Applying the theory of general relativity to reducing geodetic VLBI data
Geoscience Australia, PO Box 378
2 Institute of Applied Astronomy RAS, Kutuzov Quay 10, 191187 Saint-Petersburg, Russia
Received: 28 July 2014
Accepted: 4 December 2014
Context. We present an alternate formula for calculating gravitational time delay.
Aims. We use this formula to reduce geodetic Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) data, taking into account gravitational effects within the solar system, and to test general relativity.
Methods. The alternate formula was obtained by expanding the conventional formula in a Taylor series. We show that the gravitational delay can be split into several terms including a term due to the coordinate transformation and terms that are explicitly linked to the light deflection angle.
Results. Our formula is compared numerically with the conventional formula, and difference in arrival times within 1 ps are found at 1° from the Sun for a full range of baseline lengths.
Conclusions. We conclude that the standard reduction of geodetic VLBI data for the effects of general relativity is equivalent to displacing the reference radio sources from their original catalogue positions in accordance with the classical light deflection formula across the whole sky.
Key words: methods: analytical / astrometry / proper motions / reference systems
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