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Geodesy and Geophysics


Welcome to the Geodesy and Geophysics Research

The laboratory performs broad research, in the areas of Earth time variable and static geopotential and geomagnetic fields, Earth orientation, surface deformation, characterization and change, tides, land ice mass evolution, global and regional sea level, and airborne and spaceborne laser altimetry. The laboratory also supports many NASA missions in fundamental and core capabilities including satellite radar and laser altimetry precise positioning, pointing, ranging, timing, geolocation and calibration and validation. The laboratory is a leader in the design, development, implementation and application of airborne and spaceborne geodetic laser altimeter technology and instruments including NASA’s Land, Vegetation, and Ice Sensor (LVIS) and the Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation Lidar (GEDI). The laboratory is the home of the Space Geodesy Project which encompasses the management, development, operation and maintenance of NASA’s Space Geodetic Network that is comprised of the four major space geodetic observing systems: Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI), Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR), Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), and the Doppler Orbitography and Radio-positioning by integrated Satellite (DORIS) system. It is also home to the Crustal Dynamics Data Information System dedicated to the archive and distribution of space geodesy related data sets; as well as the home to GEODYN, NASA’s state-of-the-art geodetic parameter estimation and precision orbit determination system. This laboratory is also home to GGAO for Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR), Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI), and global navigation satellite system (GNSS, including GPS, Global Positioning System and GLONASS, GLObal NAvigation Satellite System) activities. GGAO is one of the few locations in the world where four or more space geodesy techniques are co-located, thus providing scientists with a unique opportunity to assess system performance and perform multi-technique analysis.