The International Laser Ranging Service (ILRS) convened in Bad Koetzting (Germany) for the 17th International Workshop on Laser Ranging between May 16 and May 20, 2011. These workshops are the major communication forum for the observing SLR stations, the data analysts and the data centers. Over 160 attendees from all continents contributed to the discussions. The program dealt with new developments at the various observatories, data quality and quantity related issues, future mission and observation scenarios. The impact of major recent technological developments, such as the operation of ranging systems with a repetition rate of 1 kHz or more were reviewed as well as one-way ranging transponder applications such as the successful Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO).
Apart from the various technical and analysis sessions, which were held at the town hall in Bad Koetzting, a field trip to the nearby Geodetic Observatory Wettzell was also organized. During this field trip all workshop participants had the opportunity to look at the Wettzell Laser Ranging System (WLRS), the new SLR system SOS-W (under construction), the VLBI system, as well as the new TWIN-VLBI2010 system (under construction) and the Large Ring Laser Gyroscope ‘G’. A number of specific working group meetings, an extended poster session and a General Assembly of the ILRS rounded off a very busy week. The 18th International Workshop on Laser Ranging will be held in Tokyo in 2013.