The research of the working group of Theoretical Geodesy and Satellite Geodesy are mainly focused to the areas of analytical and numerical techniques as basis for Theoretical Geodesy and Satellite Geodesy applications. Particularly, the processing of globally distributed satellite data to determine Earth's gravity is a priority objective. Additionally, the working group produces high-resolution regional geoid products which combine the strengths of satellite-only data with high-precision terrestrial observations.
In addition, the working group is also investigating the temporal changes in Earth's gravity, which are caused by mass transport due to ocean tides, sea level changes, or groundwater fluctuations. The aim of the working group is the linking of scientific knowledge from highly accurate (satellite) data of gravity field missions with the ongoing research activities in other geosciences such as oceanography, hydrology, glaciology and geophysics. The observable and measurable mass variations of the gravity field of the Earth System are of essential importance for various kinds of geophysical processes and can be directly linked to parameters of the Earth's climate.
Precise orbit determination is a fundamental task of satellite geodesy. The working group provides orbit products for a large number of low earth orbit (LEO) satellites.