Study in Progress

Evolving the Geodetic Infrastructure to Meet New Scientific Needs

Statement of Task

The panel will carry out a study, organized around a workshop, to identify key connections between geodesy and priority Earth science questions, and explore how to improve the geodetic infrastructure to meet new science needs. In particular, the panel will undertake the following tasks:

1. Summarize progress in maintaining and improving the geodetic infrastructure, as detailed in the recommendations in "Precise Geodetic Infrastructure: National Requirements for a Shared Resource" (NRC, 2010), and aspirations for future improvements through, for example, new technology and analysis.
2. Identify science questions from "Thriving on Our Changing Planet: A Decadal Strategy for Earth Observation from Space" (NASEM, 2018) that depend on geodesy, and describe the connections between these questions, associated measurement requirements, and geodetic data.
3. Discuss the elements of these science questions that drive future requirements for the terrestrial reference frame, Earth-orientation parameters, and satellite orbits, and identify what geodetic infrastructure changes are needed to help answer the questions.
4. Identify priority improvements to the geodetic infrastructure that would facilitate advances across the science questions identified in Task 2.

This study is being carried out as a collaboration among the National Academies Board on Earth Sciences and Resources, Space Studies Board, Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, Polar Research Board, Ocean Studies Board, and Water Science and Technology Board.