Geodetic Reference Systems

News: Dr. Bill Petrachenko receives a Career Service award!

On June 15, Dr. Bill Petrachenko will receive a Career Service award from Canada’s Department of Natural Resources. The Departmental Achievement Awards recognize people who have made significant contributions in support of NRCan’s priorities, objectives and strategic goals.

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) seeks to enhance the responsible development and use of Canada’s natural resources and the competitiveness of Canada’s natural resources products. NRCan is an established leader in science and technology in the fields of energy, forests, and minerals and metals and uses expertise in earth sciences to build and maintain an up-to-date knowledge base of Canada’s landmass.

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This award is one of the highest awards granted by Natural Resources Canada and recognizes exceptional contributions to the Department and to Canadians.  Dr. Bill Petrachenko has received this award because of his international leadership role to spearhead innovation in VLBI, a technological area that underpins positioning and navigation services and that is often taken for granted.

Over a period of ten years Dr. Petrachenko worked with a diverse set of international partners to achieve global collaboration and ensure a common understanding of VLBI requirements and how these might be met with new investments. The international scientific community has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the advanced systems designed under Dr. Petrachenko’s leadership.  In the coming years this global innovation will improve precise positioning on Earth, a necessity for many advanced scientific projects, such as monitoring global sea-level rise via observations from space.

We, at the Canadian Geodetic Survey and Surveyor General Branch of Natural Resources Canada, are proud to have been Bill’s colleagues for many years, and are very pleased that he has received this recognition. 

Geodetic reference systems stem from the need to provide a consistent and integrated reference surface for data analysis. Applications include surveying, mapping, navigation, remote sensing and mineral exploration amongst others. At the national level, NRCan maintains the Canadian Spatial Reference System (CSRS), through the use of the North American Datum of 1983 (NAD83CSRS), which is the adopted standard in Canada.

This site provides end-users with the geodetic data and tools they need for a range of commercial and private uses. One of the most popular services is the online CSRS-PPP service, which provides centimetre-accuracy positioning in either NAD83(CSRS) or ITRF using GNSS technologies.