SC 1.3f: Antarctica

Chair: Martin Horwath (Germany)


Terms of Reference

Sub-commission 1.3f (Antarctica) focuses on the realization and densification of a unified reference frame for Antarctica, which will be consistent with the global International Terrestrial Reference Frame (ITRF).

The Sub-commission shares objectives and activities of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), namely of the SCAR Expert Group Geodetic Infrastructure for Antarctica (GIANT). The Sub-commission closely links IAG and SCAR activities by embedding identical activities, with identical persons where indicated, into the two complementary organisational structures.



  • Maintenance and densification of the precise geodetic reference network in Antarctica by permanent observations and GNSS campaigns;
  • Realization of a unified vertical datum including GNSS ties of tide gauges;
  • Providing unified reference for further GNSS applications like airborne gravimetry, ground truthing for satellite missions, geodynamics and glaciology;
  • Develop technologies for remote geodetic observatories.
  • Stimulate and coordinate international collaboration on the above fields, under the unique political conditions of Antarctic research given by the Antarctic Treaty, in order to make optimum use of logistics and infrastructure.


Program of Activities

  • Organization of GNSS campaigns in Antarctica;
  • Extend activities for the operation of remote permanent GNSS stations;
  • Maintenance of the data archive (SCAR GNSS data base) to collect Antarctic GNSS data and provide them to the scientific community;
  • Data analysis and determination of the Antarctic GNSS network as a regional densification of ITRF;
  • Provide homogeneous site velocities for e.g. glacial isostatic adjustment determination;
  • Support airborne surveys and satellite missions with precise terrestrial reference;
  • Collaborate with IAG Sub-Commission 3.4 (Cryospheric Deformation) and the SCAR Scientific Research Programme Solid Earth Response and influence on Cryosphere Evolution (SERCE)
  • Organize special workshop(s) on the consistent analysis of GNSS data and realization of ITRF
  • Organize meetings/sessions at conferences like IAG, IUGG, SCAR Open Science Conference.