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Paper: The International Celestial Reference System
Volume: 503, Calibrating Large Surveys and Future Facilities
Page: 177
Authors: Fomalont, E.
Abstract: The International Celestial Reference System (ICRS) is a set of prescriptions, conventions, observational techniques and modeling required to define an celestial inertial frame. The origin of the frame is the solar-system barycenter. The ICRS was adopted by the International Astronomical Union in 1997 as the replacement of the FK5 system. The frame is called the International Celestial Reference Frame (ICRF), and is realized (defined) by the accurate position of 295 radio sources, distributed over the sky, and the accuracy of the frame orientation is about 10 microarcsec. This review will cover: the history of the development of the ICRS; the basics of the major observational technique of Very Long Baseline Interferometry; the use of the fundamental observable, the group delay; experimental strategies to optimize the accuracy; the computational methods for analyzing the large data base; the two major error limitations; and the possible of ICRS/Gaia interactions.
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