Systematic errors in the SLR observations to the LAGEOS satellites and impact on TRF scale
Event: 2016 Ocean Surface Topography Science Team Meeting
Session: Precision Orbit Determination
Presentation type: Type Keynote/invited
The terrestrial reference frame employed for orbital computations is of paramount importance for the precise orbit determination of altimeter missions. The accuracy of SLR observations to altimeter satellites directly depends on the quality of the coordinates of the ground network of tracking stations, as well as on the inherent accuracy of the range observations themselves. Thus, improvements in the accuracy of the range measurements that lead to the determination of absolute station coordinates, their velocities and temporal stability are persistent primary subject matters within the SLR community. Here we present our efforts to detect the presence, model and mitigate the impact, of systematic errors in the observations provided by the ILRS network. We focus on the satellites LAGEOS and LAGEOS-2, the primary geodetic targets employed for the ILRS contribution to the realisation of the terrestrial reference frame, discussing the deleterious effect on its accuracy, in particular its scale, that unchecked systematic errors exert.