The global shape and topography as well as the gravity field and rotational parameters are fundamental properties of planetary bodies. 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. Particular science goals are:
Key aspects of our work are the processing and analyzing of image data from planetary mission, e.g. Mars Express, Cassini, MESSENGER, Rosetta, and Dawn. Another aspect is the analysis of planetary laser altimetry measurements (Mars Global Surveyor, MESSENGER, LRO) as well as planing and preparing the operation of the laser altimeters BELA (BepiColombo Laser Altimeter) and GALA (Ganymede Laser Altimeter). Beyond that, the department coordinates the operation of the German cameras of the European Fireball Network and is responsible for science and data processing support for the meteor camera project SPOSH.