Preliminary experimental results of determining the geopotential difference between two synchronized portable hydrogen clocks at different locations

14 Aug 2020  ·  Shen Wen-Bin, Wu Kuangchao, Sun Xiao, Cai Chenghui, Shen Ziyu ·

Here, we provide preliminary experimental results of the geopotential determination based on time elapse comparisons between two remote atomic clocks located at Beijing and Wuhan, respectively. After synchronizing two hydrogen atomic clocks at Beijing 203 Institute Laboratory (BIL) for 20 days as zero-baseline calibration, we transport one clock to Luojiashan Time-Frequency Station (LTS), Wuhan, without stopping its running. Continuous comparisons between the two remote clocks were conducted for 65 days based on the Common View Satellite Time Transfer (CVSTT) technique. The ensemble empirical mode decomposition (EEMD) technique is applied to removing the uninteresting periodic signals contaminated in the original CVSTT observations to obtain the residual clocks-offsets series, from which the time elapse between the two remote clocks was determined. Based on the accumulated time elapse between these two clocks the geopotential difference between these two stations was determined. Given the orthometric height (OH) of BIL, the OH of the LTS was determined based on the determined geopotential difference. Comparisons show that the OH of the LTS determined by time elapse comparisons deviates from that determined by Earth gravity model EGM2008 by about 98 m. The results are consistent with the frequency stabilities of the hydrogen atomic clocks (at the level of $10^{-15}$/day) applied in our experiments. In addition, we used 85-days original observations to determine the geopotential difference between two remote stations based on the CVSTT technique. Using more precise atomic or optical clocks, the CVSTT method for geopotential determination could be applied effectively and extensively in geodesy in the future.

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