Theory of Satellite Geodesy

Satellite Geodesy Theory

The three pillars of geodesy, i.e. Geodetic Institute, University of Karlsruhe (TH), Englerstr. The topographical reductions in physical geodesy. Theory of Satellite Geodesy by Kaula.

Optoelectronics: Resonant interference from existing satellites.

Use of artificial satellites for geodesy

Edited by the American Geophysical Union as part of the Geophysicalonograph Series, Volume 15. The monography contains 34 messages presented at the Third International Symposium on the Use of Artificial Satellites for Geodesy in 1971 and 4 invitations on topics that are complementary to each other and ensure consistency. The articles present the latest knowledge in the theory and application of satellite geodesy, as well as new instruments (satellite receivers and terrestrial equipment) for possible use in satellite geodesy.

Both previous symposia were in Washington, D.C. in 1962 and in Athens, Greece, in 1965. PROGRESSING, le premier ouvrage de 1963 vom North-Holland Publishing Company, Amsterdam, und die PROCESSINGS du second von der National Technical University, Athen, 1967 veröffentlicht.


This is the geodesy field that investigates the theory and methodologies for the solution of geodesic phenomena on the base of observation of artificial terrestrial satellite and other cosmic object. By observing the satellite - especially by taking photographs of the satellite against the backdrop of a star with specific camera or by using wireless and lasers to measure the satellite's range and speed - both geometric and dynamic issues can be solved.

Geometric issues concern the definition of the point co-ordinates and the direction of the ground chord. With regard to the dynamic issues, satellite observation allows a more accurate identification of the characteristics of the Earth's gravity fields. Satellite observation can also be used to measure the relativ position of an island or continent, to examine the movement of the Earth's polar regions and to examine changes in the Earth's geodesic parameter over the years.

Use of lasers for measuring distances has rekindled interest in the lunar as an observational tool for resolving satellite geodesy issues. When resolving geometric issues, the satellite is considered to be a point defined in the room at a certain point in it. Observing the satellite synchronously or simultaneously from several fiducials and from a point whose co-ordinates are not known, makes it possible to determine the point's location in a unique coordinate system of fiducials.

Observing several spacecraft makes it possible to set up a satellite trigangulation net or create a vectors pathway (see SPACE GEODESY). In order to resolve dynamic issues, the law of satellite movement in its trajectory must be known (see CELESTIAL MECHANICS). With the so named Orbitalmethode, the knowing of the law of movement of the satellite allows the determination of the co-ordinates of the observing point from the satellite's observed data.

Identifying the gravity fields of the planet with greater precision is a particular difficulty: the multitude of variables to be measured and the need to take into consideration the impact of disturbing satellite movement make it difficult to solve the same. For the best resolution of the issue, soil gravimetry information is used in conjunction with observation or satellite orbit information of different heights and inclinations.

For the investigation or elimination of interference, e.g. interference caused by air resistance, geodesic spacecraft whose trajectories have been specifically chosen for this task are used. Currently, wireless and lasermethods for monitoring the movement of satellite and distant spacecraft are increasingly important in the solution of the dynamic issues of satellite geodesy.

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