IC-SG1.1 : Theory, implementation and quality assessment of geodetic reference frames

IC-SG1.1 : Terms of Reference

The realization of a reference system by means of a reference frame, in the form of coordinate time series or coordinate functions for a global set of control stations is a complicated procedure. It involves input data from various space techniques each one based on its own advanced modelling and observation analysis techniques, as well as, criteria for the optimal selection of the time evolution of the reference frame among all data compatible possibilities. The relevant “observed” coordinate time series demonstrate significant signals of periodic, non- periodic variations and discontinuities, which pose the challenge of departing from the current ITRF model of linear time evolution, realized by reference epoch coordinates and constant velocities. The final product needs proper quality measures, which take also into account the possible modelling discrepancies, systematic errors and noise level of each particular space technique. The connection with a celestial frame by means of earth orientation parameters (EOPs) and current geophysical plate motion hypotheses necessitate the study of the compatibility of the geodetically established reference system with reference systems introduced in theoretical studies of the earth rotation and in theoretical geophysics. The working group is primarily aiming in problem identification, outlining of possible solution directions and motivation of relevant scientific research.

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