Geodetic VLBI with an artificial radio source on the Moon: a simulation study
Journal article, 2018
We perform extensive simulations in order to assess the accuracy with which the position of a radio transmitter on the surface of the Moon can be determined by geodetic VLBI. We study how the quality and quantity of geodetic VLBI observations influence these position estimates and investigate how observations of such near-field objects affect classical geodetic parameters like VLBI station coordinates and Earth rotation parameters. Our studies are based on today's global geodetic VLBI schedules as well as on those designed for the next-generation geodetic VLBI system. We use Monte Carlo simulations including realistic stochastic models of troposphere, station clocks, and observational noise. Our results indicate that it is possible to position a radio transmitter on the Moon using today's geodetic VLBI with a two-dimensional horizontal accuracy of better than one meter. Moreover, we show that the next-generation geodetic VLBI has the potential to improve the two-dimensional accuracy to better than 5 cm. Thus, our results lay the base for novel observing concepts to improve both lunar research and geodetic VLBI.
Monte Carlo simulations