Future of National Reference Frames – from static to kinematic?
Divisions of PAS
Technical development, new applications and requests for increased accuracy in georeferencing are setting new demands for accuracy and reliability of reference frames. Due to crustal deformations and local movements of benchmarks, a static reference network deteriorates with time, thus eventually requiring update of the whole system. Technically, renewal of a reference frame is straightforward and should be done whenever enough new data or updated information exist to get an improvement in accuracy. An example is the International Terrestrial Reference Frame, ITRF, which is renewed regularly. The situation is more complicated with national reference frames which may have been given a legal status, and parameters defined by the national legislation. Even without that, renewal and implementation of such a frame is a multi-million euro project taking years to complete. Crustal deformations and movements deteriorate static reference frames (defined by fixed/static coordinates of benchmarks) with time. Eventually, distortions in a static reference frame will become bigger than the uncertainties of GNSS measurements, thus deteriorating the obtainable accuracy of the measurement technique. Instead of a static reference frame, one can use semi-kinematic or kinematic approach where either the transformation from global to the national reference frame or the coordinates of reference frame benchmarks are time-dependent. In this paper we give a short overview of the topic, and discuss on technical issues and future aspects of the reference frames in the viewpoint of National Mapping and Cadastre Authorities (NMA) with an example on the national strategy in Finland.