Topics of Section 1.1

GNSS Meteorology

The observations of geodetic GNSS ground receivers can be used to derive the water vapor content above the stations. Such measurements are operationally analyzed at GFZ and the results are provided to improved regional and global weather forecasts and for climate change related studies.

GNSS Radio Occultation

GNSS radio occultation measurements from low Earth orbiting satellites can be used to derive globally distributed vertical profiles of atmospheric parameters, as, e.g., temperature, water vapor or electron density. This technique is currently operationally applied at GFZ using the data from GRACE, TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X. The analysis results are provided for the provision of global weather forecasts and used for climate studies.

GNSS Reflectometry

GNSS signals are reflected by water, ice and land surfaces. This feature is used to derive properties of the reflecting surface, as, e.g., altimetric height, roughness, soil moisture or snow properties. This new and innovative remote sensing technique is versatilely applied and improved at GFZ. For this purpose experiments with GNSS receivers on the Earth surface and aboard airships, aircrafts and satellites are planned and carried out.

GNSS Geodynamics

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GNSS Analysis Centres and Services

An analysis and data center of the International GNSS Service (IGS) is operated at GFZ. Several geophysical data products are provided to more than 6,000 data users world-wide, e.g., station coordinates, GPS/GLONASS/Galileo satellite orbits and clocks. To exploit the full potential of GNSS with mm-level position accuracy and real-time capability, GFZ's own analysis software "EPOS" will be continuously improved.

Geodetic and astrometric VLBI

Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) is a highly accurate method, used since the 1970s in astrophysics as well as in geodesy and has delivered groundbreaking scientific discoveries. This technique allows for example to measure global distances with millimeter accuracy, thus, the VLBI contributes significantly to the global terrestrial reference frame (ITRF), and is the only one of the space geodetic techniques to give the reference to the sky fixed reference frame and all Earth orientation parameters (polar motion, universal time, precession / nutation).


Profile photo of  Prof. Dr. Harald Schuh

Prof. Dr. Harald Schuh
Space Geodetic Techniques

Building A 17, room 10.02
14473 Potsdam
tel. +49 331 288-1100