Department: Planetary Geodesy

Planetary Geodesy

Size, shape, rotation, and gravity field are fundamental properties of any planetary body. The Institute’s Planetary Geodesy Department is concerned with the determination and the detailed study of these properties, including how they might affect geophysical processes. General science goals are:

  • Definition of reference systems
  • Determination of rotation parameters, including effects of precession and libration
  • Establishment of planetary geodetic control point networks
  • Establishment of global and local three-dimensional surface representations
  • Creation of geocoded image data and maps

In this context, the specific tasks of the Department are the photogrammetric processing and analysis of data for the

  • HRSC (High Resolution Stereo Camera) on the European Mars Express spacecraft
  • HRSC-A airborne camera
  • ISS- camera on the Cassini spacecraft

The Institute’s Geodesy Department is also involved in the preparation of the future ESA cornerstone mission BepiColombo to planet Mercury, in particular, the planning for the operation, processing and analysis of the data from the oboard instrument BELA (BepiColombo Laser Altimeter). The Department supports the design and construction of the Laser Altimeter with scientific consulting.

Beyond that, the Department operates the cameras in Germany for the European Fireball Network and is responsible for science and data processing support for the meteor camera project SPOSH.

Prof.Dr. Jürgen Oberst
German Aerospace Center

Institute of Planetary Research
, Planetary Geodesy
Tel: +49 30 67055-336

Fax: +49 30 67055-402

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