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[IGSMAIL-3577]: Summary of GB Meeting(s)

IGS Electronic Mail      30 Oct 08:50:33 PST 2001      Message Number 3577

Author: Christoph Reigber

Dear colleagues,

This message summarizes discussions at the last IGS Governing Board
Meetings. The March meeting in Nice will be recapped, and key issues at
the recent Board meeting held in Budapest will be described.

But first, let me say that the postponement of the Ottawa Workshop has
been met understandably with a mixture of relief and disappointment. Due
to recent events of global impact, it was important to consider the
safety and comfort of our IGS community and after lengthy and serious
discussion between Ruth, Norman and myself we found that we had to
decide as it was later announced. Hopefully this postponement until
early next year will ensure an opportunity for a balanced US, non-US
participation and result in an effective, successful workshop. The new
date will be fixed very soon and I encourage as many people as possible
to attend this very important workshop encompassing all components of
the IGS.

16th Governing Board Meeting, Nice France March 25

- LEO Developments
John Dow, ESA/ESOC described ESOC's support of the LEO project and
resources made available to him for funding the position of LEO Project
Associate Analysis Coordinator. He announced that Henno Boomkamp was
selected for this position. Please see IGSMail # 3216. There is a new
IGS LEO mail distribution service:,
And the new LEO AAC website developed by Boomkamp:

- Next Analysis Center Coordinator
A key topic of both the 16th and 17th Governing Board Meetings is the
succession of ACC -- Robert Weber will complete his term at the end of
2002. A replacement coordinator and sponsoring organization must be
identified by mid-2002 in order for a smooth transition. Robert, the GB
and the ACs will be exploring options for what center may be interested
in assuming this responsibility. It was discussed that perhaps one of
the Associate Analysis Centers may even be interested.

- Real-Time Working Group
As noted in the minutes from the December 2000 GB, a real-time working
group was recommended to be formed within the IGS. Natural Resources of
Canada (NRCan) stepped forward with a proposal to chair this working
group which will be led by Mark Caissy. The charter was presented by
Norm Beck and was approved by the Board.  JPL's Ron Muellerschoen will
act as co-chair. The Charter is as follows:

IGS Real Time Working Group (RTWG)

The IGS Real-time Working Group (RTWG) will assess and address issues
that pertain to the IGS developing real-time infrastructure and
processes.  In addressing these issues the RTWG will cooperatively work
towards a functional and scaleable model which demonstrates the
real-time delivery of raw data and the dissemination of products to
real-time analysis centers and simulated or actual real-time users
respectively.  The activities of the RTWG will consist of the required
planning, designing and implementing stages necessary for a prototype
infrastructure and processes.  A pilot project will be recommended
following the completion of activities.

The RTWG will plan, design and implement a prototype system for the
support of precise real-time positioning guided by the principles of
robustness, sustainability and acceptance.  The primary products of such
a system will be GPS/GNSS station data and satellite orbits and clocks,
made available to the user by Internet and other economical and
available streaming technologies.  Potential user groups include from
among others; geodetic agencies mandated to provide access to a globally
consistent reference frame for all position applications, precision
navigation users (LEO), agencies involved in natural hazards monitoring,
prediction, warning and response, structural engineering monitoring,
near/real-time atmospheric monitoring for weather prediction, real-time
earthquake seismology (simultaneously with seismological analysis), and
time transfer and dissemination.

The requirements for the system will impact all components of the IGS
and it will therefore be imperative that the RTWG receive cooperation
and participation from all components with frequent and ongoing
communication and meetings as required.

- Sea Level Pilot Project
A charter was presented for a new IGS pilot project titled 'TIGA', a
tide gauge benchmark and altimeter calibration pilot project. This
project will be led by Tilo Schoene of GFZ Potsdam and brings a
cooperative structure together for many interested groups and people
working on this topic. A call for participation was developed and
released June. Please see the project pages at the TIGA Web site:

- African Continental Reference System - AFREF
The developing AFREF initiative was also discussed at both board
meetings. In March, a meeting focusing on a developing a regional
approach to a continental reference frame was held in Cape Town South
Africa and chaired by Richard Wonnacott of the Directorate of Survey
Services, South Africa. This meeting involved representatives from more
than eight countries in southern Africa. AFREF is strongly supported by
the IAG with the IGS & IERS as primary contributing services of the IAG.
For more information on developments related to AFREF please see the
AFREF mail distribution:

Summary: 17th Governing Board Meeting
Budapest, Hungary on September 2, in conjunction with the IAG General

The first agenda point was to review the status of the Central Bureau.
The CB experienced difficulties in funding in fiscal year 2001 with a
budget shortfall. Funding has decreased over the past two years
resulting in staff reduction and inability to complete certain tasks,
such as the delay of the IGS publications for 1999/2000. This is
apparently due to the overall decreasing funding levels authorized for
the NASA Earth Science program, the sponsor of the CB, as well as for
the geodetic GPS, SLR and VLBI activities within NASA. The CB reported
that just prior to Budapest, an augmentation in funding was received
which kept the Central Bureau operational and enabled participation in
the Budapest meetings. This allocation is largely due to Dr. Jack Kaye
and Dr. John LeBrecque at NASA headquarters. The Board noted the
critical nature of the Central Bureau to the IGS organization and will
be assessing required resources to ensure expected performance. The
evolving IGS and an appropriately structured Central Bureau is one key
point resulting from the IGS strategic planning process.

The CB summarized recent meetings with people from the Crustal Motion
Observation Network Of China (CMONOC). The CMONOC is responsible for the
GPS operational network in China. Representatives from CMONOC have
expressed their interest in joining the IGS and acting as a Regional
Analysis Center, Regional Data Center, eventually a Global Data Center
and a mirror site for the Central Bureau Information System. A letter of
intent to cooperate between the IGS and CMONOC was circulated to the GB,
and future cooperation encouraged.

Much of the meeting in Budapest was devoted to finalizing the IGS
Strategic Plan. This was described in the January IGSMail #3184. Prior
to this 17th GB meeting, a ten-page strategic plan summary was
distributed to all GB members for review. Considerable discussion took
place to ensure that all members were in agreement on both content and
text. A number of the wording changes were given to Ruth Neilan and
further comments were solicited from the GB in writing. The intent is to
finalize the ten-page summary for distribution as a published document,
as well as a three-page shorter version prepared as a brochure or
leaflet that can be widely distributed.

Another focus of the board meeting was the approval of IGS Associate
Member list. This year, IGS elections will be held since terms are being
completed for Geoff Blewitt, an Analysis Center Representative (eligible
for a new term); Bjorn Engen, a Network Representative; and for Carey
Noll, Data Center Representative. The new list of 127 IGS Associates can
be found on the IGS Web site at:
A nominations committee for the election of new governing board members
was established in March and is chaired by John Dow, ESA/ESOC, and
includes Markus Rothacher, Technical University of Munich; and Jim
Zumberge, JPL (all three GB members). The election process will begin
via e-mail shortly, and will be completed at the IGS Governing Board
Meeting scheduled in conjunction with the AGU in San Francisco, week of
December 10.

Tilo Schoene, who was welcomed to his first GB meeting, provided a
status report on the TIGA project. Schoene reported the excellent
response to the TIGA CFP. An important aspect of this project is the
approach to analysis processing. Since GPS data collocated at tide gauge
benchmark sites is oftentimes not available with low latency, this
project will have centers who processing GPS station data with delays of
weeks or longer. There will also be analysis centers that will analyze
data both forward and backward in time, developing a time series with a
one-year delay. These TIGA Associate Analysis Centers (TAACs) will also
generate PWV, comparisons with absolute gravity, combinations with SLR
and VLBI.

A proposed IGS working group to focus on GNSS and Galileo is strongly
recommended by the Board. The GB agreed that this was an area for the
IGS to be involved in with potential benefits resulting, as additional
satellite systems become available.

Brief summaries of other working group and project activities were
provided and briefly discussed. Of note is that the Ionosphere Working
Group plans to have a review session sometime early in 2002, and the
IGLOSS-PP still needs attention in terms of letters to participants.

Please feel free to contact the Central Bureau or me if you have any

Sincere regards,

Chris Reigber

Christoph Reigber/Chair
Gerhard Beutler/Appointed (IAG)
Mike Bevis/Appointed (IGS)
Geoff Blewitt/Analysis Center Representative
Claude Boucher/IERS Representative to IGS
Carine Bruyninx/IGS Representative to the IERS
Mark Caissy/Real-Time Working Group Chair
John Dow/Network Representative
Bjorn Engen/Network Representative
Joachim Feltens/Ionosphere Working Group Chair
Remi Ferland/IGS Reference Frame Coordinator
Gerd Gendt/Troposphere Working Group Chair
Tom Herring/IAG Representative
John Manning /Appointed (IGS)
Ruth Neilan/Director of IGS Central Bureau
Carey Noll/Data Center Representative
Paul Paquet/FAGS Representative
Jim Ray/Precise Time Transfer Project, Chair
Markus Rothacher/Analysis Representative
Tilo Schoene/TIGA Pilot Project Chair
Robert Serafin/Appointed (IGS)
Jim Slater/GLONASS Pilot Project, Chair
Robert Weber/Analysis Center Coordinator
Michael Watkins/LEO Working Group, Chair
Jim Zumberge/Analysis Representative

Angelyn Moore/Secretariat

Strategic Planning Committee, additional members:
Norman Beck
Bill Melbourne
Ivan Mueller

Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr.-Ing. E.h. Christoph Reigber
GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam (GFZ)
Division 1: Kinematics & Dynamics of the Earth
Telegrafenberg A 17, D-14473 Potsdam, Germany

phone: +49 (0)331 288-1100, -1101 (secr.)
fax: +49 (0)331 288-1111
e-mail: reigber @