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Radio interferometry


  • Douglas S. Robertson


The potential of Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) to provide important new geodetic, geophysical, and astrometric information has long been recognized, and the past four years have seen a realization of that potential. VLBI measurements have been used to determine the sizes, shapes, rotations, flexures and tectonic deformations of networks of observing stations and have attained a level of accuracy and stability that is unmatched by any other observing technique. The surge of new data taken during this period has improved our understanding of the interactions between the Earth's mantle and its fluid core and atmosphere, improved our knowledge of lithospheric deformation, improved the determination of the Earth tide Love numbers, set a new standard of accuracy for the determination of variations in the Earth's orientation, and improved our knowledge of the celestial reference coordinate frame which is of fundamental importance for determining the motions of the Earth.

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