International triumphs of our geodesists

Paweł Wielgosz
Prof. Paweł Wielgosz, Dean of the Faculty of Geodesy, Geospatial and Civil Engineering, and Dr Eng. Rafał Sieradzki from the same faculty won best presentation awards during the 7th International Colloquium organised by the European Space Agency.

Every two years, the European Space Agency (ESA) holds a conference on scientific and fundamental applications of the global satellite navigation systems (GNSS), with special emphasis on the European Galileo system. The conference involves a series of talks and poster sessions, with awards given for the best presentation in each session. This year, UWM researchers earned not one, but two, distinctions for their contributions to ionosphere research.

Prof. Paweł Wielgosz, Dean of the Faculty of Geodesy, Geospatial and Civil Engineering, was recognised for his talk on ionospheric modelling to enhance the precision of GNSS positioning and the corresponding transfer to industry.

‘I delivered a presentation which summarised the results of three ESA-funded projects carried out at UWM: PIOM-FIPP, HORION, and ATOMIC. All of them involved advanced modelling of ionospheric delays to enhance the precision and reliability of satellite positioning. The projects focused on modelling medium-scale travelling ionospheric disturbances, the development of a solution that would eliminate the so-called higher-order ionospheric delay, and practical application of tomographic models of the ionosphere. The first undertaking was led by the UWM, the others by Leica Geosystems Poland’, says Dean Wielgosz.

Another award was won in the poster session by Dr Habil. Eng. Rafał Sieradzki for his presentation entitled: ‘GNSS-based detection of ionospheric polar patches in the northern hemisphere’. The eponymous polar patches, detected only at high geomagnetic latitudes, are up to 1000 km in diameter and, as such, rank among the most prominent phenomena in the ionosphere.

‘The results are the effect of my collaboration with Dr Habil. Jacek Paziewski and, at the same time, a part of a project run by the National Science Centre (NCN). The main aim of our research was to use data derived from permanent GNSS stations for the continuous monitoring of polar patches and their preliminary statistics during the solar maximum. Our results showed significant variations in the number and intensity of these structures in different months covered in the study. The analyses have also confirmed that the occurrence of patches strongly depends on the orientation of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF). Our findings are in harmony with research based on independent information provided by the Swarm mission, which testifies to the high potential of GNSS data in this area’, explains Dr Habil. Eng. Sieradzki.

However, the list of accomplishments by our geodesists goes even further. Prof. Paweł Wielgosz was named Fellow of the IAG, which is an honorary title bestowed by the International Association of Geodesy for organisational and academic activity in the Association.