Launch of space geodetic observation which is cutting-edge and at the highest level in the world
Japan’s accurate position will be determined with an accuracy of one millimeter.
Facilities for geodetic observation using a cutting-edge space geodetic technique, the next generation Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) VGOS, which are the first ever in Asia, have been completed in Ishioka City, Ibaraki Prefecture. Full-scale operation of the facilities will be launched on May 1, 2016.
Using this technique, accurate positions on the Earth can be determined with an accuracy of one millimeter, at the highest level in the world. This can be expected to improve accuracy of land surveys in Japan.
Contribution of the existing station in Tsukuba
In 1998, Geospatial Information Authority of Japan (GSI) built a parabolic antenna of thirty-two meters in diameter for VLBI in Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Prefecture. Ever since, GSI has determined Japan’s accurate position on the Earth with an accuracy of a few millimeters as a basis of land surveys in Japan. Moreover, we have contributed to adding a leap second and so on by monitoring earth’s movements including plate motions, and precise fluctuations of Earth’s rotation rate.
Launch of Ishioka Geodetic Observing Station
Now, in order to determine accurate positions on the Earth with the world highest accuracy level of one millimeter, we have built state-of-the-art observation facilities iGOS (Ishioka Geodetic Observing Station) on solid ground in Ishioka City, Ibaraki Prefecture, as the first-ever facilities in Asia, and will start observation. Through the observation, the accuracies of surveys and satellite orbit determination are expected to be improved.
Future plan for the antenna in Tsukuba
Operation of the antenna in Tsukuba City will be continued in parallel for the time being. It, however, will be dismantled at the end of 2016 after its eighteen-year history.