Determination of the local tie vector between the VLBI and GNSS reference points at Onsala using GPS measurements
Journal article, 2015

Two gimbal-mounted GNSS antennas were installed on each side of the radome-enclosed 20 m VLBI radio telescope at the Onsala Space Observatory. GPS data with a 1 Hz sampling rate were recorded for five semi-kinematic and four kinematic observing campaigns. These GPS data were analysed together with data from the IGS station ONSA with an in-house Matlab-based GPS software package, using the double-difference analysis strategy. The coordinates of the GNSS antennas on the telescope were estimated for different observation angles of the telescope, at specific epochs, and used to calculate the geodetic reference point of the telescope. The local tie vector between the VLBI and the ONSA GNSS reference points in a geocentric reference frame was hence obtained. The two different types of observing campaigns gave consistent results of the estimated local tie vector and the axis offset of the telescope. The estimated local tie vector obtained from all nine campaigns gave standard deviations of 1.5, 1.0, and 2.9 mm for the geocentric X, Y, and Z components, respectively. The result of the estimated axis offset of the VLBI telescope shows a difference of 0.3 mm, with a standard deviation of 1.9 mm, with respect to a reference value obtained by two local surveys carried out in 2002 and 2008. Our results show that the presented method can be used as a complement to the more accurate but more labour intensive classical geodetic surveys to continuously monitor the local tie at co-location stations with an accuracy of a few millimetres.

Local tie vector

Geodetic reference point

VLBI radio telescope



Axis offset


Tong Ning

Chalmers, Earth and Space Sciences, Onsala Space Observatory

Rüdiger Haas

Chalmers, Earth and Space Sciences, Onsala Space Observatory

Chalmers, Earth and Space Sciences, Space Geodesy and Geodynamics

Gunnar Elgered

Chalmers, Earth and Space Sciences, Onsala Space Observatory

Journal of Geodesy

0949-7714 (ISSN) 1432-1394 (eISSN)

Vol. 89 7 711-723

Driving Forces

Sustainable development


Basic sciences


Onsala Space Observatory

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