Since 1990, positioning technology has undergone a dramatic improvement in terms of accuracy and accessibility. Prior to 1990, national geodetic datums were considered to be static, with fixed coordinates assigned to the datum origin by convention. Datum coordinates were dynamic only as a consequence of re-observation and re-adjustment, or localized disturbance. This strategy has been suitable for terrestrial surveys within stable continental areas.
The accessibility of Precise Point Positioning “PPP” is now widespread with the provision of free online processing facilities by various geodetic agencies. Such ready accessibility to a global datum has serious implication for this technology with static geocentric datums. The Geocentric Datum of Egypt (ITRF1994 Epoch 1996 based on GPS Observation Campaign 1996), for example is now offset by -42.0 to +32.0 cm from the ITRF2008 Epoch 2015 due to the inexorable tectonic movements of the Nubian plate since the datum realization in 1996. Unless the local geocentric datums are kept in step with global terrestrial reference frames, discrepancies between the two will increase in magnitude over time and will become discernable, even using PPP. The PPP users nowadays are unaware of this datum offset and incorrectly assume a coordinated datum monument is in error if a disagreement greater than the level of accuracy of the positioning technique exist.
In this study, to avoid the discrepancies between the applied datum and On-Line GNSS Services, a semi-kinematic datum and related deformation mode is proposed for Egypt. An evaluation for the results of the most recent ITRF2008 Plate Motion Model, namely ITRF2008 PMM, and a local developed Egyptian model is introduced after discussing each deformation model. The evaluation study shows best performances for the Egyptian deformation model over the ITRF2008 PMM.