Airborne Geophysics and Precise Positioning

Scientific Issues and Future Directions

Committee on Geodesy

Board on Earth Sciences and Resources

Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.
1995



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--> Airborne Geophysics and Precise Positioning Scientific Issues and Future Directions Committee on Geodesy Board on Earth Sciences and Resources Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1995

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--> 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 report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. Support for this study was provided by the National Science Foundation, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Defense Mapping Agency, and the U.S. Geological Survey. Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 94-68678 International Standard Book Number 0-309-05183-5 Copies of this report are available from: National Academy Press 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20418 800-624-6242 202-334-3313 (in the Washington Metropolitan Area) Cover art by Shelley Myers, Project Assistant, Committee on Geodesy, Board on Earth Sciences and Resources, National Research Council. Myers’s work is exhibited widely in the Washington, D.C. area and has won several area awards. The cover depicts an airborne geophysical survey. Copyright 1995 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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--> COMMITTEE ON GEODESY THOMAS HERRING, Chair, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge ROBIN E. BELL, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, Palisades, New York B. CLARK BURCHFIEL, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge M. ELIZABETH CANNON, The University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada CHRISTOPHER JEKELI, The Ohio State University, Columbus ROGER L. MERRELL, Consultant, Austin, Texas J. BERNARD MINSTER,* Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California (Through December, 1993) RICHARD SAILOR, TASC, Inc., Massachusetts DAVID SANDWELL, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California WILLIAM YOUNG, Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District, California National Research Council Staff ANNE M. LINN, Program Officer LALLY A. ANDERSON, Staff Associate JENNIFER T. ESTEP, Administrative Assistant JUDITH L. ESTEP, Administrative Assistant SHELLEY A. MYERS, Project Assistant

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--> BOARD ON EARTH SCIENCES AND RESOURCES J. FREEMAN GILBERT, University of California, San Diego, Chair GAIL M. ASHLEY, Rutgers University, Piscataway, New Jersey THURE CERLING, University of Utah, Salt Lake City MARK P. CLOOS, University of Texas at Austin WILLIAM R. DICKINSON, University of Arizona, Tucson JOEL DARMSTADTER, Resources for the Future, Washington, D.C. MARCO T. EINAUDI, Stanford University, California NORMAN H. FOSTER, Independent Petroleum Geologist, Denver, Colorado CHARLES G. GROAT, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge DONALD C. HANEY, University of Kentucky, Lexington SUSAN M. KIDWELL, University of Chicago, Illinois PHILIP E. LaMOREAUX, P.E. LaMoreaux and Associates, Inc., Tuscaloosa, Alabama SUSAN M. LANDON, Thomasson Partner Associates, Denver, Colorado MARCIA K. McNUTT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge (Through December 1994) J. BERNARD MINSTER, University of California, San Diego ALEXANDRA NAVROTSKY, Princeton University, New Jersey JILL D. PASTERIS, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri EDWARD C. ROY, JR., Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas National Research Council Staff JONATHAN G. PRICE, Staff Director (Through February 1995) THOMAS M. USSELMAN, Associate Staff Director WILLIAM E. BENSON, Senior Program Officer KEVIN D. CROWLEY, Senior Program Officer ANNE M. LINN, Program Officer CHARLES MEADE, Program Officer LALLY A. ANDERSON, Staff Associate JENNIFER T. ESTEP, Administrative Assistant JUDITH L. ESTEP, Administrative Assistant SHELLEY A. MYERS, Project Assistant

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--> COMMISSION ON GEOSCIENCES, ENVIRONMENT, AND RESOURCES M. GORDON WOLMAN, Chair, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland PATRICK R. ATKINS, Aluminum Company of America, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania EDITH BROWN WEISS, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C. JAMES P. BRUCE, Canadian Climate Program Board, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada WILLIAM L. FISHER, The University of Texas at Austin EDWARD A. FRIEMAN, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California GEORGE M. HORNBERGER, University of Virginia, Charlottesville W. BARCLAY KAMB, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena PERRY L. MCCARTY, Stanford University, Stanford, California S. GEORGE PHILANDER, Princeton University, New Jersey RAYMOND A. PRICE, Queen's University at Kingston, Ontario, Canada THOMAS A. SCHELLING, University of Maryland, College Park ELLEN K. SILBERGELD, University of Maryland Medical School, Baltimore, Maryland STEVEN M. STANLEY, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland VICTORIA J. TSCHINKEL, Landers and Parsons, Tallahassee, Florida Staff STEPHEN RATTIEN, Executive Director STEPHEN D. PARKER, Associate Executive Director MORGAN GOPNIK, Assistant Executive Director JEANETTE SPOON, Administrative Officer SANDI FITZPATRICK, Administrative Associate

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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. Bruce Alberts 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. Robert M. White 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. Kenneth I. Shine 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. Bruce Alberts and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice-chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.

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--> Preface The Committee on Geodesy (COG) of the National Research Council (NRC) has long been involved in evaluating the opportunities for new insights and applications that accurate geodetic measurements offer the earth, ocean, and space science communities. With the development of the Global Positioning System (GPS) and the possibility of having very precise aircraft navigation, new scientific opportunities exist for high-resolution surveys of the topography and gravity field of the Earth. To assess these new opportunities and the ways in which airborne techniques using GPS might complement other ground-and space-based techniques, COG held a workshop on airborne geophysics in July 1993. The goals of the workshop were as follows: to evaluate the current status of airborne geophysics and precise positioning techniques; to identify the scientific objectives that are made possible by integrating aerial measurements and precise positioning techniques; and to propose strategies for expanding and optimizing the future development of airborne research platforms, aircraft-based measurements, and precise positioning. A steering committee of six individuals from COG with expertise in both the instrumentation and the scientific aspects of airborne geophysics planned the workshop. Steering committee members were Robin Bell (chair), Thomas Herring, Christopher Jekeli, J. Bernard Minster, Richard Sailor, and David Sandwell. Held on July 12–14, 1993, in Washington,

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--> D.C., the workshop consisted of plenary and poster sessions that allowed interaction between federal managers and the applied and basic research communities.1 Workshop participants (see Appendix D) included approximately 40 scientists and engineers who are active in the areas of airborne geophysics and precise positioning, or who are addressing research questions that could benefit from the application of a new generation of airborne geophysical measurements. The workshop (see the agenda in Appendix C) was organized around four principal technical elements of airborne geophysical measurements and the scientific objectives that can be addressed by these new techniques. The themes of the workshop were as follows: •   GPS positioning; •   integrating GPS and Inertial Navigation Systems (INS); •   recovery of topography from aircraft; and •   airborne gravity field measurements. The scientific objectives of the next generation of airborne geophysics programs were discussed within the framework of the technical elements. Working groups chaired by members of the steering committee developed conclusions related to these themes. The major conclusions of the working groups are presented in Appendix B. The following report is based primarily on information presented at the workshop and on the expertise of the workshop participants and the steering committee. The Committee on Geodesy worked with the steering committee in the preparation of this report and takes full responsibility for its conclusions and recommendations. ROBIN E. BELL, CHAIR STEERING COMMITTEE ON AIRBORNE GEOPHYSICS AND PRECISE POSITIONING 1   Abstracts of the papers presented at the workshop are available from the Committee on Geodesy, National Research Council.

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--> Contents     Executive Summary   1     Introduction   1     Summary of Recommendations   3 1   Airborne Geophysics: A Powerful Tool for Studying the Earth   5     Introduction   5        Access   5        Sampling   7        Interdisciplinary Studies   9     Precise Position Capabilities and Requirements   12     Measuring the Earth's Gravity Field   16     Measuring the Earth's Surface Topography   19     Very High Resolution Studies with Airborne Techniques   24 2   Scientific Framework   29     Interdisciplinary Earth Science Studies and Airborne Geophysics   30        Ice Dynamics and Sea Level Rise   30        Erosion Processes and Landform Evolution   31        Hydrologic Cycle   32     Continental Geodynamics and Airborne Geophysics   34        Active Tectonics   35        Volcanology   39        Regional Studies   40     High-Resolution Applications and Airborne Geophysics   41        Resource Exploration   41        Nuclear Verification   42     Geodesy and Airborne Geophysics   44     Global Change Monitoring and Airborne Geophysics   45        Monitoring Ice Sheets and Mountain Glaciers   45        Monitoring Ocean Circulation   46        Ecosystems   47        Hydrology   48

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--> 3   Future Directions   49     Measurement and Positioning Technology   49        Airborne Measurements of the Earth's Gravity Field   49        Airborne Surface Topography Measurements   54     Kinematic GPS Technology   64        Positioning Technology   64        Navigation   68        Orientation   69        Future Directions for Airborne GPS Technology   69     Airborne Platforms   71 4   A Strategy for the Future   75 Appendix A:   Effects of Selective Availability (SA) and Antispoofing (AS)   79 Appendix B:   Conclusions from the Workshop on Airborne Geophysics   85 Appendix C:   Workshop on Airborne Geophysics: The Agenda   87 Appendix D:   Workshop on Airborne Geophysics: List of Participants   95     List of Acronyms   103     References   105

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Airborne Geophysics and Precise Positioning Scientific Issues and Future Directions

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