News in 2023

FIG Involvement at ICG-17

15-20 October 2023, Madrid Spain


FIG Commission 5 represented by the Chair, Ryan Keenan, had the pleasure of attending and participating in the 17th Meeting of the International Committee for Global Navigation Satellite Systems (ICG) in Madrid, Spain, during 15-20 October 2023.

Coordinated by the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), the ICG strives to encourage and facilitate compatibility, interoperability and transparency between all the satellite navigation systems, to promote and protect the use of their open service applications and thereby benefit the global community. Essentially the vision of the ICG is to ensure the best satellite based positioning, navigation and timing for peaceful uses for everybody, anywhere, any time.

FIG, in its role as a long-standing Associate Member of the ICG, was participating in numerous discussions taking place across its four Working Groups - each of which has several Task Forces focussed on specific topics of strategic importance and relevance to the GNSS community.  

FIG attending as an Associate Member at the ICG-17

At this point, we would like to acknowledge the generous support by the ICG of Commission 5’s Reference Frames in Practice (RFIP) workshop held as pre-events to our annual working weeks and congresses, and regularly provides travel support for a number of students and developing member states to attend these Workshops; we are extremely grateful for this assistance, and look forward to continued collaboration during forthcoming FIG events.

Additionally during the ICG-17 Week, the 28th Meeting of the Providers’ Forum was held in which the latest status from the global satellite constellation providers - namely GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and BDS, were shared with delegates.  Updates were also provided by those member states operating, building or aspiring to their own regional navigation satellite system (RNSS) such as Japan’s QZSS and India’s NavIC.   Augmentation systems featured across several Working Groups, with Representatives from Australian and New Zealand presented an update on SouthPAN (Southern Positioning Augmentation Network) covering those regions. 

Within the ICG, there are currently four Working Groups as follows.

  1. WG B - Enhancement of GNSS Performance, New Services and Capabilities (
  2. WG C - Information Dissemination and Capacity Building (
  3. WG D - Reference Frames, Timing and Applications ( with three Task Forces: Timing References; Geodetic References and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR). 
  4. WG S - Systems, Signals and Services (; which includes Task Forces on PPP Interoperability (3PITF), and LEO PNT systems. 

Other organisations attending ICG-17 included the International GNSS Services (IGS), the International Association of Institutes of Navigation (IAIN), Radio Technical Commission for Maritime (RTCM) and Committee on Space Research (COSPAR).  In total, there were more than 150 attendees and 60 presentations across the week. 

ICG-17 Working Group D - References, Timing and Applications - delegates and co-chairs including FIG Commission 5 Chair Dr. Ryan Keenan. 

The next Meeting of the ICG, will be its 18th (ICG-18) and it will be held in Wellington, New Zealand for a week in October 2024. 


Ryan Keenan
October 2023

©2024 FIG