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Planetary GeodesyPlanetary Reference Systems

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DFG Research Unit 1503: Space-Time Reference Systems for Monitoring Global Change and for Precise Navigation in Space


The objective of Research Unit 1503 is to develop integrative methods and procedures for a consistent definition and realisation of reference systems on Earth and in space. In an environment of ever increasing observing capabilities as well as of social and scientific needs, a framework of reference systems will be produced which are linked consistently with an appropriate level of accuracy to guarantee a solid basis for measuring geometric effects of Global Change and for high-precision navigation near Earth and in deep space. The contributions of various groups active in geodetic, astronomical and space sciences enable a comprehensive interdisciplinary treatment of reference systems.

The chair of planetary geodesy at TU Berlin works in the sub-project

Lunar Reference Systems

The goal of this project is to provide lunar and related reference systems with an accuracy meeting all requirements of modern geodesy, astronomy, and future exploration. Our work will be based on refined lunar models and novel integrated data sets. Laser ranging data to the lunar surface and to orbiters shall be combined to determine parameters of the Earth-Moon system, i.e. librational motion and tidal deformation as well as relativistic parameters. The resulting lunar orbit will not only contribute to improved solar system ephemerides, but serves as dynamic realization of the celestial reference system to be combined with VLBI based systems. As one product, an improved Moon-wide uniform coordinate knowledge will be realized analyzing image and altimeter data from lunar missions like Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). Simulations of radio tracking and laser ranging data from dedicated lunar landers shall be performed. We will fully exploit the potential of novel data sets and we will explore synergies by combining these data with classical LLR measurements. Moon-related reference systems serve as indispensable element to link terrestrial and celestial reference systems. They are the prerequisites for further advances in Lunar science and space exploration. Moreover, this project prepares the application of established methods for mapping and surveying the Earth to extra-terrestrial bodies.


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