GNSS Hotspots - Inside GNSS

GNSS Hotspots

One of 12 magnetograms recorded at Greenwich Observatory during the Great Geomagnetic Storm of 1859
1996 soccer game in the Midwest, (Rick Dikeman image)
Nouméa ground station after the flood
A pencil and a coffee cup show the size of NASA’s teeny tiny PhoneSat
Bonus Hotspot: Naro Tartaruga AUV
Pacific lamprey spawning (photo by Jeremy Monroe, Fresh Waters Illustrated)
“Return of the Bucentaurn to the Molo on Ascension Day”, by (Giovanni Antonio Canal) Canaletto
The U.S. Naval Observatory Alternate Master Clock at 2nd Space Operations Squadron, Schriever AFB in Colorado. This photo was taken in January, 2006 during the addition of a leap second. The USNO master clocks control GPS timing. They are accurate to within one second every 20 million years (Satellites are so picky! Humans, on the other hand, just want to know if we’re too late for lunch) USAF photo by A1C Jason Ridder.
Detail of Compass/ BeiDou2 system diagram
Hotspot 6: Beluga A300 600ST

1. GROWTH SPURT
California/Nevada, USA
√ The age of the Sierra Nevada mountains — home of Yosemite Valley and Lake Tahoe — is puzzling to geodesists. Integrating GPS and inSAR, Universities of Nevada and Glasgow teams studied the area’s uplift and found that it is growing by 1 to 2 millimeters per year. The verdict? The entire range could have arisen in less than 3 million years.

1. GROWTH SPURT
California/Nevada, USA
√ The age of the Sierra Nevada mountains — home of Yosemite Valley and Lake Tahoe — is puzzling to geodesists. Integrating GPS and inSAR, Universities of Nevada and Glasgow teams studied the area’s uplift and found that it is growing by 1 to 2 millimeters per year. The verdict? The entire range could have arisen in less than 3 million years.

2. TESTING 1 . . . 2. . . . K
Moscow, Russia
√ Russia will test its second GLONASS-K satellite in 2013, instead of this year. The modernized K class is unpressurized, lighter, more accurate and longer-lived than previous models. It transmits four civil and military signals. Grigory Stupak, deputy head of Russian Space Systems, announced the news at the 6th International Satellite Navigation Forum in Moscow.

(Ria Novosti April 17, 2012) Russia to test second Glonass-K satellite in 2013

3. TRAFFIC UPDATES
Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, India

√ Speaking at Trichy Airport, the first in India to use satellite-based air traffic management, officials said GAGAN — GPS Augmented Navigation System — will be in all airports by June 2013. The ISRO website shows a second GAGAN satellite will launch in 2012 and the third in 2013-14. The Indian SBAS will cover longitudes from South Africa to Australia.

  • Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Future Programs  
  • The Economic Times of India, May 13 GAGAN navigation system to be set up in all airports by next year

4. JAM SESSION
Kaesong, North Korea; Seoul, South Korea; Beijing, China
√ South Korean president Lee Myung-bak visited Chinese President Hu Jintao and, magically, North Korea stopped jamming GPS signals. From April 28 until May 14, the peninsula’s bad boys disrupted more than 300 commercial flights, 10 ships, and untold automobiles in South Korea with coordinated signals originating in Kaesong.

5. ALL THE SHIPS AT SEA
Guangzhou, China
√ 70,000 Chinese fishers use Beidou’s short message service (SMS) to send 700,000 messages a month, said official Ran Chengqi at the Chinese Satellite Navigation Conference in May. Although 80% of Chinese fishing boats lack modern navigation equipment, coastal provinces have been underwriting installation of receivers partly to facilitate warnings in case of maritime border conflicts.

  • (Xinhua, May 15, 2012) Beidou navigation system installed on more Chinese fishing boats

ONLINE EXTRAS!

6. Turn Left at the Pub
Newcastle, England
√ Based on research that shows giving up driving is closely related to a decline in health in older people, Newcastle scientists built a mobile driving simulator to investigate new technologies that could help keep elderly drivers safely behind the wheel as long as possible.

With test subjects in their 80s, the Intelligent Transport team at Newcastle University is investigating in-vehicle tools, including GPS, that can do the trick. They developed a satellite navigation device that uses local landmarks as turning cues: a local pub, a library, or a post office.

In a country that drives on the left, the GPS planned routes that avoided right-hand turns in order to help less confident drivers who were wary of oncoming traffic. The researchers are also experimenting with night visions systems and intelligent speed adaptations. 

  • (Newcastle University April 23, 2012) Keeping older drivers on the road

7. Che Catastrofe! Venice Still Sinking
Venice, Italy
√ Concerned citizens started precise measurements of the sea surrounding Venice 140 years ago. Before that, art supplied the information.

Canaletto, the popular 18th century landscape painter and printmaker of Venetian scenes (see inset photo, above right), was so meticulous and accurate in his paintings that scientists could later determine the city had sunk more than two feet since 1727. But they thought the city was stabilized after a series of flood control and restoration projects.

However, Venice could be 3.2 inches lower by 2032, according to a 10-year study that used GPS and inSAR, a radar tool for measuring Earth’s deformation.

GPS took absolute readings of the city and its surrounding lagoons. inSAR detected the change elevation relative to other sites.

The new study also indicated that the lagoon area was tilting eastward, a millimeter or two each year, leaving Venice in the west somewhat higher. Prior satellite analyses didn’t pick up on the tilt, possibly because the scientists were using inSAR alone.

The scientific study was published on March 28 in the American Geophysical Union journal G-Cubed (Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems). 

Canaletto’s art survives in museums, private collections and college dorm walls all over the world.