarios and by comparing the parameters of the solutions for each scenario. In particular, the focus lies on redistributing observation time between the LAGEOS and Etalon satellites as a possible optimization for the tracking scheduling. By this, the current tracking capability of each station is taken into account with no change of the overall tracking activity to LAGEOS and Etalon. It is shown that the quality of the solution for the ITRF-relevant parameters is not significantly degraded when reducing the number of observations to LAGEOS by up to 20% with respect to the number of available normal points in 2016. The vacant tracking capability obtained from the reduction of LAGEOS observations may be used to increase the number of measurements to Etalon by a factor of three. This leads to nearly 10% improvement of the recovery of Earth rotation parameters within the combined LAGEOS–Etalon solution. With our study, we contribute to the ongoing discussions regarding tracking strategies for SLR stations within the ILRS. In particular, the stations could adjust their individual trackingpriorities according to these results in the future without major investments or the need for new infrastructure.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Astronomy

UniBE Contributor:

Andritsch, Florian; Grahsl, Andrea; Dach, Rolf; Schildknecht, Thomas and Jäggi, Adrian


500 Science > 520 Astronomy








Pierre Fridez

Date Deposited:

12 May 2020 13:22

Last Modified:

12 May 2020 13:22

Publisher DOI:





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