The Geodesy Committee of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences (DGK) has awarded this year's Science Prize to Dr.-Ing. Kyriakos Balidakis. Balidakis is currently doing research as a postdoc at the GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences in Section 1.1 "Space Geodetic Techniques". Balidakis received the award for his outstanding scientific contribution to the combination of geodetic space techniques. Such techniques measure – from the ground – reference points in space, satellites at different flight altitudes up to distant radio stars with the help of lasers and radio signals.
Dr.-Ing Balidakis has made considerable progress in the further development of so-called reduction models for the different measurement methods. In particular, he models geophysical loads on the Earth's crust, which cause the smallest but significant shifts in the measuring stations. He also quantifies the atmospheric propagation delays of signals used by the geodetic space techniques VLBI, SLR, GNSS and DORIS. For this purpose, Balidakis analyzed a large amount of numerical weather model data. With his work Balidakis supports the efforts of space geodesy to achieve an accuracy level of 1 mm on a global scale. And exactly such highly accurate global reference frames with long-term stability are the metrological basis for observing the changing processes in the Earth's system (sea level rise, plate tectonics, etc.).
The Geodesy Science Prize (DGK Prize), which is awarded every two years, honors young scientists with an already distinct international profile. Decisive is the overall scientific performance including the scientific publications published after the doctorate.