The ILRS supports scientific and technology research through laser ranging to a variety of satellites equipped with retroreflector arrays. These supported disciplines include Earth and ocean science, atmospheric science, lunar and planetary science, fundamental constants and relativity science, and space engineering. The ILRS provides laser tracking support to missions with different applications, such as geodetic (e.g., LAGEOS, Etalon, etc.), Earth sensing (e.g., Jason, Envisat, etc.), radio navigation (e.g., GPS, GLONASS, Compass, Galileo, etc.), and experimental/special (e.g., Blits, Larets, etc.). The tracking priority of supported missions is ordered according to satellite orbital parameters and special project needs.
Request for tracking support for new missions must be formally submitted to the ILRS Central Bureau (CB), reviewed by the Missions Standing Committee (MSC) and approved by the Governing Board (GB). The request must include the objectives satisfied by the laser ranging tracking of the satellite.