Matthew Wilkinson

Support scientist
BGS Herstmonceux (NSGF)


I am part of the small Space Geodesy Facility team in Herstmonceux that operates, maintains and develops one of the most prolific, accurate and precise satellite laser ranging stations in the world in support of Earth Science. I use my scientific training to develop the SLR system further in terms of data quality and quantity and also in-sky safety, data processing and automation. The SGF belongs to a global network of scientific institutions operating SLR stations and I am actively involved in the International Laser Ranging Service community. I have a leadership role in the ILRS, on the Governing Board and as Chair of the Network and Engineering Standing Committee that aims to drive the SLR technique forward and boost the collective performance of the global network. This is a positive role that helps to ensure the SGF is internationally recognised and also boosts awareness of the BGS and NERC commitments to geodesy.I also carry out high quality GNSS analysis to complement the SLR and absolute gravimetry techniques at the SGF.

Matthew Wilkinson’s Biography

  • 1998 – University of Nottingham, MSci in Physics
  • 2003 – ongoing: Support Scientist at the NERC Space Geodesy Facility, Herstmonceux.SGF Website


Key papers

  • Wilkinson, M, Appleby, G 2011. In-orbit assessment of laser retro-reflector efficiency onboard high orbiting satellites. Adv Space Res, 48(3):578–591. DOI: 10.1016/j.asr.2011.04.008
  • Wilkinson, M, Appleby, G, Sherwood, R, Smith, V. 2013. Monitoring site stability at the space geodesy facility, Herstmonceux, UK. In: Altamimi Z, Collilieux X (eds) reference frames for applications in geosciences. International association of geodesy symposia, vol 138. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-32998-2_16
  • Wilkinson, M, Schreiber, U, Procházka, I et al. 2018. The Next Generation of Satellite Laser Ranging Systems. Journal of Geodesy. DOI: 10.1007/s00190-018-1196-1

Boards and committees

  • 2013 – ongoing:Governing Board Member for the International Laser Ranging Service (ILRS)ILRS Website
  • 2013 – ongoing:Chair ILRS Networks and Engineering Standing Committee (NESC)NESC Forum

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