The Department of Planetary Geodesy (ZGP) has existed since 1965 successively: in the Department of Geophysics of the Polish Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Geophysics of the Polish Academy of Sciences, and since 1977 as one of the departments of the Space Research Center of the Polish Academy of Sciences. The Department includes the Satellite Geodesy Laboratory based in Warsaw and the Astrogeodynamic Observatory in Borówc, near Poznań. The Laboratory also includes the Geodynamic Laboratory in Książ and GNSS Observation Stations in Warsaw and Władysławowo.
Modern Earth research cannot be done without space technology, hence the location of geodynamic research at the Space Research Center. Both strictly research topics, related to the structure and dynamics of the Earth’s globe, and the practice of routine surveying and navigation, rely on the use of satellite technology. In particular, the development in recent years of navigational GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite Systems) provides constant new impetus for both cognitive work and broader applications. At the same time, relationships are emerging with other developing fields, such as astronomy, fundamental physics, geophysics, geology, and ecology. This necessitates a wide-ranging, interdisciplinary subject matter that fits into both basic research and that yields practical applications.
The research topics of the Department of Planetary Geodesy of the CBK PAN include:
- Studies of the Earth’s rotational motion, including the movement of the Earth’s pole;
- Modeling and determination of deformations of the Earth’s globe, including changes in position related to tectonics and local phenomena;
- Studying and determining changes in the Earth’s gravitational field;
- Measurement and analysis of Earth’s tides;
- Tectonic and geochemical phenomena;
- Sea level changes.
Satellite geodesy methods and techniques including:
- Global coordinate systems, including world and national time scales;
- Realization of modern spatial geodetic networks using satellite techniques;
- New techniques for precise positioning and navigation using artificial satellites, including laser measurement techniques;
- Methods of determining orbits of satellites;
- Observations and trajectory determination of space debris (space debris);
- Innovative techniques of satellite geodesy.
The Department operates the following permanent measurement and observation services:
- Laser Rangefinder (SLR) station at the Borowiec Observatory (#7811)
- A permanent GPS station in Borowiec, operating as part of the IGS service (BOR1)
- Time service at the Borowiec Observatory
- Changes in the field of gravity – Earth tides and rock mass movements – Laboratory in Książ
- GNSS permanent station in Władysławowo
- GNSS laboratory in Warsaw.
The Department participates in the work of the European Space Agency ESA and the European Commission on the development and use of GALILEO, EGNOS and the construction and development of the Space Situational Awareness (SSA) program.