Daniel Hampf | 2019-11-06

Report on the ILRS Technical Workshop 2019

This year’s International Laser Ranging Service (ILRS) Technical Workshop was hosted by German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Stuttgart, Germany, from October 21st to 25th. Following the motto “Laser ranging: To improve economy, performance, and adoption for new applications” the presentations were focused on the technical challenges for the satellite laser ranging (SLR) ground segment.

During the introductory session, invited speakers presented their view of the current state of the ILRS station network and its possible evolution in the next years. Subsequent sessions focused on the improvement of current systems, synergies with other technologies (such as laser communications or time transfer) and new technical approaches for future ranging systems. The final session was focused on safety and security, especially laser safety in respect to aircrafts passing over the stations.

Participants of the workshop

To encourage discussion and exchange among the participants, some sessions included dedicated time slots for plenary or panel discussions. These were very well received and saw a lot of contributions from many different participants. To highlight the importance of poster presentations, a separate time slot has been reserved for poster viewing, and the three best posters have been awarded a prize. The week was rounded off by a bus tour to the two SLR stations in Stuttgart and a conference dinner. 

The workshop was preceded by a one-day SLR school on October 20th, which provided a range of entry level talks for students and people new to SLR. This first edition of such a school for SLR related topics was met with overwhelming interest and was seen as a good way to pass on first-hand knowledge to a younger generation. The lectures have been videotaped and is available on the workshop website.

(Photo: Toshimichi Otsubo / Hitotsubashi University)

With its 150 participants from more than twenty countries and more than seventy presentations (oral and poster), the workshop mirrored the importance of the global laser ranging network and its many active developments. More information, including abstracts and presentations, can be found on the workshop website:


Daniel Hampf

Chair of local organising committee

German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Technical Physics, Stuttgart, Germany

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