Results of measurements of the earth's rotation vector for a 400-day period from late September 1980 to December 1981, for which date from VLBI, satellite laser ranging (SLR), and lunar laser ranging (LLR) were available, are compared. The acquisition of the data and their evaluation are described. VLBI, SLR, and classical astrometric determinations of the X-parameter required to describe the location of the rotation pole on the earth's surface are shown, and VLBI, LLR, and classical astrometric determinations of the angle of rotation about this pole (UT1) are presented. The results indicate that VLBI and SLR, at their present stages of development, yield standard errors under 20 cm in the determinations of X, about twofold smaller than obtained from classical measurements, and that VLBI and LLR yield determination of UT1 with standard errors less than 40 cm, somewhat smaller than that of the corresponding determinations from classical observations. Methods for improving these types of intercomparisons are suggested.
Nature (ISSN 0028-0836); 302; April 7