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609. WE-Heraeus-Seminar

Generously funded by:

Relativistic Geodesy:
Foundations and Applications

WE-Heraeus logo

Physikzentrum Bad Honnef, Bad Honnef, Germany, 13.03. - 19.03.2016

Organizers: D. Puetzfeld (ZARM, U Bremen), C. Laemmerzahl (ZARM, U Bremen)
relgeo2016 logo

Scientific Topics

  • Relativistic foundations of geodesy (fundamental notions and methods)
    • Relativistic approximation methods
    • Relativistic definitions of geodetic notions
    • Methods for clock comparison
    • Reference systems
  • Applications (modeling of experiments and missions)
    • Satellite geodesy
    • Modeling of positioning systems
    • Modeling of clocks and clock networks
    • High-precision models of earth's gravity field
    • Tests of gravitational theories
  • Observations (interpretation of current and future experiments)
    • Realization of a global time scale
    • Interferometric methods
    • De-correlation of observational data
    • Present and future space missions
    • Technical aspects and future developments of positioning systems


The 609. WE-Heraeus-Seminar will take place at the Physikzentrum Bad Honnef (PBH) in Germany.

Directions to the PBH can be found here (the closest airport to Bad Honnef is Cologne-Bonn - airport code CGN).

Important dates and registration

We particularly encourage students and young researchers to participate in this seminar. Potential participants should send an email (indicating their academic status (master student, PhD student, postdoc etc.) and include their departmental address as well as their email) by

15 December 2015
relgeo2016 (at)

The final selection of participants will be made until 10 January 2016 by the organizers. There are no conference fees. The living expenses (overnight costs and meals) for all selected participants will be covered by the WE-Heraeus foundation. Since the number of participants to this seminar is limited we encourage early registrations.


List of confirmed speakers in alphabetical order. Please click on the speakers name to see the title and abstract of the talk.

A. Bauch I. Ciufolini B. Coll P. Delva J. Flury
C. Gerekos E.W. Grafarend G. Grosche B. Hartmann A. Hees
A. Heffernan F.W. Hehl G. Heinzel U. Hugentobler Y. Itin
R. Koenig S. Kopeikin C. Le Poncin-Lafitte C. Laemmerzahl P. Hogan
T. Mayer-Guerr T. Mehlstaeubler J. Mueller Y.N. Obukhov V. Perlick
D. Puetzfeld H. Quevedo S. Schiller P. Schmidt S. Schoen
J.W. van Holten

Click here to browse the title and abstract list.


Sunday 13. March

17:00 - 21:00 Registration at the Physikzentrum Bad Honnef
18:30 Dinner

Monday 14. March

Time Speaker Title
08:45 Organizers Welcome & Conference overview / organizational remarks
09:00 Puetzfeld Determination of the gravitational field by means of deviation equations in General Relativity
09:45 Quevedo Determination of the metric from the curvature
10:45 Coffee break
11:15 Bauch A status report on time and frequency metrology
12:15 Conference photo
12:45 Lunch
14:15 Delva Chronometric geodesy: methods and applications
15:15 Heinzel The Laser Ranging Interferometer on GRACE Follow-on
16:15 Coffee break
16:45 Schmidt Transportable optical clocks for relativistic geodesy
17:35 Mehlstaeubler Towards Optical Clocks based on Ion Coulomb Crystals
19:00 Heraeus Abend

Tuesday 15. March

Time Speaker Title
08:45 Schiller The Space Optical Clocks mission on the ISS: concept and development of a prototype lattice clock
09:45 Flury Relativistic geodesy: perspectives and applications
10:45 Coffee break
11:15 Schoen GNSS and Clocks: between Navigation Geometry and Physics
12:45 Lunch
14:15 Coll Epistemic relativity: An experimental approach to physics
15:15 Grafarend The geodetic anholonomity problem
15:45 Hehl Real lightlike frames in physics and geodesy
16:45 Coffee break
17:15 Gerekos The time transfer and Synge world functions in relativistic global navigation satellite systems Part 1
17:35 Heffernan The time transfer and Synge world functions in relativistic global navigation satellite systems Part 2
18:00 Jorda Introduction of the WE-Heraeus foundation
18:15 Poster flash
19:00 Dinner
20:00 Poster session

Wednesday 16. March

Time Speaker Title
08:45 Hugentobler Stable Clocks in Satellite Geodesy
09:45 Koenig Measurement of Frame-Dragging with Geodetic Satellites based on Gravity Field Models from CHAMP, GRACE and Beyond
10:45 Coffee break
11:15 Ciufolini Status of the LARES Space Experiment to Test General Relativity with Satellite Laser-Ranging and GRACE Earth Gravity Models
12:15 Mayer-Guerr From satellites measurements to mass variations in the system Earth - Processing of GRACE data at the TU Graz
13:15 Lunch
14:30 Excursion
19:00 Dinner

Thursday 17. March

Time Speaker Title
08:45 Mueller The benefit of clock measurements for gravity field applications
09:45 Grosche Frequency transfer through long-distance optical fiber links
10:45 Coffee break
11:15 Kopeikin Reference-ellipsoid and the normal gravity field in the post-Newtonian geodesy
12:45 Lunch
14:15 Obukhov Motion of test bodies: moments, symmetries, reference frames
15:15 van Holten World-line perturbation theory
16:15 Coffee break
16:45 Itin Quadratic invariants of the elasticity tensor
17:45 Hogan A Snapshot of J. L. Synge
19:00 Dinner
20:00 Poster price

Friday 18. March

Time Speaker Title
08:45 Hees Solar System tests of gravitation beyond standard formalisms
09:45 Le Poncin-Lafitte tbd
10:45 Coffee break
11:15 Perlick Using clocks for probing the geometry of spacetime
12:45 Lunch
14:15 Hartmann Operationalization of basic measurements
14:35 Laemmerzahl Theoretical and practical impact of relativistic geodesy
15:35 Concluding discussion
16:15 Coffe break &

End of meeting

18:00 Dinner for participants

leaving on Saturday morning

Saturday 19. March

9:30 Departure (after breakfast)

Poster session

We will have a permanent poster session in and around the main lecture hall. Every participant is invited to present her/his research on a poster. A poster flash session is scheduled on Tuesday (please prepare a single sided PDF to present your poster to the general audience). At the end of the meeting we will have the best poster award, generously supported by the WE-Heraeus foundation.


A printable PDF version of the flyer (please post this in your department) can be found here.



In case you need assistance or have questions regarding the seminar please contact:

Dirk Puetzfeld
University of Bremen
Am Fallturm
28359 Bremen, Germany

Email: dirk.puetzfeld (at)
Email: relgeo2016 (at)

Generously funded by

WE-Heraeus logo

Additional information

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