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GRAV-D GRAV-D G G ravity for the ravity for the R R e-definition of e-definition of the the A A merican merican V V ertical ertical D D atum atum

GRAV-D G ravity for the R e-definition of the A merican V ertical D atum

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Page 1: GRAV-D G ravity for the R e-definition of the A merican V ertical D atum

GRAV-DGRAV-D

GGravity for the ravity for the RRe-definition of the e-definition of the

AAmerican merican VVertical ertical DDatumatum

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Why this briefing?

• NGS recently acquired a new airborne gravimeter– Intended to support GRAV-D

• GRAV-D is an ambitious new plan for NGS to accomplish part of its mission– Up front costs– Long-term savings– A huge contribution to GEOSS– Part of the NGS, NOS and NOAA missions

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• The first, middle and last point of GRAV-D:

Gravity and Heights are inseparably connected

• Or (to borrow from a common bumper sticker):– No gravity, no height– Know gravity, know height

Q: What is GRAV-D?

A: Gravity to determine heights accurately

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Dominant Height Systems in use in the USA

• Orthometric– Colloquially, but incorrectly, called “height above

mean sea level”– On most topographic maps– Is a >99% successful method to tell which way water

will flow

• Ellipsoid– Almost exclusively from GPS– Won’t tell water flow / floodplains

• Dynamic– Directly proportional to potential energy : always tells

which way water will flow– Dynamic heights are not lengths!– More on this later…

RequiresGravity

RequiresGravity

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Heights

• Most heights need to refer to some “reference surface”

• The reference surface is part of the “vertical datum”

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Orthometric Height (H)• The distance along the plumb line from the geoid

up to the point of interest

H

Earth’sSurface

The Geoid

(Shape and locationdetermined by Earth’sgravity field)

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Ellipsoid Height (h)• The distance along the ellipsoidal normal from

some ellipsoid up to the point of interest

h

h

Earth’sSurface

An Ellipsoid

(Shape and locationare mathematical abstractions)

Another Ellipsoid

(Shape and locationare mathematical abstractions)

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Geoid Undulation (N)• The distance along the ellipsoidal normal from

some ellipsoid up to the geoid

h H

N

The Geoid

A chosen Ellipsoid

H ≈ h-N

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Vertical Datums in the USA

• Ellipsoid heights: NAD 83

• Orthometric heights: NAVD 88

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Vertical Datum – History(Orthometric Heights)

• 1807 – 1996– Defined and Accessed – Leveling/Passive Marks– NAVD 88: 600,000+ Marks

• NGS detects hundreds moved/destroyed every year• How many go undetected?

– Post-Glacial-Rebound, Subsidence, Tectonics, Frost-Heave – lots of motion out there!

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Leveling to define and use NAVD 88

• Leveling– Measure geometric changes point to point– Correct for multiple physical effects– Attempts to yield differential geopotential (energy) levels

– Convert from geopotential to dynamic height or orthometric height

– Very time consuming and tedious

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Why isn’t NAVD 88 good enough anymore?

• The GPS era brought fast, accurate ellipsoid heights – naturally this drove a desire for fast, accurate orthometric heights

• Leveling the country can not be done again– Too costly in time and money

• Leveling yields cross-country error build-up

• Leveling requires leaving behind marks – Bulldozers and crustal motion do their worst

• NAVD 88 H=0 level is known not to be the geoid– Biases , Tilts

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Orthometric Height (H)• The distance along the plumb line from the geoid

up to the point of interest

H

Earth’sSurface

The Geoid

NAVD 88 reference level

H (NAVD 88)

Errors in NAVD 88 : ~50 cm ave, 100 cm CONUS tilt, 1-2 meters ave in Alaska NO tracking

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Fast, Accurate Orthometric Heights

• GPS already gives fast accurate ellipsoid heights

• If the geoid were determined to highest accuracy…

• Voila… Fast, accurate orthometric heights– Anywhere in the nation– Time-changes to H determined through:

• GPS on CORS (h changes)• Absolute gravity spot checks (N changes)

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Intermission…

• To get fast, accurate, inexpensive orthometric heights, all pieces are in place except one:

– A well known, and time-tracked geoid model

• Thus “GRAV-D”– Gravity for the Re-definition of the American Vertical Datum

– Get good gravity once (airborne gravity)– Track gravity on a broad scale over time (absolute gravity)– Replace NAVD 88 with a sustainable, accurate, inexpensive

vertical datum

– Up front cost is “high”, but pay off is sustainability at low-cost!

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• Official NGS policy as of Nov 14, 2007– $38.5M over 10 years

• Airborne Gravity Snapshot

• Absolute Gravity Tracking

• Re-define the Vertical Datum of the USA by 2017

Q: What is GRAV-D?

A: A Plan (released Dec 2007)

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Mission of NGS

• To define, maintain and provide access to the National Spatial Reference System to meet our nation’s economic, social, and environmental needs

And

• To be a world leader in geospatial activities, including the development and promotion of standards, specifications, and guidelines.

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Missions and GRAV-D

• NGS can neither fulfill their mission, nor contribute to the NOS and NOAA missions without modernizing the vertical datum component of the NSRS

• Only GRAV-D offers a sustainable, accurate method for doing this

Page 19: GRAV-D G ravity for the R e-definition of the A merican V ertical D atum

• National Scale has 2 parts:– High Resolution Snapshot (Campaign I)– Low Resolution Movie (Campaign II)

• Local/Regional Scale has 1 part:– High Resolution Movie (Campaign III)

GRAV-D

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GRAV-D

• National High Resolution Snapshot

– Predominantly through airborne gravity

– With Absolute Gravity for ties and checks

– Relative Gravity for expanding local regions where airborne shows significant mismatch with existing terrestrial

Page 21: GRAV-D G ravity for the R e-definition of the A merican V ertical D atum

Ship gravity

Terrestrial gravity

New Orleans

20-100 km gravity gaps along coast

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GRAV-D: Campaign IPhase I, Part 1 - Testing

• Test varieties of flight heights / speeds / spacings for optimal ratio of

$$ : g-accuracy

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GRAV-D: Campaign IPhase I, Part 2 - Testing

• Test area for proof of concept to define vertical datum from GPS + gravimetric geoid

• PR/VI cost would run ~$300k

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GRAV-D: Campaign IPhase II - Operations

• In a carefully chosen order…

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GRAV-D: Campaign II“Monitor Gravity over time”

• National Low Resolution “Movie” of gravity

– Epochal (annual?) absolute gravity re-measurements at key areas

– GRACE / GRACE-follow-on for more global signatures

Page 41: GRAV-D G ravity for the R e-definition of the A merican V ertical D atum

GRAV-D: Campaign IIMonitor Gravity (“Low Resolution Movie”)

Measure gravity at each point, annually.

Model gravity changes over time.

Convert to geoid changes over time.

Use with tracked GPS stations (CORS) to get orthometric heightchanges over time.

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GRAV-D: Campaign III(Local/Regional Surveys)

• Regional High Resolution Movie

– Certain regions may require repetitive surveys to model the diversity of mass changes occurring locally

– Can not be done with NGS personnel as is

– Survey Types:• Gravity (absolute + relative)• Co-located GPS+Leveling in space/time

– Minimally constrained

Page 43: GRAV-D G ravity for the R e-definition of the A merican V ertical D atum

GRAV-D• Airborne

– Critically needed as a one-time high resolution “snapshot” of gravity in the USA

• As opposed to the thousands of surveys, with hundreds of instruments and operators over dozens of years

– One time survey

• Absolute– Cyclical for episodic checks in fixed locales– Co-incident with foundation CORS?– Two field meters plus one fixed SG

• Relative– More frequently attached to “Height Mod” surveys

Page 44: GRAV-D G ravity for the R e-definition of the A merican V ertical D atum

GRAV-D Status• 2007 Feb 12: NGS Releases Draft of 10 year plan (first public reference to re-

definition of vertical datum redefinition)

• 2007 Apr 10-11: NGS Holds Gravity Seminar at Corbin

• 2007 Oct 25: NGS Acquires Airborne Gravimeter

• 2007 Nov 14: NGS Releases Final Version of the GRAV-D plan

• 2007 Nov 15-17: NGS Trains Airborne Gravimeter Operators

• 2008 Jan 9: NGS Finalizes 10 year plan (codifying re-definition of vertical datum through GRAV-D)

• 2008 Jan 14-Feb 15: Initial Flights of Airborne Gravimeter in Gulf Coast

Coming soon:

• 2008 March: NGS seeking MOU’s with Federal, State and Academic partners to assist in funding and executing GRAV-D

Page 45: GRAV-D G ravity for the R e-definition of the A merican V ertical D atum

Should anyone lose sight of why NGS cares about knowing and maintaining accurate heights…

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Questions/Comments?

• Dr. Dru Smith• Chief Geodesist, National Geodetic Survey

[email protected]• 301-713-3222 x 144

• http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/GRAV-D/

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Extra Slides

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Airborne Meter

First build (Oct 2007) Initial road tests (Nov 2007)

Unit is TAGS (Turn-key Airborne Gravity System)

• Sensor, Software and Training sold as a package from Micro-G/LaCoste

• Has been flight tested and proven as the most accurate airborne meter available

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Next Steps

• NGS has released the GRAV-D plan as its official way forward to fulfill the orthometric height portion of its mission

• Airborne “snapshot”– 10 years– $38.5M (PPBES , MOUs, ???)

• Absolute “movie” (time tracking)– $200k (base)– This is the annual cost of sustaining fast,

inexpensive, cm-accurate orthometric heights in a dynamic USA from GPS and a geoid model

Page 50: GRAV-D G ravity for the R e-definition of the A merican V ertical D atum

Mission of NOS

• To provide products, services, and information that promote safe navigation, support coastal communities, sustain marine ecosystems, and mitigate coastal hazards.

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Mission of NOAA

• To understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment and conserve and manage coastal and marine resources to meet our nation’s economic, social and environmental needs