The „Deutsche Geodätische Forschungsinstitut (DGFI)“ was founded 1952 by the „Deutsche Geodätische Kommission (DGK e.V.)“ a commission at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences in Munich. During the past six decades DGFI achieved remarkable results in the basic geodetic research. This includes in particular (Drewes 2002)
- geodetic-astronomical observations and electro-optical distance measurements to determine the German respectively the European triangulation (DHDN, RETRig) und gravimetric surveys for gravity reference nets (DSGN),
- Development and operation of trend-setting instruments (horizontal pendulum, sea gravimeter, vertical pendulum, PRARE),
- Participation in establishing the first world network by means of satellite triangulation,
- Applying dynamic methods of satellite geodesy for precise orbit determination, point positioning and gravity field modeling (GRIM),
- Definition of horizontal and vertical reference systems and realization of global (ITRF) and regional (SIRGAS) terrestrial as well as celestial (ICRF) reference frames,
- Representatives in science organizations of IUGG and of IAG as well as intensive cooperation in scientific services of IAG.
Today, the research is engraved by analyses and combination of modern point positioning techniques (GNSS, SLR, VLBI) for realization of reference systems, and by regional gravity field modeling combining data from the GRACE and GOCE missions with airborne or ground-based observations. Moreover, geodetic space techniques are used to describe specific geophysical processes of the Earth as, for example, the electron content of the ionosphere, regional and global sea level rise, ocean circulation and ocean tides, mass redistribution and their implication on the deformation and the rotation of the Earth.
On the occasion of its 60 years anniversary DGFI holds on June 25, 2012, a commemorative colloquium at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences.
Drewes, H.: Das Deutsche Geodätische Forschungsinstitut, ehemals Abteilung I: Theoretische Geodäsie. In: Alberz J., H.J. Bähr, H. Hornik, R. Rummel: Am Puls von Raum und Zeit – 50 Jahre Deutsche Geodätische Kommission, Festschrift. S. 159 – 177, Deutsche Geodätische Kommission, München, 2002