Section 1 : Time, Earth rotation and Space geodesy
The mission of the Section 1 “Time, Earth Rotation, and Space Geodesy” is to contribute
to the elaboration of reference systems (terrestrial and celestial) and timescales,
theoretically as well as observationally, to integrate Belgium in the international
reference frames (concerning space geodesy and time), and to obtain information
on the Earth’s interior, rotation, dynamics, and crustal deformation, at local, regional,
and global levels. The ultimate goals are the understanding of the dynamics of the Earth’s
interior and surface deformation.
Additionally to the planet Earth, these objectives have been extended to the other terrestrial planets, Mars, Venus, and Mercury, and to the large moons of the solar system planets. These missions are included in a long-term vision, closely related to the international activities and opportunities, and to the activities described in the statute and the strategic plan of the Royal Observatory of Belgium.
The activities of Section 1 are grouped into three general themes: (1) Time and timescales, (2) Space geodesy with GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System), and (3) Rotation and internal structure of the Earth and the other planets that are mentioned in the strategic plan of the ROB. In practice these themes are divided into four different scientific projects (research and/or operational projects). Here we describe the present objectives of the projects and we give important milestones reached recently for each of them. A further description is also provided in the introduction of some projects.