T. Otsubo | 2021-09-06

ILRS Virtual World Tour 2021

Due to the COVID 19, we have had to postpone our laser workshops, our annual seminal events, in 2020 and 2021. The ILRS again wishes to provide the opportunity for our worldwide community to meet, at least virtually, and share. Following the success of the Virtual World Tour last year, we will hold another Virtual World Tour between October 25-29, 2021, to virtually visit 5 stations in 5 days, stopping at Herstmonceux (UK), Wetzell (DE), Mendeleevo (RU), Shanghai (PRC), Monument Peak (USA).

Online event, 25-29 October, 2021
Website: https://ilrs.gsfc.nasa.gov/ILRS_Virtual_World_Tour_2021/index.html

Once again, the International Laser Ranging Service (ILRS) had to postpone its 22nd International Workshop on Laser Ranging in Kunming, originally scheduled for 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Following the successful first attempt last year (see the December 2020 issue of IAG Newsletter), we organized the second round of ILRS Virtual World Tour this year, while awaiting the opportunity to continue our Workshop tradition.

This year, the host stations were: Herstmonceux (United Kingdom), Wettzell (Germany), Mendeleevo (and shortly Irkutsk; both Russia), Shanghai (China) and Monument Peak (USA). All of the Microsoft Teams sessions were hosted by CDDIS/NASA. The participants could virtually visit these five stations and have technical and casual chats with the local colleagues for 1 or 2 hours. The sessions were the mixture of pre-recorded movies and live discussions, and we are amazed not only at their latest developments presented by the stations, but also at the high quality of movies, narrations and even live music. In addition, we organized special sessions before or after the station visits that offered the latest updates from each component of the ILRS, such as missions, analysis, network & engineering, lunar ranging, space debris ranging, and format & procedures. In the opening session, for example, our worldwide operations through the pandemic period were praised by Basara Miyahara, the GGOS President, and Frank Lemoine gave a nice presentation on how our precise laser ranging observations are contributing to the monitoring of global warming. All of the virtual tour and session scenes were recorded and will be uploaded to the event website hosted by CDDIS/NASA. We very much appreciate the contributions from all of the presenters, video editors and participants; they certainly made this event a great success.

We hope to see attendees face to face in Kunming next year. The dates are already set: 31 October to 4 November 2022.

Toshimichi Otsubo
Hitotsubashi University
On behalf of the organizing team (T Otsubo, C Carabajal, E Hoffmann, I Ignatenko, J Laing, M Pearlman, U Schreiber and Z Zhongping), the host institutes and the special session chairs.

The plan of the week

Tour of Wettzell. Q&A session.

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