Communication and Outreach Branch
of Geodesy and Surveying
University of Technology and Economics
H-1521 Budapest, Hungary
Information Service of the International Association of
President's Annual Report 2017
Scientific Congress of the National
Geodesy and Geophysics Union of Turkey
IAG Sponsored Meetings
Review Workshop on Satellite Altimetry Cal/Val Activities and Applications
UN GGIM AP /
IAG / FIG Technical Seminar on Reference Frames in Practice
EUREF Symposium 2018
IVS General Meeting
Workshop on the International Geodynamics and Earth Tide Service (IGETS)
Hotine-Marussi Symposium on Mathematical Geodesy
Scientific Assembly (with REFAG2018 and Panel on Satellite Dynamics)
DORIS Service (IDS) Workshop
International Workshop on Laser Ranging
IAG Related Meetings
Satellite Navigation Summit 2018
Congress of the National Geodesy and Geophysics Union of Turkey
Geodetic Congress 2018
International Symposium "Metrology of Time and Space"
ION GNSS+ 2018
GGOS Days 2018
Symposium and Users' Meeting
2017 ILRS Technical Workshop
Report on the Symposium SIRGAS2017, SIRGAS
Workshop on real-time GNSS positioning, and SIRGAS Workshop on SLR in Latin
The IAG Newsletter is under the
editorial responsibility of the Communication and Outreach Branch (COB)
of the IAG.
It is an open
forum and contributors are welcome to send material (preferably in electronic
form) to the IAG COB (email@example.com). These contributions should complement information
sent by IAG officials or by IAG symposia organizers (reports and
announcements). The IAG Newsletter is published monthly. It is
available in different formats from the IAG new internet site: http://www.iag-aig.org
Newsletter includes several of the following topics:
news from the Bureau
reports of IAG
commissions, special commissions or study groups
VII. fast bibliography
was another very successful year for IAG. The top highlight was the
organization and effective running of the IAG/IASPEI Joint Scientific Assembly
in Kobe, Japan, from July 30 through August 4, 2017, together with the IAG
business meetings. Further highlights were the progress of the IAG strategic
process and IAG's involvement in IUGG and ICSU activities. In the following, I
would like to report briefly on some of my undertakings as IAG President in
gave well-received talks on "IAG" and "GGOS" at several meetings and
conferences, for instance, at the 1st IUGG Symposium on Planetary Science –
Interdisciplinary observation and understanding of the Solar System in
Berlin, Germany, on July 5, 2017, at the Workshop on GNSS and VLBI Geodesy in Chiang Mai, Thailand, on August 17,
2017, at the GGOS Days in Vienna, Austria, on October 31, 2017, or at
the 75th anniversary of the University of Architecture, Civil Engineering
and Geodesy (UACEG) in Sofia, Bulgaria, on November 1, 2017.
Fig. 1: Kobe city (photo: H. Schuh).
Fig. 2: Advertisement in a Kobe
public train (photo:
Fig. 3: Short statement during the
IAG Social Dinner in Kobe
(photo: H. Schuh).
Fig. 4: At the 75th anniversary of
the University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy (UACEG) in
Sofia, Bulgaria, on November 1, 2017 (photo: H. Schuh).
year, I received invitations from all over Germany to give a talk on the
occasion of the 100th anniversary of Friedrich Robert Helmert's passing. These
were not official invitations to the IAG President, but nonetheless, when I
gave those talks on "100 years after Helmert" in Aachen, Potsdam, or Dortmund,
it was surely a good, or to be honest, a proud feeling to be embedded in IAG.
At this point, I also have to mention again our anniversary celebrations of
Helmert and the 125 years anniversary of the Potsdam Geodetic Institute on
April 7, 2017 (see the report in the IAG Newsletter of May 2017).
business meetings during the IAG Scientific Assembly in Kobe comprised in
particular three IAG Executive Committee (EC) Meetings, one IAG Bureau Meeting,
and one IAG Council Meeting, and all went very efficiently. The EC's decision
to establish new sub-components of IAG Commissions as inter-Association
commissions, namely on Volcano geodesy, Seismo-geodesy, and Cryospheric
deformations, and to establish the two new inter-Commission projects of IAG
(on New technologies in geodesy and on Marine geodesy) are very
Fig. 5: Participants of
the GeoUnions Steering Committee Meeting, Potsdam, Sep 1, 2017 (photo: GFZ).
September 1, 2017, I had the pleasure to welcome the participants of the
Steering Committee Meeting of the GeoUnions of the International Council for
Sciences, ICSU, at the German Research Centre for Geosciences, GFZ. The meeting
was hosted by the Secretariat of the International Union of Geodesy and
Geophysics, IUGG, which is based at the GFZ. The GeoUnions are a consortium of
nine international organizations of geosciences. The aim of the GeoUnions is to
speak with one voice within the ICSU, of which it forms part. Their focus is on
promoting geosciences and space sciences, and to coordinate joint interests
against global organizations like the United Nations. During the meeting,
issues like a potential fusion of the ICSU and the International Social Science
Council, ISSC, were discussed. Further topics were the advancement of sciences
as a global collective good as well as strengthening the cooperation of different
interdisciplinary ICSU programs and networks. The participants further
discussed the 32rd ICSU General Assembly in October 2017 in Taipei, Republic of
highlight in September was the IUGG Executive Committee meeting in Montreal,
Canada (September 19-21, 2017), which included a site inspection of the venue
for the 27th IUGG General Assembly to be held in Montreal, Canada,
from July 9-18, 2019. The Executive Committee acknowledged that all
preparations are well on track and the next GA will be held in an expedient
Convention Center in a beautiful environment.
am pleased that we are well on schedule with the IAG strategic planning
process. After the draft strategy document had been discussed and approved at
the EC Meeting in Vienna on April 28, 2017, it was presented to the IAG Council
delegates at the IAG Scientific Assembly in Kobe in July 2017. It is planned
that the strategy document will be finalized still this year, to be approved at
the IUGG General Assembly in Montreal 2019.
closing, I would like to thank all colleagues in the Bureau and Executive
Committee of IAG for their support and collaboration in 2017, and the Secretary
General and his Assistant for their unwavering commitment to the Association.
We would like to inform you that the
Scientific Congress of the National Geodesy and Geophysics Union of Turkey
(TUJJB-BK) will be held in Izmir, Turkey in 30 May – 2 June 2018. This
meeting will be organised under the auspices of General Command of Mapping by
hosting two engineering departments from two different universities in Izmir;
Department of Geophysics of the Dokuz Eylul University and Department of
Geomatics of the Katip Celebi University (http://www.tujjbkongre2018.org/).
The deadline for abstract submission is
pointed out in the web site. The Congress will be conducted in Turkish and
English. Please visit the web site for more details related to the congress
(hotels, restaurants serving local traditional food, visiting places,
nontechnical touristic trips in Izmir, registration fee, etc). For further
information, do not hesitate to contact with the congress secretariat.
Necessary information can be found in http://www.tujjbkongre2018.org/en/
In the frame of TUJJB-BK meeting, we look
forward to hosting you in Izmir, the cultural and industrial capital of the
Aegean region of Turkey.
Dr. O.Atila AKABALI
Head of Turkish National Geodesy Commission
On behalf of TUJJB-BK
April 23-26, 2018, Chania, Greece
May 4-5, 2018, Istanbul, Turkey
May 30 – June 1, 2018, Amsterdam, The
June 3-8, 2018, Longyearbyen,
June 18-20, 2018, Potsdam, Germany
June 18-22, 2018, Rome, Italy
July 14-22, 2018, Pasadena, CA, USA
August 20-31, 2018, Vienna, Austria
September 17-21, 2018, Copenhagen, Denmark
"Gravity, Geoid and Height Systems 2"
Symposium, 2nd joint meeting of the International Gravity Field Service and
Commission 2 of the IAG
September 24-29, 2018, Ponta Delgada,
October 29 – November 2, 2018, Wuhan,
November 5-9, 2018, Canberra, Australia
July 8 – 17, 2019, Montreal, Canada
March 15-17 , 2018, Munich, Germany
April 8-13 , 2018, Vienna, Austria
May 30 – June 2 , 2018, Izmir, Turkey
June 3-8, 2018, Hawaii, USA
June 21-23, 2018, Olsztyn, Poland
September 12-14, 2018, Mendeleevo, Russia
September 24-28, 2018, Miami, Florida, USA
October 2-4, 2018, Tsukuba, Japan
October 8-11, 2018, Granada, Spain
December 10-14, 2018, Washington, D.C.,
April 7-12 , 2019, Vienna, Austria
July 28 – August 2, 2019, Singapore,
Riga, Latvia, October
Every two years
the ILRS conducts Technical Workshops to focus on a few timely topics that
impact the quality of our data products and our operations. These workshops are
held in intervening years between the full International Workshops on Laser
Ranging and are intended to provide time to articulate the issues carefully,
allow for in-depth discussion, and formulate a path forward. The 2017 ILRS
Technical Workshop, sponsored by the Institute of Astronomy at the University
of Latvia and the ILRS, was held in Riga, Latvia, October 2-5, with the theme
"Improving ILRS Performance to Meet Future GGOS Requirements". The workshop
focused on addressing the following questions:
- What are the current and anticipated
laser ranging requirements for the various satellites and have we defined
- How do we evaluate our current
performance and is it adequate?
- What factors are currently limiting our
- What operational steps and tools would
help us to better meet satellite ranging accuracy and scheduling
- What automation capabilities have been
implemented or are planned for implementation, and what automation
capabilities should stations consider?
Over 120 people
from 21 countries participated in the meeting. The program included over 50
oral presentations, as well as many relevant posters.
The first day discussed user requirements and how well the ILRS is
addressing these requirements. It started off with a reminder that laser
ranging is one of the fundamental techniques for GGOS in its role of advancing
our understanding of the dynamic Earth system by quantifying our planet's
changes in space and time to:
- advance Earth science (Earth,
oceans, ice, atmosphere, etc.)
- help us better understand the processes
- help us make intelligent societal decisions
The most stringent
challenge for SLR comes from the mm reference frame requirement from GGOS, however
other requirements such as altimetry and GNSS validation are not far behind.
are maturing; new technologies are on the horizon, and the core network is
growing; international and political recognition (UN-GGIM) is increasing; and
our space geodesy products (e.g., unified height systems, unified sea level
model, natural hazard warning tools, etc.) require integration of measuring
A recent user
survey revealed that that essentially all of the satellites on the ILRS
tracking roster are being used in current research, but that data requirements
varied greatly in terms of quantity and quality. Presentations were given on
the requirements of several user disciplines including the reference frame, ice
and ocean altimetry, GNSS, CubeSat technology, time varying gravity field, and atmospheric drag.
(photo courtesy of Toms Grinbergs, University of
network output showed that some applications, in particular the reference frame
and GNSS tracking, need better SLR global distribution of the stations and more
uniform station performance. We also examined some ideas on how to rate station
performance and task the stations in order to increase the total efficiency of
the network. Several stations are supporting other applications such as
tracking space debris and time transfer applications. These are certainly of
interest and, at present, do not appear to have a significantly negative impact
on the tracking schedule.
The second day
of the workshop addressed how we evaluate our current performance. Work
continues on the Station Systematic Errors Pilot Project and its conversion
into an operational product later this year or early 2018. Examination of
network data on SLR satellites over many years revealed interesting signatures
correlated with the elevation and azimuth of the passes, day versus night-time
conditions, and ascending vs. descending pass segments. These topics are under
study, but the main focus is now on the primary sources of systematic errors
that map directly onto geodetic products, such as errors in satellite
center-of-mass models, data sampling issues, and incorrect modeling of system
processing of return signals. Range measurement dependence on pulse length,
rise time, signal strength, and detection system will need closer attention as
we seek mm and sub-mm results.
providing an epoch standard for keeping track of timing errors throughout the
network to levels of a few 10's of nsec. The new Russian "Tochka Station"
configuration with two SLR systems offers greatly expanded satellite tracking
coverage and frequent co-location to enhance quality control. Presentations and
discussion also covered new web tools, websites and on-line forums to encourage
communication and distribution/sharing of diagnostic information.
The third day
focused on obstacles that are currently limiting network output and operational
steps that could improve ranging performance. The usual culprits were equipment
problems, budget, weather (the usual), and daylight tracking limitations.
Language and culture issues may be a communications problem in some cases;
regional telephone conferences might help. Event timer replacement of time
interval units (TIUs) by NASA has demonstrated a parallel data flow technique
that allowed data from both paths to be viewed simultaneously for very detailed
performance comparisons. Comparisons of single and multiple photon operations
led to considerable discussions on operational convenience, range bias
elimination, and data stability.
continue on using correlation techniques on the return signals to reduce range
biases (particularly on the spherical passive satellite) and new potential
methods for bias-free range measurements at the mm-level with MCP and silicon
photomultiplier-type detectors. Recent timing experiments with T2L2 have shown
that there are some uncompensated optical time and frequency distribution at
the nsec level in the tested systems. This points out the need to continue this
work with future timing missions and to develop methods at the stations to
implement improvements made possible through active control and closure
measurements. Several groups are studying the sensitivity of SLR observations
to tropospheric horizontal gradients and atmospheric asymmetry, however, our
low elevation data yield is still a very small fraction of the total for this
to be of any consequence. There was some discussion on refining the definition
of normal point durations to try to minimize the amount of data necessary to
reach 1 mm normal point RMS. It was also noted that some stations that are
geographically close could plan some shared tracking campaigns to help expand
satellites' coverage and carry out tracking experiments.
The fourth day
concentrated on automation and autonomous station operations. It was pointed
out that Alexander Neidhardt's new book "Applied Computer Science for GGOS
Observatories" provides a very nice reference on the topic including a thorough
discussion on the relevant software issues.
from many of the stations described their activities underway and planned from
automated scheduling through full operations and optimal automated operations
using situational awareness from multi-sensor data. There was also a discussion
on when automation make sense.
SLR stations has the potential for dramatically increasing the data volume
while at the same time reducing the operating costs. However, full automation
isn't for all stations as it involves development and implementation costs. It
is probably most cost effective to fully automate a network of stations rather
than a single station. Fortunately, automation can be implemented in stages and
can range from supporting the operational manpower (making the station easier
to operate) to full automation where there is no human operator at all.
many challenges for full automation including personnel, system, and area
safety and aircraft avoidance. Other challenges discussed included automating
the signal determination, telescope pointing optimization, cloud considerations
and weather considerations, and dynamic (real-time) scheduling. Finally,
security remains a challenge, including both physical plant and IT security. A
fully automated SLR system must protect against illegal physical and IT entry.
automation at the stations, more effort should be made to share information and
experience, including algorithms, relevant procedures and software, and
commercially hardware. It was also suggested that the ILRS develop general
guidelines and an overview of successful implementations to date.
concluded with summary presentations from the chairs of the four sessions as
well as the chairs of the standing committees and study groups. In addition,
the participants supported resolutions that (1) urged to the community to seek
more SLR stations in the southern Hemisphere, (2) asked the relevant agencies
in Argentina and China to make every effort to complete the upgrade of the San
Juan SLR station, and (3) thanked the University of Latvia and the local Organizing Committee for all of their work in making the Workshop a
great success. Finally, the closing session included a presentation on plans
for the 21st International Workshop on Laser Ranging which will
hosted by the Space Environment Research Centre (SERC) and will be held in
Canberra Australia, November 05-09, 2018.
SIRGAS (Sistema de Referencia Geocéntrico para las Américas), the Geocentric Reference System for the Americas, is the IAG Sub-commission 1.3b. Its current activities, advances, and new challenges are reported, discussed, and re-oriented (if required) in the annual SIRGAS Meetings being held since 1993. In this series, the Symposium SIRGAS2017 took place in Mendoza, Argentina, from November 27 to 30, 2017. It was organized by the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo and the Universidad Juan Agustín Maza, with the support of the International Association of Geodesy (IAG), the Pan-American Institute for Geography and History (PAIGH), the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas of Argentina (CONICET) and the Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica of Argentina. In the frame of this symposium, two additional activities were programmed: A workshop on real-time GNSS positioning from November 22 to 24; and a workshop about SLR in Latin America from November 30 to December 1, 2017.
The symposium SIRGAS2017 was attended by 128 participants (Fig. 2) from 16 countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Germany, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Spain, USA, Uruguay, and Venezuela). The main topics addressed during the symposium included advances in the implementation and maintenance of national reference frames (8 presentations); real-time applications based on the SIRGAS infrastructure (6 presentations); vertical reference systems (9 presentations); gravity and geoid (8 presentations); improvement and maintenance of the SIRGAS reference frame (9 presentations); detection and assessment of geodynamic effects on the SIRGAS reference frame (9 presentations); atmosphere studies based on the SIRGAS infrastructure (3 presentations); other geodetic techniques in SIRGAS (8 presentations); and general reports (4 presentations). Five invited conferences were presented: Current activities of the IAG (Hermann Drewes, IAG Secretary General, Germany); Some applications of ionospheric and geodetic models supported by real-time GNSS measurements (Manuel Hernández-Pajares, Universidad Politècnica de Catalunya, Spain); SLR – An Overview and General Aspects (Daniela Thaller, Bundesamt für Kartographie und Geodäsie, Germany); SLR and the Gravity Field (Daniela Thaller, Bundesamt für Kartographie und Geodäsie, Germany); and SLR and the Global Terrestrial Reference Frame (Daniela Thaller, Bundesamt für Kartographie und Geodäsie, Germany). In total, 51 oral contributions and 18 posters were presented.
Participants of the Symposium SIRGAS2017, Mendoza,
Argentina, November 27 to 30, 2017
The workshop on real-time GNSS positioning was attended by 50 participants from 12 countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Panama, Spain, Uruguay, and Venezuela). It was organized as an activity of the SIRGAS Working Group II “SIRGAS at national level”. Lectures were provided by Roberto Pérez-Rodino (Universidad de la República, Montevideo, Uruguay), chair of the SIRGAS-WGII, María Fernanda Camisay (Universidad Juan Agustín Maza, Mendoza, Argentina), Gustavo Noguera (Universidad Nacional de Rosario, Rosario, Argentina), and Manuel Hernández-Pajares (Universidad Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain). The main topics were: Real-time positioning systems and techniques (RTK, NetRTK, PPP), national real-time infrastructures, caster and real-time stream management, NTRIP and associated software (BNC, RTKLib, etc.), theoretical foundations of the European project AUDITOR (Improved GNSS ground-based augmentation system for precision agriculture services) with emphasis on the generation of reliable ionosphere products for the calculation of real-time corrections. Three practical exercises were developed: one for real-time measurements in the field and two for connectivity, configuration, and calculation in the cabinet.
Participants of the workshop on real-time GNSS
positioning, Mendoza, Argentina, November 22 to 24, 2017
The workshop on SLR in Latin America was attended by 43 participants from 10 countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Germany, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. The main objective of the workshop was to evaluate the possibility of extending the SIRGAS reference frame by means of SLR stations to improve the geocentric realization of the regional frame. Daniela Thaller (Bundesamt für Kartographie und Geodäsie, Germany) provided an overview about the SLR dataflow and analysis performed within the International Laser Raging Service (ILRS), and representatives of the four SLR observatories installed in South America (Arequipa, AGGO, Brasilia and San Juan) reported about the status and future improvements at the different stations. Bernd Sierk of the European Spatial Agency (ESA) presented the ESA plans related to new SLR developments and applications. Finally, Daniela Thaller outlined some recommendations to start SLR data processing experiments within SIRGAS. Following these recommendations, the next activity is to prepare and distribute an input data set to be processed by the different groups installed in Argentina, Brazil, Peru and Costa Rica. Results of this experiment will be discussed during the next SIRGAS symposium in 2018.
Participants of the workshop on SLR in Latin America,
Mendoza, Argentina, November 30 to December 1, 2017
Virginia Mackern, Mendoza,
Sánchez, Munich, Germany