Time Transfer via Satellite-Link Radio Interferometry

S.H. Knowles, W.B. Waltman, J.L.Yen, W.H.Cannon, W. Petrachenko N.W. Broten, C. Costain, D.H. Fort, J.A. Galt, J.A. Popelar, G.W. Swenson

Abstract: Very long baseline interferometry using natural radio sources has been shown to be an excellent time transfer method. Our group has linked antennas using a synchronous communications satellite instead of the customary independent frequency standards and tape recorders. We have performed a successful preliminary time transfer using a wide-band data link that was accurate at the 100 nanosecond level, and have compared frequency standards to a part in 10 * over a 24-hour period using a phase coherent satellite link. The narrow-band phase coherent link method is potentially capable of timing accuracy of 10 picoseconds, and frequency comparison accuracy of 10", and is in addition economical of spectrum usage. We plan to continue development of this latter method using the newly-launched ANIK-B satellite. Our group's use of a synchronous satellite link between widely separated radio telescopes has demonstrated the feasibility of two related but separate approaches to accurate time transfer and frequency standards comparison.
Published in: Proceedings of the 11th Annual Precise Time and Time Interval Systems and Applications Meeting
November 27 - 29, 1979
Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, Maryland
Pages: 471 - 481
Cite this article: Knowles, S.H., Waltman, W.B., J.L.Yen,, W.H.Cannon,, Broten, W. Petrachenko N.W., Costain, C., Fort, D.H., Galt, J.A., Popelar, J.A., Swenson, G.W., "Time Transfer via Satellite-Link Radio Interferometry," Proceedings of the 11th Annual Precise Time and Time Interval Systems and Applications Meeting, Greenbelt, Maryland, November 1979, pp. 471-481.
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