In accomplishing WGS 60, a combination of available surface gravity data, astro-geodetic data and results from HIRAN and Canadian SHORAN surveys were used to define a best-fitting ellipsoid and an earth-centered orientation for each of the initially selected datums (Chapter IV). The Army performed an adjustment to minimize the difference between astro-geodetic and gravimetric geoids.(The datums are relatively oriented with respect to different portions of the geoid by the astro-geodetic methods already described.) The sole contribution of satellite data to the development of WGS 60 was a value for the ellipsoid flattening which was obtained from the nodal motion of a satellite. By matching the relative astro-geodetic geoids of the selected datums with an earth-centered gravimetric geoid, the selected datums were reduced to an earth-centered orientation.After an extensive effort extending over a period of approximately three years, the Department of Defense World Geodetic System 1972 was completed.Selected satellite, surface gravity and astrogeodetic data available through 1972 from both Do D and non-Do D sources were used in a Unified WGS Solution (a large scale least squares adjustment).Using the additional data and improved techniques, WGS 66 was produced which served Do D needs for about five years after its implementation in 1967.The defining parameters of the WGS 66 Ellipsoid were the flattening (1/298.25), determined from satellite data and the semimajor axis (6,378,145 meters), determined from a combination of Doppler satellite and astro-geodetic data.Since the Army and Air Force systems agreed remarkably well for the NAD, ED and TD areas, they were consolidated and became WGS 60.Steps to the improvement of a global system were the Astrogeoid of Irene Fischer and the astronautic Mercury datum.
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The value for areas of sparse or no observational data were developed from geophysically compatible gravity approximations using gravity-geophysical correlation techniques.Austria and Germany founded the Zentralbüro für die Internationale Erdmessung (Central Bureau of International Geodesy), and a series of global ellipsoids of the Earth were derived (e.g., Helmert 1906, Hayford 1910/ 1924). Army, Navy and Air Force were combined leading to the Do D World Geodetic System 1960 (WGS 60).A unified geodetic system for the whole world became essential in the 1950s for several reasons: In the late 1950s, the United States Do D, together with scientists of other institutions and countries, began to develop the needed world system to which geodetic datums could be referred and compatibility established between the coordinates of widely separated sites of interest. The term datum as used here refers to a smooth surface somewhat arbitrarily defined as zero elevation, consistent with a set of surveyor's measures of distances between various stations, and differences in elevation, all reduced to a grid of latitudes, longitudes, and elevations.This geoid defines the nominal sea level surface by means of a spherical harmonics series of degree 360 (which provides about 100 km horizontal resolution).
(Mathematical and Physical Theory of Physical Geodesy).
Approximately 45 percent of the 410 mean free air gravity anomaly values were determined directly from observed gravity data.
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