Space Geodesy Project

  • Released Tuesday, March 29, 2022
  • Updated Monday, April 11, 2022 at 11:18AM
  • ID: 4986

Space Geodesy Project explanatory visualization

NASA's Space Geodesy Project (SGP) uses a variety of space- and land-based techniques to determine the precise shape, position, and orientation of the Earth with respect to the Terrestrial Reference Frame (TRF) and Earth orientation parameters (EOP). This visualization presents a summary of these techniques.

The visualization begins with a shot of natural-looking Earth, then transitions to a view that shows the orbital components of the SGP, which include global navigation satellite systems (GNSS), satellite laser ranging (SLR) and Doppler Orbitography by Radiopositioning Integrated on Satellite (DORIS).

The view then moves to the surface of the Earth, showing the positions and direction of the motion of ground stations as measured by these techniques, as well by ground-based very long baseline interferometry (VLBI), which uses the radio emissions of distant quasars to determine geodetic measurements.

We then zoom into the center of the Earth to show the consequence of these surface motions: the movement of the geocenter, which these techniques can determine to within millimeters.

Space Geodesy Project explanatory visualization, extended to include Southern Hemisphere stations


Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio

Datasets used in this visualization

LAGEOS-1, LAGEOS-2 60-day geocenter estimate (A.K.A. Degree-1 coefficients) (Collected with the SLR sensor)
International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS)

Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

You may also like...

Loading recommendations...