SC 1.4 - Interaction of Celestial and Terrestrial Reference Frames

Terms of Reference

In recent years, significant progress has been made in astronomical and geophysical modelling for the analysis of space geodetic observations. Thus, there is the need to investigate the impact of those models on the terrestrial and celestial reference frames (TRF and CRF), and on the consistency between the TRF, CRF, and the Earth orientation (EOP) parameters. Special attention needs to be paid to Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) observations, since it is the only technique to provide consistent sets of TRF/EOP/CRF. However, the present realization of the ITRF (ITRF2008) is based on a combination of VLBI, GNSS, SLR, and DORIS observations, whereas the present realization of the ICRF (ICRF2) is determined from a single VLBI solution. Consequently, research has to be carried out to integrate the ITRF and ICRF solutions, and also new options like VLBI observations to satellites should be considered for future improvement of the consistency. The GAIA mission scheduled for launch in 2013 is expected to achieve an optical realization of the CRF with precision similar to or better than the ICRF2 and with at least an order of magnitude more objects. As the set of extragalactic objects suitable for both optical and radio observation is limited, such objects will have to be identified, and investigations have to be carried out to permit the best possible connection between the radio and optical CRF realizations.



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