IAG (International Association of Geodesy) is a Constituent Association of the International Association of Geodesy and Geophysics. Within IAG there are four commissions for:
- Reference Frames,
- Gravity Field,
- Earth Rotation and Geodynamics,
- Positioning and Applications.
EUREF (Reference Frame Sub-Commission for Europe) is part of the Commission for Reference Frames, that is regional sub-commission for Europe. The main tasks are:
- to develop GNSS network of permanent stations in close cooperation with IGS (International GNSS Service) for the maintenance of the European Reference Frame,
- to implement the necessary projects for the long-term maintenance of the ETRS89 (European Terrestrial Reference System) and EVRS (European Vertical Reference System), as well as for the improvement of the coherence between both systems,
- promote the adoption of the reference systems defined by EUREF (ETRS89 and EVRS) in the European countries and European-wide organizations involved in geo-referencing activities
EPN (EUREF Permanent Network) is a European network of more than 300 CORS stationsthrough European continent with precisely known coordinates referring to ETRS89. EPN is the key instrument for maintaining geodetic datum ETRS89. EPN stations continuously collect the observation data from high accuracy GNSS receivers from different constellations(GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, Beidou). All contributions to the EPN are provided on a voluntary basis, with more than 100 European agencies and universities involved. Activities of EPN are coordinated by the EUREF. Apart from satellite constellations used until now, such as American GPS and Russian GLONASS, by the year 2020 full operation of Chinese Beidou system and European Galileo is expected. Galileo is EU project realized through ESA (European Space Agency).
This project will prepare our community for the coming technological novelties. Galileo encourages European innovations, contributing to the creation of many new products and services, creating jobs and allowing Europe to own a greater share of the global GNSS market whose value is 175 billion euros.
Apart from traditional geodetic users of high precision positioning services, it is expected to have a significant expansion in users from the sector of railroad and road traffic, precision agriculture, automated construction machines, auto industry, monitoring and risk management,…
With its yearly licences and support, the existing commercial software systems for management of network of permanent stations infrastructure represent a ready solution, but it comes with a price tag of several thousand euros thus not being competitive on smaller markets and representing a high cost for governmental organization. There is also a problem of insufficient adjustability according to specific needs, and the problem of its integration with other solutions.
On the other side, by using our own innovation and research potentials, expert knowledge in the field of GNSS technologies coupled with using open-source tools, we can avoid high costs of establishing the system. This innovation project has a multidisciplinary character as it lies in the sector of science and technologies which includes geoscience, automation and control systems, communication engineering and systems.