New VLBI observing facility in Ishioka commences preliminary operation.
“Ishioka” determines Japan’s position in the world
The Geospatial Information Authority of Japan (GSI) has established a new VLBI (*1) telescope in Ishioka City, Ibaraki Prefecture, to carry out surveys on a global scale. From October 28th, GSI commenced preliminary operation towards eventual full-blown operation.
GSI built a next generation VLBI system (*2) in the site of the Ibaraki Prefectural Livestock Research Center as a successor to the Tsukuba VLBI Station which has been involved in many international VLBI observations so far. In honor of the completion and start of preliminary operation of the new telescope, the inauguration was held on October 28th inviting so many concerned guests from local governments and related research institutes from home and abroad, and the first operation of the telescope was performed.
Under international cooperation, the new Ishioka VLBI telescope is involved in international VLBI observations, and aims for determination of Japan with 1mm position and 0.1mm/yr velocity accuracy on a global scale, while also makes a contribution to the construction and maintenance of the International Terrestrial Reference Frame. In addition, uninterrupted monitoring of Earth orientation by VLBI observations contributes to the positioning accuracy by Global Navigation Satellite System such as GPS.
*1 VLBI (Very Long Baseline Interferometry)
Technology with which multiple radio telescopes thousands of kilometers apart are used to simultaneously receive faint radio signals emitted from far-distant celestial objects, etc., and which accurately measures the three dimensional position of each telescope, the earth’s orientation, and so on. International VLBI observations are implemented with the cooperation of organizations from 21 countries around the world.
*2 Next generation VLBI system
A new international standard of observation system to contribute to the clarification of various phenomena on a global scale, such as sea level changes and plate movements, etc., determining the positions of satellites and improving the accuracy of positioning services, achieving 1 millimeter positional accuracy; continuous observation 24 hours a day, 365 days a year; and provision of analysis results within 24 hours.