Who we are

May 20, 2016 by ROB

The Royal Observatory of Belgium (ROB) is a federal research institute, working under the aegis of the Belgian Federal Science Policy. The ROB staff is composed of about 145 people from which 80 are permanent members and 65 are scientific members. The ROB research is mainly concentrated on the Earth (space geodesy, seismology, gravimetry, Earth rotation), the Sun (coronal holes, solar activity, sun spots, space weather) and the stars.

The Department of "Reference systems and Planetology" at the ROB performs research on topics including space geodesy, seismology, gravimetry, Earth rotation and time transfer. It has a long tradition of collaboration in international astronomical and geodetic campaigns for monitoring the form and dimensions of the Earth.

In 1988, a research program focusing on the Global Positioning System (GPS) was set up within this department. Today, the original GPS research program has been extended to all Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), e.g. GPS, GLONASS (the Russian navigation system), and GALILEO (the upcoming European navigation system).
The primary public mission of the research group, which is part of the legal mission of the Royal Observatory of Belgium, is to integrate Belgium in international reference frames, both in time and space.
This task is only possible through observations, research and data analysis.

Our GNSS research group uses GNSS satellite navigation signals for different multi-disciplinary applications:

  • Monitoring of ground deformations
  • Reference frame maintenance
  • Time and frequency transfer
  • Monitoring of the Earth's atmosphere

The GNSS team consists of the following people: