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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(10), 1049; doi:10.3390/rs9101049

A New Online Service for the Validation of Multi-GNSS Orbits Using SLR

Institute of Geodesy and Geoinformatics, Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Wrocław 50-357, Poland
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Received: 30 August 2017 / Revised: 8 October 2017 / Accepted: 11 October 2017 / Published: 14 October 2017
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Abstract

In the last decade, we have been witnessing a rapid development of the constellations of Global and Regional Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS/RNSS). Besides the well-known GPS and GLONASS, newly developed systems such as Galileo, BeiDou, QZSS and NAVIC have become increasingly important. All satellites of new GNSS are equipped with laser retroreflector arrays (LRA) dedicated to Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR). SLR allows, e.g., an independent validation of microwave-based orbit products. Therefore, a fully operational online service called the multi-GNSS Orbit Validation Visualizer Using SLR (GOVUS) has been developed allowing for near real-time analysis of the quality of multi-GNSS orbits. The mean offsets of SLR residuals for Center for Orbit Determination in Europe (CODE) orbits in 2016 are at the level of −8, −38, −14, and −107 mm, for BeiDou, Galileo, GLONASS, and QZSS, respectively, with the standard deviations of 66, 36, 29, and 100 mm. Moreover, GOVUS can be used as a database containing information on equipment used at SLR stations and multi-GNSS satellite parameters. This paper includes a comprehensive description of the functionality and the structure of the developed service with exemplary analyses. The paper points out the most critical issues, limitations and challenges of multi-GNSS and SLR tracking network in the context of the SLR orbit validation. The goal of the paper and GOVUS itself is to determine: (1) what is the current quality of multi-GNSS orbits validated using SLR results; (2) what kinds of systematic errors can affect GNSS orbits and SLR observations; and (3) how to provide the online analysis tools to the broadest possible multi-GNSS community. The service has been officially operating since March 2017 as the Associate Analysis Center of the International Laser Ranging Service (ILRS ACC). View Full-Text
Keywords: SLR; multi-GNSS; orbit quality; ILRS AAC SLR; multi-GNSS; orbit quality; ILRS AAC
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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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Zajdel, R.; Sośnica, K.; Bury, G. A New Online Service for the Validation of Multi-GNSS Orbits Using SLR. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 1049.

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