International Terrestrial Reference System and Frame

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ITRF reference stations

The International Terrestrial Reference System (ITRS) describes procedures for creating reference frames suitable for use with measurements on or near the Earth's surface. This is done in much the same way that a physical standard might be described as a set of procedures for creating a realization of that standard. The ITRS defines a geocentric system of coordinates using the SI system of measurement.

An International Terrestrial Reference Frame (ITRF) is a realization of the ITRS. Its origin is at the center of mass of the whole earth including the oceans and atmosphere. New ITRF solutions are produced every few years, using the latest mathematical and surveying techniques to attempt to realize the ITRS as precisely as possible. Due to experimental error, any given ITRF will differ very slightly from any other realization of the ITRF. The difference between the latest WGS 84 and the latest ITRF (as of 2006) is only a few centimeters.[1]

The ITRS and ITRF solutions are maintained by the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS). Practical navigation systems are in general referenced to a specific ITRF solution, or to their own coordinate systems which are then referenced to an ITRF solution. For example, the Galileo Terrestrial Reference Frame (GTRF) is used for the Galileo navigation system; currently defined as ITRF2005 by the European Space Agency.[2]

ITRF solutions[edit]

The ITRF realizations developed from the ITRS since 1992 include[3]

Name Epoch EPSG
ITRF92 1988.0 4914 First realization of the ITRS
ITRF93 1988.0 4915
ITRF94 1993.0 4916
ITRF96 1997.0 4917
ITRF97 1997.0 4918
ITRF2000 1997.0 4919 First solution that combines unconstrained space geodesy solutions free from any tectonic plate motion model[4]
ITRF2005 2000.0 4896 Constructed with input data under the form of time series of station positions and Earth Orientation Parameters[5]
ITRF2008 2005.0 5332 Includes tropospheric modeling and improved solution methods.[6]
ITRF2014 2010.0 7789 Generated with an enhanced modeling of nonlinear station motions[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Clynch, James R. (February 2006). "Earth coordinates" (PDF). GPS Geodesy and Geophysics. James R. Clynch. Retrieved 24 March 2016.
  2. ^ "Reference Frames in GNSS". Navipedia. European Space Agency.
  3. ^ "International Terrestrial Reference Frame 2014 (ITRF2014)". Quality Positioning Services B.V. Retrieved 3 October 2019.
  4. ^ Altamimi, Zuheir; Sillard, Patrick; Boucher, Claude (2002). "ITRF2000: A new release of the International Terrestrial Reference Frame for earth science applications". Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth. 107 (B10): ETG 2-1–ETG 2-19. Bibcode:2002JGRB..107.2214A. doi:10.1029/2001JB000561.
  5. ^ Altamimi, Z.; Collilieux, X.; Legrand, J.; Garayt, B.; Boucher, C. (2007). "ITRF2005: A new release of the International Terrestrial Reference Frame based on time series of station positions and Earth Orientation Parameters". Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth. 112 (B9): B09401. Bibcode:2007JGRB..112.9401A. doi:10.1029/2007JB004949. hdl:10338.dmlcz/141752.
  6. ^ Altamimi, Zuheir; Collilieux, Xavier; Métivier, Laurent (3 February 2011). "ITRF2008: an improved solution of the international terrestrial reference frame". Journal of Geodesy. 85 (8): 457–473. Bibcode:2011JGeod..85..457A. doi:10.1007/s00190-011-0444-4.
  7. ^ Altamimi, Zuheir; Rebischung, Paul; Métivier, Laurent; Collilieux, Xavier (2016). "ITRF2014: A new release of the International Terrestrial Reference Frame modeling nonlinear station motions". Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth. 121 (8): 6109–6131. Bibcode:2016JGRB..121.6109A. doi:10.1002/2016JB013098.

External links[edit]