Use of atmospheric angular momentum forecasts for UT1 predictions: analyses over CONT08

Type: Journal Article

Venue: Journal of Geodesy


Gambis, D., D.A. Salstein and S. Lambert, 2011: Use of atmospheric angular momentum forecasts for UT1 predictions:
analyses over CONT08 Journal of Geodesy Volume 85, Number 7, 435-441, DOI: 10.1007/s00190-011-0479-6.

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Real-time orbit determination and interplanetary navigation require accurate predictions of the orientation of the Earth in the celestial reference frame and in particular that for Universal Time UT1. Much of the UT1 variations over periods ranging from hours to a couple of years are due to the global atmospheric circulation. Therefore, the axial atmospheric angular momentum (AAM) forecast series may be used as a proxy index to predict UT1. Our approach taking advantage of this fact is based on an adaptive procedure. It involves incorporating integrations of AAM estimates into UT1 series. The procedure runs on a routine basis using AAM forecasts that are based on the two meteorological series, from the US National Centers for Environmental Prediction and the Japan Meteorological Agency. It is pertinent to test the prediction method for the period that includes the special CONT08 campaign over which we expect a significant improvement in UT1 accuracy. The studies we carried out were aimed both to compare atmospheric forecasts and analyses, as well as to compare the skills of the UT1 forecasts based on the method with atmospheric forecasts and that using current statistical processes, as applied to the C04 Earth orientation parameters series derived by the International Earth rotation and Reference Systems service (IERS). Here we neglect the oceanic sub-diurnal and diurnal variations, as these signals are expected to be smaller than the UT1-equivalent of 100 μs, when averaged over a few days. The prediction performances for a 2-day forecast are similar, but at a forecast horizon of a week, the AAM-based forecast is roughly twice as skillful as the statistically based one.