South African Geodynamic Observatory Sutherland
The South African Astronomical Observatory near Sutherland in South Africa’s Northern Cape Province, will become the site for a major Geodynamic Observatory in the southern hemisphere to be funded by the GeoForschungsZentrum, Potsdam, Germany. The South African Geodynamic Observatory Sutherland (SAGOS) will be equipped first with a Superconducting Gravimeter as part of the Global Geodynamic Project. This will be followed by a PRARE (Precise Range and Range-rate Equipment) Station and a GPS Receiver as part of the International GPS Service for Geodynamics. The South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) will act as host organisation and be responsible for the routine inspection and maintenance of this equipment.
On Friday 28 August, the Agreement on Cooperative Activities between the GeoForschungsZentrum and the Foundation for Research Development (now the National Research Foundation), South Africa, was signed by Prof. Dr. Rolf Emmermann (Chairman GFZ) and Dr Khotso Mokhele (President FRD) at the SAAO. Prof. Emmermann and Prof. Dr. Christoph Reigber (Director of Division 1 of GFZ: Kinematics and Dynamics of the Earth) also gave a presentation to local geoscientists on the work of the GFZ and the purpose of the Geodynamic Observatory and invited collaboration with South African scientists