Earth Rotation Information Derived from Merit and Polaris VLBI Observations
International Astronomical Union Colloquium
AbstractIn September and October 1980, the National Geodetic Survey, jointly with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and several other agencies and institutions, conducted a series of astronomical radio interferometry (VLBI) observing sessions to support the IAU/IUGG MERIT short campaign. A total of 14 days of observations, organized into two 7-day sessions, was collected by three observatories in the United States (Harvard Radio Astronomy Station (HRAS), Haystack Observatory,
... ack Observatory, and Owens Valley Radio Observatory) and the Onsala Space Observatory in Sweden. Chilbolton Observatory, England, and Effelsberg Observatory, West Germany, also participated on some days. Immediately following the MERIT campaign, NGS initiated a series of 24-hour observing sessions, spaced at approximately 2-week intervals, as a pilot program to project POLARIS. All of these sessions included two observatories, HRAS and Haystack, and Onsala participated in about half of the sessions. The MERIT and POLARIS observations were made with the third generation MARK III VLBI system using procedures and schedules designed to yield high quality geodetic information, including Earth rotation values. This paper briefly traces the planning, observing, and data processing activities, and presents the Earth rotation information thus far derived from the data.