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French participation in TIGA (2001 - 2010)

The University of La Rochelle (ULR), in response to a call for participation, acted as coordinator for a joint proposal with the research teams that were interested. This proposal was reviewed by the experts of the lGS and received a very favourable assessment in November 2001. It related to the first three components of TIGA and today comprises :

- Nine GPS - tide gauge coupled observation stations : Ajaccio (IGN/SHOM), Brest (IGN/SHOM), Dumont d’Urville (ENS/IGN), La Rochelle (ULR/SHOM), Marseille (IGN), Roscoff (ULR/SHOM), Saint Jean-de-Luz (IGN/SHOM), Saint-Malo (ULR/SHOM) and Sète (ULR/SHOM). Other French stations will undoubtedly participate in the future, in particular Papeete, Nouméa and Kerguelen.

- A specialised data centre, which was set up at the University of La Rochelle. It was initially established with the help of the IGN, whose expertise in collecting, exchanging and publishing GPS data is fully acknowledged. The IGN runs one of the four global centres of the IGS, which have been operational since the creation of the IGS in 1992. Today, it is thanks to the support of the University’s Computing Resources Centre that the TIGA data centre can operate. (A "backup" for this centre can be found at CDDIS/NASA, United States).

- An analysis centre for the GPS measurements is a natural addition to the data centre. It was established with the help of the LAREG laboratory of the IGN and is recognised in the international IGS community under the name ULR Consortium or ULR analysis centre. The ULR analysis centre, whose computation facilities are at the University of La Rochelle, today utilizes a cluster of 38 nodes or 392 processor cores. In 2008-2009, equipped with 128 processor cores, the computation time was significantly reduced, from 1 year to 2-3 weeks to process 10 years of GPS observations from a global network of some 200 stations. This opens up new perspectives of experimentation (new strategies, modelling, corrections). In particular, it enabled the ULR group to compete with the 9 most prestigious groups in the spatial field in the first ’reprocessing’ campaign of the international service IGS.

The data centre and analysis centre are global, coping with stations distributed all over the world : data from close to 316 GPS stations are gathered, processed and made available to the international community. This corresponds to the world component of SONEL, which was foreseen at the beginning of the SONEL project, and is today an integral part of it given the international context.

For more information (web site of the TIGA project ).