Is It Time for a New National Height Datum?

Thesis Outline

The name of the thesis project is “Is it Time for a New National Height Datum?” This project aims to investigate the feasibility of replacing AHD71 with a new national height datum. Can GNSS observations, airborne & satellite gravity data and a modern geoid model for Australia be combined to generate a national height datum that is simultaneously useable, scientifically sound and affordable in regards to the costs involved? What are the main hurdles to introducing a new national height datum in practice?

The project also aims to investigate the need for a potential move towards a world-wide height datum, which may be complementary to a new national height datum, or may even replace the need for this new national height datum. The potential benefits of a world-wide height datum would be the high precision combination of geometric and physical heights worldwide, the unification of all existing local height datums, and the global consistency of all vertical coordinates worldwide. However significant hurdles need to be overcome in order for this to become a reality. This study will briefly look at this possible world-wide height datum and how it affects Australia.

Thomas Pollard z3323750 | School of Civil and Environmental Engineering | University of New South Wales