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Sensors 2015, 15(8), 18767-18800; doi:10.3390/s150818767

Initial Results Obtained with the First TWIN VLBI Radio Telescope at the Geodetic Observatory Wettzell

1
Geodetic Observatory Wettzell, Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy, Sackenrieder Str. 25, 93444 Bad Koetzting, Germany
2
Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, University of the Federal Armed Forces Munich, 85777 Neubiberg, Germany
3
Geodetic Observatory Wettzell, Technische Universität München, Sackenrieder Str. 25, 93444 Bad Koetzting, Germany
4
Institute of Geodesy and Geoinformation, University of Bonn, Nußallee 17, 53115 Bonn, Germany
5
Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vittorio M.N. Passaro
Received: 20 April 2015 / Revised: 16 July 2015 / Accepted: 17 July 2015 / Published: 30 July 2015
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2409 KB, uploaded 30 July 2015]   |  

Abstract

Geodetic Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) uses radio telescopes as sensor networks to determine Earth orientation parameters and baseline vectors between the telescopes. The TWIN Telescope Wettzell 1 (TTW1), the first of the new 13.2 m diameter telescope pair at the Geodetic Observatory Wettzell, Germany, is currently in its commissioning phase. The technology behind this radio telescope including the receiving system and the tri-band feed horn is depicted. Since VLBI telescopes must operate at least in pairs, the existing 20 m diameter Radio Telescope Wettzell (RTW) is used together with TTW1 for practical tests. In addition, selected long baseline setups are investigated. Correlation results portraying the data quality achieved during first initial experiments are discussed. Finally, the local 123 m baseline between the old RTW telescope and the new TTW1 is analyzed and compared with an existing high-precision local survey. Our initial results are very satisfactory for X-band group delays featuring a 3D distance agreement between VLBI data analysis and local ties of 1 to 2 mm in the majority of the experiments. However, S-band data, which suffer much from local radio interference due to WiFi and mobile communications, are about 10 times less precise than X-band data and require further analysis, but evidence is provided that S-band data are well-usable over long baselines where local radio interference patterns decorrelate. View Full-Text
Keywords: Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI); VLBI Global Observing System (VGOS); Geodetic Observatory Wettzell; TWIN Telescopes Wettzell; VLBI correlation Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI); VLBI Global Observing System (VGOS); Geodetic Observatory Wettzell; TWIN Telescopes Wettzell; VLBI correlation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Schüler, T.; Kronschnabl, G.; Plötz, C.; Neidhardt, A.; Bertarini, A.; Bernhart, S.; Porta, L.L.; Halsig, S.; Nothnagel, A. Initial Results Obtained with the First TWIN VLBI Radio Telescope at the Geodetic Observatory Wettzell. Sensors 2015, 15, 18767-18800.

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