Effective expansion of satellite laser ranging network to improve global geodetic parameters
Journal article, 2016

The aim of this study is to find an effective way to expand the ground tracking network of satellite laser ranging on the assumption that a new station is added to the existing network. Realistic numbers of observations for a new station are numerically simulated, based on the actual data acquisition statistics of the existing stations. The estimated errors are compared between the cases with and without a new station after the covariance matrices are created from a simulation run that contains six-satellite-combined orbit determination. While a station placed in the southern hemisphere is found to be useful in general, it is revealed that the most effective place differs according to the geodetic parameter. The X and Y components of the geocenter and the sectoral terms of the Earth’s gravity field are largely improved by a station in the polar regions. A middle latitude station best contributes to the tesseral gravity terms, and, to a lesser extent, a low latitude station best performs for the Z component of the geocenter and the zonal gravity terms.

Space geodesy

Global geodetic observing system

Geodetic satellites

Earth gravity field

Satellite laser ranging

Terrestrial reference frame


Toshimichi Otsubo

Hitotsubashi University

Koji Matsuo

Geospatial Information Authority of Japan

Yuichi Aoyama

National Institute of Polar Research

Keiko Yamamoto

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Thomas Hobiger

Chalmers, Earth and Space Sciences, Onsala Space Observatory

Chalmers, Earth and Space Sciences, Space Geodesy and Geodynamics

Toshihiro Kubo-oka

Japan National Institute of Information and Communications Technology

Mamoru Sekido

Japan National Institute of Information and Communications Technology

Earth, Planets and Space

1343-8832 (ISSN) 1880-5981 (eISSN)

Vol. 68 1 65

Subject Categories

Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences


Geosciences, Multidisciplinary


Basic sciences


Onsala Space Observatory



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