The 2015 Division Outstanding Young Scientists Award is awarded to Krzysztof Sośnica for his innovative contributions in combining Satellite Laser Ranging and Global Navigation Satellite Systems to improve the quality of geodetic key parameter estimates.
Krzysztof Sośnica has provided several important developments in combining space-geodetic observation techniques, namely Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) and Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS). His research is mainly focused on refining the quality of Earth Rotation Parameter (ERP) estimates, temporal variations of the Earth’s gravity field, and improving the realisation of the International Terrestrial Reference Frame (ITRF). He developed a method for assessing the impact of the Blue-Sky effect, which is a measure of the inconsistency between SLR and GNSS solutions due to the impact of atmospheric pressure loading and the weather-dependence of SLR observations. He found that SLR-derived geocenter coordinates and the scale of the reference frame, which are core-SLR contributions to the ITRF realisation, can remarkably be improved by combining observations to low and high orbiting SLR satellites. He also confirmed that GNSS satellites, despite their high altitudes, are sufficiently sensitive to recover the low-degree temporal variations of the Earth’s gravity field from GNSS observations. He performed for the first time a simultaneous estimation of low-degree gravity field coefficients along with ERPs, station coordinates, and other parameters of a global GNSS solution. All these investigations significantly contribute to the current exploitation of high-precision satellite geodesy data and, as a result, allow for deriving state-of-the-art geodetic parameters and improving the terrestrial reference frame.