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IGS Overview. Ruth Neilan IGS Central Bureau at JPL Pasadena, California USA. Content. Mission & History Organization of the IGS Key Components Working Groups Pilot Projects Applications Resources, IGS CB Information System. In Support of Science.

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Igs overview
IGS Overview

Ruth Neilan

IGS Central Bureau at JPL

Pasadena, California



  • Mission & History

  • Organization of the IGS

    • Key Components

    • Working Groups

    • Pilot Projects

    • Applications

  • Resources, IGS CB Information System

In support of science
In Support of Science

  • The accuracies of the IGS data and products are to be sufficient to support scientific requirements

    • Access to and continued improvement of the ITRF (International Terrestrial Reference Frame)

      • Station position and velocities

      • Monitoring Earth rotation parameters

    • Monitoring deformation of the solid Earth and hydrosphere variations

    • Precise time transfer

    • Scientific satellite orbit determination, LEO’s

    • Ionospheric monitoring and research

    • Atmospheric applications - ground and space based for climate research, eventually weather forecasting

Historical perspective
Historical Perspective

Key factors in formation of IGS

  • All geodynamics and geodetic organizations realized the potential of GPS by early 90’s

  • Motivating goal: Millimeter positioning in support of science anywhere in the world

  • Not one agency can nor should assume the capital investment & recurring operations costs for the entire infrastructure

  • Join with key international partners to form federation, define cooperation, set standards, science quality driven

  • IGS History documented in Annual Report Series (1994)

Organization of the international gps service
Organization of the International GPS Service

Igs overview



NAVSTAR GPS Satellites

Global Data Centers

Analysis Center


Operational & Regional

Data Centers

Analysis Centers


Global Network

Associate Analysis Centers

Telephone - Modem, Radio Links


Practical, Custom,

Commercial, Governments,...

Regional Network

Associate Analysis Centers

IGS Projects and Working Groups


Reference Frame Densification

Precise Time Transfer

Low Earth Orbiters



Sea Level

GLONASS Pilot Service Project

Central Bureau

Management, Network Coordinator,

Central Bureau Information System

GPS Stations

Organization of the igs
Organization of the IGS

  • The IGS accomplishes its mission through the following components:

    • Network of tracking stations

    • Data Centers

    • Analysis Centers and Associate Analysis Centers

    • Analysis Center Coordinator

    • Reference Frame Coordinator

    • Working Groups and Pilot Projects

    • Central Bureau

    • Governing Board

Data centers of the igs
Data Centers of the IGS

Data Centers have three categories (see IGS Data Center Presentation)

  • Operational Centers have direct contact with the stations

  • Regional Centers store all data from a geographic region, some for a special application

  • Global Data Centers (GDC) are the main interface with Analysis Centers and Users, store all data used by Analysis Centers and all IGS products

    • Crustal Dynamics Data Information System

    • Institut Geographique National

    • Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Analysis centers of the igs
Analysis Centers of the IGS

  • Analysis Centers have two categories:

    • Analysis Centers produce daily products on a continuous basis

    • Associate Analysis Centers produce unique products such as station coordinates and velocities, tropospheric information; ionosphere information; they may facilitate distributed processing, analyze dense regional networks, combine network solutions, etc.

      • Global Network Associate Analysis Centers (GNAAC)

      • Regional Network Associate Analysis Centers (RNAAC)

  • Products and applications of the ACs, see IGS Product presentation.

Igs analysis centers
IGS Analysis Centers

  • Analysis Centers

    • Astronomical Institute University of Bern, Switzerland - CODE

    • European Space Operations Center / European Space Agency, Germany - ESOC

    • FLINN Analysis Center, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, USA- JPL

    • GeoForschungsZentrum, Germany - GFZ

    • Geosciences Lab, National Geodetic Survey, USA- NGS

    • Natural Resources Canada, Canada- NRCAN (EMR)

    • Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA – SIO

    • US Naval Observatory, USA - USNO

  • Analysis Coordinator: Tim Springer, University of Bern, formerly Jan Kouba, Natural Resources Canada

Igs central bureau
IGS Central Bureau

  • The Central Bureau is responsible for general management of the IGS and acts as the executive arm of the Governing Board. The CB is located at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

  • The primary functions of the CB are to:

    • Coordinate and manage IGS activities

    • IGS Network Coordination responsibilities formalized in 1998

    • Establish and promote compliance to IGS network standards

    • Monitor network operations and quality assurance of data

    • Develop and operate the Central Bureau Information System (CBIS) website

    • Act as day-to-day liaison with external agencies worldwide

Igs governing board
IGS Governing Board


  • Christoph ReigberGeoForschungsZentrum, Germany Chair, Appointed (IGS) 1999-2002

  • Gerhard Beutler University of Bern, Switzerland Appointed (IAG) ---

  • Mike Bevis University of Hawaii, USA Appointed (IGS) 1998-2001

  • Geoff Blewitt University of Nevada, Reno Analysis Center Representative 1998-2001

  • Claude Boucher Institut Geographique National, ITRF France IERS Representative   ---

  • Carine Bruyninx Royal Observatory, Belgium IGS Representative to IERS  2000-2003

  • John Dow European Operations Center, Germany Network Representative 2000-2003

  • Bjorn Engen Norwegian Mapping Authority Network Representative 1998-2001

  • Joachim Feltens European Operations Center, GermanyIonosphere Working Group Chair 1999-2000

  • Remi Ferland Natural Resources Canada IGS Reference Frame Coordinator 1999-2000

  • Gerd Gendt GeoForschungZentrum Potsdam, Germany Troposphere Working Group Chair 1999-2000

  • Tom Herring Massachusetts Institute of Technology IAG Representative ---

  • John Manning Australian Survey and Land Information Group Appointed (IGS) 2000-2003

  • Ruth Neilan IGSCB, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, USA Director of Central Bureau ---

  • Carey Noll Goddard Space Flight Center, USA Data Center Representative 1998-2001

  • Paul Paquet Royal Observatory of Belgium FAGS Representative ---

  • Jim Ray U.S. Naval Observatory, USA Precise Time Transfer Project, Chair 1999-2000

  • Markus Rothacher Technical University Munich, Germany Analysis Representative 2000-2003

  • Robert Serafin Natl. Center for Atmospheric Research, USA Appointed (IGS) 1998-2001

  • Jim Slater Natl. Imagery and Mapping Agency USA International GLONASS Pilot Project, Chair 2000-2002

  • Tim Springer University of Bern, Switzerland Analysis Center Coordinator 1999-2002

  • Michael Watkins Jet Propulsion Laboratory, USA Low Earth Orbiter Working Group Chair 1999-2000

  • James Zumberge Jet Propulsion Laboratory, USA Analysis Center Representative 2000-2003 

  • Angelyn Moore IGSCB, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, USA Secretariat ---

Contributing organizations people
Contributing Organizations & People

  • Over 80 Contributing Organizations

  • 108 Associate Members

  • More than 1200 Corresponding Members

  • See Resource Sheets (Pages 4 – 7) for details

Contributing organizations

FOMI FOMI Satellite Geodetic Observatory, Budapest, Hungary

GSD Geodetic Survey Division, NRCan, Canada

GFZ GeoForschungsZentrum, Potsdam, Germany

GSI Geographical Survey Institute, Tsukuba, Japan

GIUA Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK, USA

GRDL Geosciences Research and Development Laboratory, NOAA, Silver Spring, MD, USA

GSFC Goddard Space Flight Center / NASA, USA

HRAO Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory, South Africa

IRIS Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology, USA

ICC Institut Cartografic de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain

IGN Institut Geographique National, Paris, France

IMVP Institute for Metrology of Time and Space, GP VNIIFTRI, Mendeleevo, Russia

ISAS Institute for Space and Astronautic Science, Sagamihara, Japan

ISRO Institute for Space Research Observatory, Graz, Austria

IAA Institute of Applied Astronomy, St. Petersburg , Russia

INASAN Institute of Astronomy, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia

IESAS Institute of Earth Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taiwan

IGGA-WUT Institute of Geodesy & Geodetical Astronomy, Warsaw University of Technology, Poland

IGNS Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences, New Zealand

IBGE Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia de Estatistica, Brazil

INEGI Instituto Nacional de Estadistica Geografia e Informatica, Aguascaliente, Mexico

INGEOMINAS Instituto Nacional de Invetigaciones Geologico Mineras (INGEOMINAS), Bogota, Colombia

INPE Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais, Brazil

Contributing Organizations

AWI Alfred Wegener Institute, Germany

AIUB Astronomical Institute, University of Bern, Switzerland

AUSLIG Australian Survey and Land Information Group, Australia

BAKO Bako Surtanal, Indonesia

BKG Bundesamt fuer Kartographie und Geodaesie, Germany

BFL Bundesamt für Landestopographie (Federal Topography), Switzerland

BIPM Bureau International des Poids et Mesures

CSR Center for Space Research, University of Texas at Austin, USA

CNES Centre National de Etudes, Toulouse, France

CEE Centro de Estudios Espaciales, Chile

CICESE Centro de Investigación Científica y de Educación Superior de Ensenada, Mexico

CAS Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

KAO-CAS Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming Astonomical Observatory, China

CSB China Seismological Bureau

CDDIS Crustal Dynamics Data Information System, GSFC/NASA, USA

CMMACS CSIR Centre for Mathematical Modeling and Computer Simulation, Bangalore, India

DUT Delft University of Technology, Netherlands

DITTT Department of Land, Noumea, New Caledonia

DLR/DFD Deutsche Forschungsanstalt für Luft-und Raumfahrt e.V., Neustrelitz, Germany

ERI Earthquake Research Institute, University of Tokyo, Japan

VS NIIFTRI East-Siberian Research Institute for Physicotechnical and Radiotechnical Measurements, Irkutsk, Russia

IVTAN Electromagnetic Field Expedition (Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan) of the Institute of High Temperatures, RAS

ESA European Space Agency, Germany

ESOC European Space Operations Center, Germany

FGI Finnish Geodetic Institute, Finland

Contributing organizations1

IDA International Deployment of Accelerometers / IRIS, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA

ASI Italian Space Agency, Matera, Italy

JPL Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA

KAO Korean Astronomy Observatory, Taejon, Korea

KMS Kort & Matrikelstyrelsen, National Survey and Cadastre, Denmark

LINZ Land Information New Zealand, Wellington

MAO Main Astronomical Observatory of the Ukrainian National Academy, Ukraine

MO Manila Observatory, Philippines

MIT Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA

NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA

NBSM National Bureau of Surveying and Mapping, China

NCAR National Center for Atmospheric Research

NGRI National Geophysical Research Institute, Hyderabad, India

NIMA National Imagery and Mapping Agency, USA

INGM National Institute in Geosciences, Mining and Chemistry (INGEOMINAS), Colombia

NOAA National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, USA

NSF National Science Foundation NRCan Natural Resources of Canada, Ottawa, Canada

ROB Observatoire Royal de Belgium, Brussels, Belgium

OUAT Olsztyn University of Agriculture and Technology, Poland

OSO Onsala Space Observatory, Sweden

GSC Pacific Geoscience Center, Geological Survey of Canada, NRCan, Canada

IERS Paris Observatory, International Earth Rotation Service, Paris, France

POL Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory, UK

ROA Real Instituto y Observatorio de la Armada, Spain

RIG Research Institute of Geodesy, Geodetic Observatory Pecny, Ondrejov, Czech Republic

RGO Royal Greenwich Observatory, UK

RJGC Royal Jordanian Geographic Center

RAS Russian Academy of Sciences

RDAAC Russian Data Archive and Analysis Center, Moscow, Russia

SOEST School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, University of Hawaii,USA

SIO Scripps Institution of Oceanography, San Diego, CA, USA

SAO Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, China

SCIGN Southern California Integrated GPS Network, USA

SRC-PAS Space Research Center of the Astrogeodynamical Observatory, Poland

SK Statens Kartverk, Norwegian Mapping Authority, Norway

SOI Survey of Israel

L+T Swiss Federal Office of Topography, Switzerland

TUM Technical University Munich

USNO U.S. Naval Observatory, USA

UCAR University Consortium for Atmospheric Research

UFPR University Federal de Parana, Brazil

UNAVCO University Navstar Consortium, Boulder, CO, USA

UB University of Bonn, Germany

CU University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO, USA

UNR University of Nevada, Reno, NV, USA

NCL University of Newcastle on Tyne, United Kingdom

UPAD University of Padova, Italy

WING Western Pacific Integrated Network of GPS, Japan

WTU Wuhan Technical University, China

Contributing Organizations

Operations of the igs
Operations of the IGS Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA

  • Operational Data Centers

    • Retrieve data from receivers

    • Validate data and monitor station status

    • Translate raw GPS data into RINEX (Receiver Independent Exchange)

    • Forwards appropriate files to Global Data Centers or Regional Data Centers

  • Global Data Centers organize the files on the basis of site and time, and provide Internet data access to users and analysts

  • IGS Analysis Centers pick up the data from the Global Data Centers, and estimate precise orbits, Earth Rotation parameters (ERP), clocks, etc

  • Analysis Center results are collected by the Analysis Coordinator and combined into the official IGS products

Igs evolution
IGS Evolution Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA

Pilot Project

IAG Approved Service --->

Estimated quality of igs products
Estimated Quality of IGS Products Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA

June 1999

Network densification
Network Densification Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA

  • In 1993 the IGS realized that simultaneous processing of many stations was impractical

  • IGS groups began investigating the rigorous combination of solutions rather than raw data analysis

    • 1994 Workshop on Densification of the International Terrestrial Reference Frame initiated

    • SINEX - Solution Independent Exchange Format accepted in 1996

    • Combination of global station solutions since late ‘96

    • Polyhedron Solutions improving (see Annual Report Series)

    • IGS contribution to ITRF significant

  • Establish IGS Reference Frame Coordinator June ‘99 at Natural Resources of Canada, Remi Ferland

Densification project
Densification Project Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA

Densified IGS network of ~200 - 250 globally well distributed sites -- goal that any user is within 1500 - 2000 km of a precise reference station

  • Regional analyses produced by Associate Analysis Centers called RNAACs (Regional Network Analysis Center) who

    • produce solutions for regional network using IGS products Solutions written into an ascii format call SINEX, Solution Independent Exchange format

  • Regional solution is made available to Global Network Analysis Centers (GNAACs) who

    • combine and compare solutions from all regional analysis centers

  • Result is a dense homogeneous network of stations in unique, consistent reference frame (ITRF)

  • Igs bipm precise time transfer
    IGS/BIPM Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USAPrecise Time Transfer

    • Chaired by J. Ray, USNO (USA) & F. Arias, BIPM (France) Study accurate time and frequency comparisons

      • Develop operational strategies to exploit GPS measurements for improved accurate time and frequency comparisons world

    • Significant to maintaining UTC as new generation of frequency standards emerge

      • New/upgrade receivers at time labs

      • Data analysis

      • Key issue is calibration of instrumental delays to relate GPS clock estimates to external standards

      • Time transfer comparisons, simultaneously with independent techniques

    Ionosphere working group
    Ionosphere Working Group Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA

    • Chaired by J. Feltens, ESA-ESOC, Germany

    • Working group, active through increasing solar maximum

      • Calibration of Radio Signals (GPS and others)

      • Ionosphere Maps

        • Develop combined IGS global ION maps

        • Validation of maps, may lead to improved IGS ionosphere model

      • Assessing stochastic behavior of the Ionosphere

      • Supported high rate GPS data acquisition and analysis during August 11, 1999 solar eclipse

    • IONEX is the ascii file exchange format; these files can be accessed at the Global Data Centers

    Leo low earth orbiters
    LEO (Low Earth Orbiters) Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA

    • Working Group chaired by M. Watkins, JPL, USA

      • Determine role of IGS in future GPS LEO missions, POD +?

      • Oersted,Sunsat, SAC-C, CHAMP, GRACE, GLAS, …

      • Support of LEO occultation experiments for atmospheric profiling

    • IGS Network component, obvious infrastructure to support robust, high-rate, low latency data requirements

      • Other applications require timely availability of data (seconds to hourly)

    • Discussing LEO data as element of IGS

      • Analyze effects of inclusion in analysis, improve IGS Products?

      • Evaluate potential contribution of AC’s to LEO effort

    • Use early missions as case studies and analysis proof of concept

    Troposphere project
    Troposphere Project Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA

    • Chaired by G. Gendt, GFZ, Germany

    • Continuous well distributed measurements of water vapor are of great interest for numerical weather prediction, climate research and atmospheric studies

      • Collocation of precise meteorological instruments to convert Zenith Path Delay (ZPD) to Percipitable Water Vapor (PWV), need dry delay from barometric pressure, more meteorological instruments needed

      • Zenith Path Delay (ZPD) estimated by all IGS AC

      • ~100 sites, combined ZPD at 2 hour interval

      • Consistency of Combination among Acs at 4mm level

      • Comparison to Water Vapor Radiometer (WVR) at Potsdam agree to 1mm of Precipitable Water Vapor (PWV)

    • Official product available at GDC’s & CBIS

    Glonass pilot service
    GLONASS Pilot Service Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA

    • International GLONASS experiment IGEX, Investigated uses of GLONASS for geodetic and geophysical applications

      • October’98 - April’99, 61 GLONASS sites, 30 SLR stations

      • Interoperability of GPS/GLONASS

      • Precise Orbit determination and reference frame: PZ90 - ITRF96/97

      • Time offsets between GPS and GLONASS systems and GLONASS systems to UTC

      • Orbits average throughout ~ 20- 30 cm between ACs

      • 1m level comparisons GPS-SLR solutions

    • Demonstrates the extensibility of IGS to accommodate other microwave systems, e.g. GALILEO, GNSS

    • Pilot Service charter approved by IGSCB, effort led by J. Slater, NIMA USA

    Sea level monitoring
    Sea Level Monitoring Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA

    • GPS for monitoring tide gauge benchmarks (TGBM) and altimeter calibration

      • Decouple crustal deformation effects at tide gauge benchmarks from ‘true’ long term sea level trends

    • IGS/PSMSL (Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level) -- Cross discipline, joint activity

    • Currently an seed initiative, not yet a full working group in IGS

    • Recommendations stemming from 1997 workshop, see IGS publications

    • Technical specifications development led by M. Bevis, University of Hawaii, USA, member IGS GB, Chair of IAG Subcommission VIII

      • Recent list prepared of GPS at TGBM (IGSMail #2501)

    Igs web site
    IGS Web Site Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA

    The Central Bureau Information System is a key resource for all users

    • One of the first websites in 1993, originally developed with W. Gurtner , AIUB

    • IGSMail, IGS Reports

    • IGS Directory, Calendar

    • On-line Publications

    • Links to IGS sites and other locations of interest

    • Rich FTP archives

    • Tracking station information, site logs, network information

    • FAQ

    Summary Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA

    • The economics of GPS make the measurement technology available to all IGS users

    • The organization and outreach of the IGS enables users to take advantage of data, systems, and products developed cooperatively with the top international GPS experts

    • Through the IGS standards are developed and adopted worldwide, contributing to robust, homogenous reference frame and implementing common processes

    • IGS is a supporting foundation for nearly all GPS projects and numerous applications

    Conclusion Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA

    • Tutorial development is our approach to promote extended and appropriate use of IGS products

      • Plan to continue developing tutorial

      • Many thanks to those involved in preparing the tutorial

      • Special thanks to Jan Kouba for coordinating this effort

    • It is the dedicated contribution of many people and organizations that make the IGS so successful!