The navigation support office (OPS-GN) at the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) of the European Space Agency (ESA) is active in all three international satellite geodesy services: the IDS, IGS, and ILRS. A unique feature of the ESOC participation in these three services is that its contributions to all three techniques are based on the same software, called NAPEOS. And we are well advanced in adding the VLBI processing capability to NAPEOS.

ESOC has been a full analysis centre of the IGS since its beginning in 1991. In 2008 ESOC undertook a significant effort to become a full analysis centre also in the IDS and ILRS. As AC in the three techniques it also participated in the reprocessing efforts for the ITRF2008 and the ITRF2014 and is now also participating in the reprocessing for the ITRF2020 in all three services.

The participation in all three techniques is considered as a “first step”. Our ultimate goal is to do a fully combined analysis of the data of all three techniques, and in the future even 4 techniques when adding VLBI. In such a combined analysis the strength of each technique may be used to overcome the weaknesses in the other techniques.

IDS Activities at the Navigation Office

The ESA/ESOC IDS Analysis Centre contributes to all analysis centre products. Those are the quarterly SINEX delivery of the the DORIS beacon locations as well as the EOP estimations. As well as the ITRF reprocessing which takes place every 4-5 years.

Beside the routine processing activities we try to participate to all AC meetings and IDS studies to improve the IDS processing for all Analysis Centres.

Recent Progress and Analysis Center Improvements

Currently we are preparing for the ITRF2020 delivery which is expected to happen in the first quarter of 2021. Further we are performing several studies related to improving our spacecraft force modelling (solar radiation and Earth radiation). Also the switch to the newer DORIS RINEX format for the newer satellites has opened various options to process the DORIS data in different ways. Several ideas are being investigated.