The International Geodesy Association (IAG) awarded the Levallois Medal of the Year 2019 to Professor Christoph Reigber at the 27th IUGG (International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics) General Assembly in Montreal. With this prestigious award, named after the French IAG Secretary General of 1960-75, Jean-Jacques Levallois, the IAG honours every four years outstanding achievements of a scientist in the field of IAG and geodesy in general.
Christoph Reigber, former Director of the German Geodetic Research Institute DGFI in Munich and former Director of the Department "Geodesy and Remote Sensing" at the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences in Potsdam as well as Professor Emeritus of the University of Potsdam, played a major role in the development, use and international coordination of satellite techniques for geodesy and geodynamics during his active service in Munich and Potsdam. For many years he was President of the IAG/COSPAR (Committee for Space Research) Commission for the International Coordination of Space Technologies for Geodesy and Geodynamics (CSTG), President of the IAG Advanced Space Technology Section, as well as Chairman of the Executive Committees of the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS) and the International Global Navigation Satellite Systems Service (IGS) of the IAG.
Since the 1970s, Christoph Reigber and his working groups, and in cooperation with international space organizations and the space industry, have been particularly active in the detailed determination of the Earth's gravitational field. With his later initiatives for the realization of the satellite-to-satellite tracking missions CHAMP and GRACE, he has contributed significantly to the development of two new fields of application for satellite geodesy, which are particularly important for climate research: the recording of large-scale mass movements in the geosphere by measuring temporal changes in the gravitational field, and the determination of state variables of the lower atmosphere by evaluating GNSS radio occultation measurements.
The award will be presented at the Geoscientific Colloquium organized by the GFZ on the occasion of Christoph Reigber’s 80th birthday on October 1 at the Telegrafenberg in Potsdam.