The primary task of BGI is to improve the global knowledge of the Earth’s gravity field through the collection, homogenization and validation of all available gravity measurements (relative or absolute) and make this information available to a large variety of users for scientific applications. With this aim, BGI holds and maintains for IAG the fundamental global databases of relative and absolute static gravity measurements and develops services to serve the scientific community. The most current services provided by BGI include:
- The supply of gravity data, reference stations, products, software and documentation.
- The validation and the archiving of gravity dataset and products provided to BGI and the attribution to data providers of a traceable international reference through a Digital Object Identifier (DOI).
- The realization and/or evaluation of global models (Earth Geopotential Model, World Gravity Map for instance) as well as regional data compilations carried out for gravity or geoid studies.
BGI also actively contributes to the definition of protocols, practices and recommendations aimed at improving the gravity data acquisition and processing and the realization of gravity surveys and networks. BGI is more specifically involved in the following actions:
- The definition and establishment of the “International Gravity Reference System & Frame (IGRS/IGRF)” promoted through the IAG Joint Working Group 2.1.1.
- The evaluation of new sensors for measuring absolute gravity (cold-atom absolute gravity meters).
- The support to the realization of national absolute gravity networks.
Finally, BGI also contributes with his collaborators to other research and development activities (software developments, research in geophysics and geodesy, etc.), to educational activities in gravimetry (summer schools, tutorials, etc.).