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RAEGE in VGOS/GGOS

Project RAEGE (for an Atlantic Network of Geodynamical and Space Stations) consists of a network of four Geodetic Fundamental Stations in Spain (Yebes and Canary Islands), and Portugal (Azores Islands of Santa María and Flores), as part of the developments needed to set up a VLBI Geodetic Observing System, VGOS.

VGOS is part of the Global Geodetic Observing System (GGOS) of the International Association of Geodesy (IAG), which integrates different geodetic techniques to provide the geodetic infrastructure necessary for monitoring the Earth system and for global change research. It provides observations of the three fundamental geodetic observables and their variations, that is, the Earth's shape, the Earth's gravity field and the Earth's rotational motion. GGOS (and within it, VGOS) provides the observational basis to maintain a stable, accurate and global reference frame and in this function is crucial for all Earth observation and many practical applications.

Each Geodetic Fundamental Station in RAEGE will be equipped with one radio telescope of VLBI2010 specifications (13.2-m diameter, able to operate up to 90 GHz, fast slewing speed), one gravimeter, one permanent GNSS station and, at least at the Yebes site, one SLR facility. The National Geographical Institute of Spain (IGN) has experience in VLBI, being member of the European VLBI Network since 1993 and founder institute of the Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe (JIVE), and it is participating in geodetic VLBI campaigns with the 14-m radio telescope in Yebes since 1995. A new 40-m radio telescope has been built and recently put in operation, already participating in IVS campaigns.

An agreement between IGN and the Autonomous Regional Government of the Azores ensures the RAEGE project to become a reality. The station in Yebes is operational, construction of Santa María is finished, and commissioning of the antenna is very advanced.

The RAEGE station at Yebes Observatory has been cofinanced with European Regional Development Funds (ERDF / FEDER ) plan 2007-2013.

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