Technologies used in SatNav, automated machine guidance and surveying require highly accurate measurements of distance and position relative to the Earth’s surface. Geodesy, the science of Earth measurement, applies these technologies to predicting earthquakes, monitoring sea-level rises and ice sheet changes. Modern geodesy measurements are referenced to the International Terrestrial Reference Frame (ITRF), but to meet demands for greater accuracy, potential innovations in instrumentation and measurement techniques need further development.
This project will develop transfer standards to disseminate to the SI metre reference baseline distances of at least 5 m to 1 mm uncertainty and develop novel devices capable of 3-D measurements over a 200 m range with 200 micron uncertainty. Geodetic measurements of at least 5 km based on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) or Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) will have uncertainties reduced to 1 mm or less. From natural hazard monitoring to surveying, users will benefit from significantly better distance and position accuracy than currently available, that will contribute to better understanding of environmental change.