Institutional Relationships

The Celestial Reference Frame Department collaborates extensively with other institutions that are responsible for maintaining and contributing to the celestial reference frame, Earth orientation parameters, other VLBI-based products, and the optical reference frame as realized by Gaia. At the 1964 General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union, the U.S. Naval Observatory was designated as the official Double Star Centre, with a responsibility to maintain and distribute the double star catalogs. These duties have been performed since that date. In addition to Commission G1 and its predecessor 26, the USNO has maintained long and continuing relationships with other Divisions and Commissions in the IAU (for example, Divisions A and B).

Provides the International Celestial Reference System (ICRS), the International Terrestrial Reference System (ITRS), the Earth Orientation Parameters (EOPs) that connect the ICRS and ITRS, and geophysical data and various standards and conventions in support of these. The U.S. Naval Observatory serves as the IERS ICRS Center, along with Paris Observatory. The USNO CRF Director (or designee) serves as a member of the IERS Directing Board in conjunction with Paris Observatory.

As a fellow IERS ICRS Centre, the Paris Observatory coordinates data and analysis activities with the U.S. Naval Observatory in support of the ICRS.

A worldwide collaboration of organizations that coordinate Very Long Baseline Interferometry observations and data analyses. The U.S. Naval Observatory's CRF department hosts two IVS analysis centers: the VLBI Analysis Center and the VLBI Analysis Center for Source Structure.

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) was established in 1911 and serves as the world's governing body for Astronomy and astronomical standards. Double Star responsibilities began in 1964 when USNO took over maintenance and dissemination of the world's authoritative double star catalog for the IAU. Most USNO astronomers are IAU members and many have served as Commission or Division officers.