FIG Peer Review Journal


Real Time Network Guidelines from NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey (3772)

William Henning (USA)
Mr. William Henning
Senior Geodesist
NOAA's National Geodetic Survey
1315 East-West Highway
N/NGS 21
Silver Spring
Corresponding author Mr. William Henning (email: william.henning[at], tel.: +1 301-713-3196, ext.111)

[ abstract ] [ paper ] [ handouts ]

Published on the web 2010-01-14
Received 2009-11-19 / Accepted 2010-01-14
This paper is one of selection of papers published for the FIG Congress 2010 in Sydney, Australia and has undergone the FIG Peer Review Process.

FIG Congress 2010
ISBN 978-87-90907-87-7 ISSN 2308-3441


The National Geodetic Survey (NGS), a program office of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the United States of America, has assembled a team of over 60 individuals with the goal of producing guidelines for the rapidly growing infrastructure of real time global navigation satellite system (GNSS) networks in the USA. This team has been divided into four work groups: site considerations, planning and design, administration, and users. A cohesive draft document has been assembled for public review in the fall of 2009. For a number of important and even critical reasons, the goal of NGS is to ensure that the users of these real time networks (RTN) can enjoy positional coordinates that are accurate, homogeneous, repeatable, and aligned at an acceptable level to the current realizations of the national datums, i.e., NAD 83 (horizontal and ellipsoid height) and NAVD 88 (orthometric height) as defined and represented in the National Spatial Reference System (NSRS). While NGS wishes to support the RTN to ensure alignment to the NSRS, it is prohibited by law against competing in any way with the positioning services offered by the private, academic or scientific sectors. Additionally, NGS cannot accept any remuneration for data supplied – even if only for GNSS observables alone. However, NGS encourages all RTN to be aligned to the NSRS through its national continuously operating reference stations (CORS) that can be considered as NSRS fiducial values for all RTN, while not being in competition to GNSS positioning services offered by others. The RTN guidelines are meant to recommend consistent methods and best practices for RTN administrators and users alike, to ensure precise and accurate data are produced from this burgeoning GNSS positioning infrastructure. This paper will provide selected salient points from the draft NGS RTN guidelines.