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Modern Geodetic Space Techniques for Global Change Monitoring

Introduction

The University of Stuttgart and Wuhan University, China, look back on a two-decade history of collaboration, both in teaching and in research. In the domain of geodesy and geomatics the collaboration has been particularly fruitful, leading to several joint research projects, mutual research stays, student exchanges and joint PhD supervision. This Thematic Network aims to take the existing Stuttgart-Wuhan partnership as the core and to extend it to a veritable network. Two more partners are envisioned in China: Tongji University in Shanghai and the Chinese Academy of Surveying in Mapping. The network will be extended in Europe by the University of Luxembourg and the Deutsche Geodätische Forschungsinstitut.

The aggregated network's expertise in spaceborne geodetic technology, in satellite data analysis and in monitoring and modeling of global change phenomena provides the disciplinary basis of the proposed Thematic Network. Satellite geodesy plays a major role in the long-term monitoring of essential climate variables. Notable examples are: sea-level rise, from satellite altimetry; melting of the Greenland and West-Antarctica ice sheets, from spaceborne gravimetry; and tectonic deformations of the Earth's crust, from global networks of GPS stations. Overall, geodetic techniques provide the metrological means to monitor global change. Satellite techniques, due to their synoptic view and global homogeneity, are key information providers to many agencies, e.g. the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Two objectives will be achieved by the proposed measures. In the education sector, both students (at all levels) and teachers enjoy increased international exchange options to and from Stuttgart. In research, the network acts as a platform for more intense collaboration and for new joint projects.

Both objectives support the internationalization strategy of the University of Stuttgart aiming at improving the quality of teaching and research.



Current status and strategy

Current research status

  • Global Geodetic Observing System - monitoring and modelling the components of Earth’s system by space geodetic techniques


Strategy

  • Extension of the existing Stuttgart–Wuhan partnership to a veritable network with five more partners in China and in Europe
  • Taking the aggregated network’s expertise in spaceborne geodetic technology, in satellite data analysis and in monitoring and modeling of global change phenomena as the disciplinary basis of the proposed Thematic Network


Project goals and measures

Project goals

  • Exchange of scientists, both senior and young postdoctoral fellows, for purposes of joint research in the domain of global change monitoring using modern geodetic techniques
  • Exchange of students and teachers for academic education purposes
  • Supporting the internationalization strategy of the University of Stuttgart aiming at improving the quality of teaching and research
  • Establishment of the planned competence center “University of Stuttgart Global Change Monitoring Centre”
  • Proposing DFG-funded “SFB international” and “International Research Training Groups” in the longer term

Measures

  • Network meetings, short visits of university personnel
  • Longer visits of university personnel
  • Study and research visits for students and junior researchers
  • Workshops and summer schools
  • Conference participation
  • Other exchange programs and joint research projects