High-frequency variations in Earth rotation from Global Positioning System data
Using the data of the global, dense Global Positioning System (GPS) network established by the International GPS Service a continuous, uninterrupted series of subdaily Earth rotation parameters (ERPs) with a time resolution of 2 hours has been generated at the Center for Orbit Determination in Europe. The series starts in January 1995 and has a length of more than 3 years. Starting from the 2-hour ERP values of this, to our knowledge, unique time series, the high-frequency variations in Universal Time (UT1) and polar motion (PM) due to ocean tides are studied and a set of sine and cosine coefficients is estimated for all the major tidal terms at nearly diurnal and semidiurnal frequencies. The GPS series is not very homogeneous (various processing changes during the 3 years) and still short compared to the length of very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) and satellite laser ranging (SLR) data sets. However, the results derived from this series are already of the same quality as the results from VLBI and SLR. A comparison of the tidal coefficients stemming from all three space-geodetic techniques shows an agreement on the 1 μs level for UT1 and 10 microarc seconds (μas) for PM, respectively. The RMS difference between the ocean tide amplitudes estimated from GPS data and from TOPEX/Poseidon altimeter data amounts to 0.7–0.9 μs in UT1 and 9–13 μas in PM. The residual spectrum that remains after the removal of all tidal terms has a noise level of ∼5–10 μas in PM and 0.5–1 μs in UT1 and contains nontidal signals (up to 55 μas in PM and 3 μs in UT1) that might be due to the impact of the satellite orbit modeling (12-hour revolution period of the satellites) or, alternatively, due to atmospheric or oceanic normal modes.