PRECISE GEODETIC INFRASTRUCTURE

National Requirements for a Shared Resource

Committee on the National Requirements for Precision Geodetic Infrastructure

Committee on Seismology and Geodynamics

Board on Earth Sciences and Resources

Division on Earth and Life Studies

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

Washington, D.C.
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PReciSe Geodetic iNfRaStRuctuRe National Requirements for a Shared Resource Committee on the National Requirements for Precision Geodetic Infrastructure Committee on Seismology and Geodynamics Board on Earth Sciences and Resources Division on Earth and Life Studies THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu

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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under Award No. NNX - 07AT39G, the National Science Foundation under Award No. EAR-0634914, the Department of Interior–U.S. Geological Survey under Award No. 06HQGR0183, the Department of Defense–National Geospatial-Intel - ligence Agency under Award No. HM158207P0006, the Department of Defense–United States Naval Observa - tory under Award No. NNG07HS32P (through NASA), and the Department of Commerce – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Geodetic Survey under Award No. NA08NOS4000319. The opin - ions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations contained in this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute their endorsement by the U.S. Government. International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-15811-4 International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-15811-7 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N .W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington m etropolitan area); Internet http://www.nap.edu. Cover: D esign by Francesca Moghari. Image courtesy of Sean Swenson, The National Center for A tmospheric Research. The image depicts the mean annual amplitude of terrestrial water storage for t he period 2002-2010 derived from GRACE time-variable gravity field data. Copyright 2010 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America.

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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org

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COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL REquIREMENTS FOR PRECISION GEODETIC INFRASTRuCTuRE J. BERNARD MINSTER (Chair), Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California ZUHEIR ALTAMIMI, Institut Géographique National, Paris France GEOFFREY BLEWITT, University of Nevada, Reno WILLIAM E. CARTER, University of Florida, Gainesville ANNY CAZENAVE, Centre National d’Études Spatiales, Toulouse, France HERB DRAGERT, Natural Resources Canada, Sidney, British Columbia THOMAS A. HERRING, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge KRISTINE M. LARSON, University of Colorado, Boulder JOHN C. RIES, University of Texas at Austin DAVID T. SANDWELL, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California JOHN M. WAHR, University of Colorado, Boulder Liaison from the Committee on Seismology and Geodynamics JAMES L. DAVIS, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, New York National Research Council Staff DAVID A. FEARY, Study Director LEA A. SHANLEY, Postdoctoral Fellow NICHOLAS D. ROGERS, Financial and Research Associate COURTNEY R. GIBBS, Program Associate ERIC J. EDKIN, Senior Program Assistant v

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COMMITTEE ON SEISMOLOGy AND GEODyNAMICS MICHAEL E. WYSESSION (Vice Chair), Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri J. RAMON ARROWSMITH, Arizona State University, Tempe EMILY E. BRODSKY, University of California, Santa Cruz JAMES L. DAVIS, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, New York STUART P. NISHENKO, Pacific Gas and Electric, San Francisco, California PETER L. OLSON, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland NANCY L. ROSS, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg CHARLOTTE A. ROWE, Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico DAVID T. SANDWELL, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California BRIAN W. STUMP, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas National Research Council Staff DAVID A. FEARY, Study Director NICHOLAS D. ROGERS, Financial and Research Associate ERIC J. EDKIN, Senior Program Assistant vi

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BOARD ON EARTH SCIENCES AND RESOuRCES CORALE L. BRIERLEY (Chair), Brierley Consultancy, LLC, Highlands Ranch, Colorado KEITH C. CLARKE, University of California, Santa Barbara DAVID J. COWEN, University of South Carolina, Columbia WILLIAM E. DIETRICH, University of California, Berkeley ROGER M. DOWNS, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park JEFF DOZIER, University of California, Santa Barbara KATHERINE H. FREEMAN, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park WILLIAM L. GRAF, University of South Carolina, Columbia RUSSELL J. HEMLEY, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, D.C. MURRAY W. HITZMAN, Colorado School of Mines, Golden EDWARD KAVAZANJIAN, JR., Arizona State University, Tempe ROBERT B. McMASTER, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis CLAUDIA INÉS MORA, Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico BRIJ M. MOUDGIL, University of Florida, Gainesville CLAYTON R. NICHOLS, Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (retired), Ocean Park, Washington JOAQUIN RUIZ, University of Arizona, Tucson PETER M. SHEARER, University of California, San Diego REGINAL SPILLER, Allied Energy, Texas RUSSELL E. STANDS-OVER-BULL, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, Billings, Montana TERRY C. WALLACE, JR., Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico HERMAN B. ZIMMERMAN, National Science Foundation (retired), Portland, Oregon National Research Council Staff ANTHONY R. de SOUZA, Director ELIZABETH A. EIDE, Senior Program Officer DAVID A. FEARY, Senior Program Officer ANNE M. LINN, Senior Program Officer SAMMANTHA L. MAGSINO, Program Officer MARK D. LANGE, Associate Program Officer LEA A. SHANLEY, Postdoctoral Fellow JENNIFER T. ESTEP, Administrative and Financial Associate NICHOLAS D. ROGERS, Financial and Research Associate COURTNEY R. GIBBS, Program Associate JASON R. ORTEGO, Research Associate ERIC J. EDKIN, Senior Program Assistant TONYA E. FONG YEE, Senior Program Assistant vii

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Preface “Ubinam sum?”—where in the world am I?1 This question—albeit a rhetorical one—sums up a central issue dealt with in this report. Since the advent of the space age, we have seen remarkable improvements in positioning, navigation, and timing of approximately one order of magnitude each decade with no indication that this rate of progress is abating. So we now know how to answer that question better than ever. This is the object of precise global geodesy. But the underlying infrastruc - ture is at risk and its fragility a matter of serious concern. The committee was asked to describe and assess the range of benefits to the nation that are dependent on high-precision geodetic networks, review high-priority scientific objectives that are dependent on geodetic networks, describe the infrastructure requirements for achieving these objec - tives and benefits, assess the opportunities for technological innovation that will arise from renewed investment in geodetic infrastructure, and recommend a national plan for the implementation of a precision geodetic infrastructure. The committee gathered information from the scientific literature, numerous and extensive briefings by federal, academic, non-profit, and industry researchers, in addition to previous studies and reports. What seemed to us at the beginning to be a rather straightforward task was revealed to be a surprisingly complex one. This is because there seems to be no end to the list of scientific problems, technical endeavors, and societal activities that depend directly or indirectly on the global precise geodetic infrastructure. It was especially difficult to avoid duplicating the discussion of the Global Geodetic Observing System in the very complete volume edited by Plag and Pearlman (2009). We have restricted our focus to what we define in the report as “precise geodesy,” that is, measuring the position of any point on the Earth with millimeter accuracy, variations in the length of the day to a few millionths of a second, the orientation of Earth’s rotation axis in space to few billionths of a degree, and changes in the Earth’s gravity to a few parts per billion. 1Adapted from Cicero’s exclamation in his Catiline orations: “Ubinam gentium sumus?”—Where on Earth are we? (Cic. Cat. 1, 9) ix

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x PREFACE Our recommendations aim at maintaining and improving this capability, mitigating the risk of infrastructure degradation, and supporting a long-term sustainable national infrastructure capable of serving the full range of existing and future users. The committee thanks the following individuals for making presentations and providing back - ground material, figures, and other input: Greg Anderson, Yoaz Bar-Sever, Terry C. Bills, Yehuda Bock, Rich Brancato, Elbert “Joe” Friday, Tim Fuller-Rowell, Paul Gunderson, Philippe Hensel, Ken Johnston, Russ Kelz, Nancy King, John LaBrecque, Deborah Lawrence, William Leith, Chopo Ma, Zsolt Nagy, Steve Nerem, Ericos Pavlis, Nikolaos Pavlis, Jim Ray, Chris Rocken, Anthony Russo, Jim Slater, Dru Smith, Lucia Tsasoussi, Shimon Wdowinski, Neil Weston, Jim Whitcomb, and Bobby Williams. The committee also thanks the staff of the National Research Council for their patient support of this project. In particular Courtney Gibbs and Nicholas Rogers provided essential logistics and computer help throughout. As study director, David Feary brought together the funding, secured the critical participation of agency representatives to the four meetings of the committee, and helped the committee assemble most of the raw material for this report. The committee is particularly grateful to NRC Post-doctoral Fellow Lea Shanley for her skillful and enthusiastic coordination of final efforts to bring this study to a successful conclusion. J. Bernard Minster Chair

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Acknowledgments This report was greatly enhanced by input from the many participants at the public committee meetings as well as from other contributors—Greg Anderson, Yoaz Bar-Sever, Yehuda Bock, Rich Brancato, Elbert “Joe” Friday, Tim Fuller-Rowell, Paul Gunderson, Philippe Hensel, Ken Johnston, Russ Kelz, Nancy King, John LaBrecque, Deborah Lawrence, William Leith, Chopo Ma, Steve Nerem, Ericos Pavlis, Nikolaos Pavlis, Jim Ray, Chris Rocken, Anthony Russo, Jim Slater, Dru Smith, Lucia Tsasoussi, Shimon Wdowinski, Neil Weston, Jim Whitcomb, and Bobby Williams. The presentations and the ensuing discussions helped set the stage for the committee’s fruitful discussions in the sessions that followed. This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspec - tives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their participation in the review of this report: Véronique Dehant, Royal Observatory Belgium, Brussels Timothy Dixon, University of Miami, Florida Goran Ekstrom, Columbia University, New York Gary Johnston, Geoscience Australia, Canberra Rowena Lohman, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York D. David Moyer, University of Wisconsin-Madison R. Steven Nerem, University of Colorado, Boulder Michael Pearlman, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, Massachusetts Michael Sideris, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada David Szymanski, Bentley University, Waltham, Massachusetts Paul Tregoning, Australian National University, Canberra xi

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xii ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Michael Goodchild, Uni - versity of California, Santa Barbara. Appointed by the NRC, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.

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Contents SuMMARy 1 1 WHERE ON EARTH AM I NOW? 11 What is the Global Precise Geodetic Infrastructure?, 12 The Value of Precise Measurements, 13 Committee Charge and Approach, 15 Organization of the Report, 17 Fundamental Geodetic Parameters, 17 The Geodetic Infrastructure, 19 Federal Support for National Geodetic Infrastructure, 23 2 GEODESy FOR THE BENEFIT OF SOCIETy 27 Current Benefits of the Geodetic Infrastructure, 27 Transition from Innovative Research to Future Applications, 30 Future Scientific and Technological Breakthroughs, 35 Summary, 36 3 GEODESy REquIREMENTS FOR EARTH SCIENCE 37 Solid Earth Dynamics, 37 Ocean Dynamics, 50 Ice Dynamics, 53 Hydrologic Cycle and Water Resources, 54 Weather, 58 Space Weather, 60 Precision Spacecraft Navigation, 61 Timing and Time Transfer, 63 Decadal Missions, 63 Summary, 64 xiii

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xiv CONTENTS 4 THE GEODETIC INFRASTRuCTuRE: CuRRENT STATuS AND FuTuRE REquIREMENTS 67 Geodetic Networks, 67 Earth Observation Satellites, 81 International Geodetic Services, 85 5 GEODETIC REFERENCE FRAMES AND CO-LOCATION REquIREMENTS 89 Stability and Accuracy of the International Terrestrial Reference Frame, 90 Geodetic Techniques for Realizing the ITRF, 91 Co-location Sites, 93 ITRF Requirements to Meet Future Needs, 95 Regional Reference Frames and their Relationship to the ITRF, 97 Modernizing the North American Datum, 98 6 SuPPORT FOR THE PRECISE GEODETIC INFRASTRuCTuRE 101 The Geodetic Infrastructure and Society, 103 The National and Global Fundamental Station Network, 103 National High-Precision, Real-Time GNSS/GPS Networks, 105 International Collaboration and Cooperation, 106 An Educated Geodetic Science Workforce, 107 National Geodetic Infrastructure: A Matter of Collaboration, 111 : Conclusion, 111 REFERENCES 113 APPENDIXES A BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF COMMITTEE MEMBERS AND STAFF 123 B PRESENTATIONS TO THE COMMITTEE 129 C GLOSSARY 131 D ABBREVIATIONS AND ACCRONYMS 139