SCIENTIFIC PUBLICATION: The Application of Coherent Local Time for Optical Time Transfer and the Quantification of Systematic Errors in Satellite Laser Ranging
The Application of Coherent Local Time for Optical Time Transfer and the Quantification of Systematic Errors in Satellite Laser Ranging
K. U. Schreiber & J. Kodet
Highly precise time and stable reference frequencies are fundamental requirements for space geodesy. Satellite laser ranging (SLR) is one of these techniques, which differs from all other applications like Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI), Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) and finally Doppler Orbitography and Radiopositioning Integrated by Satellite (DORIS) by the fact that it is an optical two-way measurement technique. That means that there is no need for a clock synchronization process between both ends of the distance covered by the measurement technique. Under the assumption of isotropy for the speed of light, SLR establishes the only practical realization of the Einstein Synchronization process so far. Therefore it is a powerful time transfer technique. However, in order to transfer time between two remote clocks, it is also necessary to tightly control all possible signal delays in the ranging process. This paper discusses the role of time and frequency in SLR as well as the error sources before it address the transfer of time between ground and space. The need of an improved signal delay control led to a major redesign of the local time and frequency distribution at the Geodetic Observatory Wettzell. Closure measurements can now be used to identify and remove systematic errors in SLR measurements.
Journal of Space Science Reviews 214: 22 (2018)