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Topic: Global Positioning System

NASA Goddard Technologists and Scientists Prepare for a New Era of Human Exploration

 

Written by Lori Keesey
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – NASA scientists, engineers, and technologists are preparing for a new era of human exploration at the Moon, which includes a new launch system, capsule, and lunar-orbiting outpost that will serve as the jumping-off point for human spaceflight deeper into the Solar System.

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, is playing a vital role in these initiatives, particularly in the areas of communications and instrument development as evidenced by the recent award of five proposals under NASA’s Development and Advancement of Lunar Instrumentation (DALI) to advance spacecraft-based instrument for use in lunar-landing missions.

The technologies needed for sustainable exploration at the Moon will have to be powerful, multipurpose, and fast, said Jake Bleacher, Chief Scientist for the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate.

Goddard will provide laser communications services to NASA’s Orion vehicle, shown in this artist concept. (NASA)

Goddard will provide laser communications services to NASA’s Orion vehicle, shown in this artist concept. (NASA)

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NASA uses satellite data to solve questions about Earth’s rotational wobbles

 

Written by Alan Buis
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Using satellite data on how water moves around Earth, NASA scientists have solved two mysteries about wobbles in the planet’s rotation — one new and one more than a century old. The research may help improve our knowledge of past and future climate.

Although a desktop globe always spins smoothly around the axis running through its north and south poles, a real planet wobbles. Earth’s spin axis drifts slowly around the poles; the farthest away it has wobbled since observations began is 37 feet (12 meters).

Earth does not always spin on an axis running through its poles. Instead, it wobbles irregularly over time, drifting toward North America throughout most of the 20th Century (green arrow). That direction has changed drastically due to changes in water mass on Earth. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Earth does not always spin on an axis running through its poles. Instead, it wobbles irregularly over time, drifting toward North America throughout most of the 20th Century (green arrow). That direction has changed drastically due to changes in water mass on Earth. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA uses new GPS Navigation System on Magnetospheric Multiscale mission spacecrafts

 

Science at NASA

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – As any back country hiker knows, Global Positioning System, or GPS, trackers are crucial for navigation. But they can also be a little finicky. Units sometimes lose lock when you walk into the shadow of a canyon wall, when you point the units at the ground, or even when you make a sharp turn.

Now imagine a GPS system flying through the vacuum of space at 22,000 mph, rapidly spinning 43,000 miles above the surface of the blue planet below. Would it work?

Turns out, the answer is yes. NASA has developed a GPS navigation system for the newly-launched MMS satellites that operates under these incredible conditions.

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NASA reports Crowdsourced Smartphone Data could give advance notice for People in Earthquake Zones

 

Written by Alan Buis
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Smartphones and other personal electronic devices could, in regions where they are in widespread use, function as early warning systems for large earthquakes, according to newly reported research.

This technology could serve regions of the world that cannot afford higher quality, but more expensive, conventional earthquake early warning systems, or could contribute to those systems.

The study, led by scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), found that the sensors in smartphones and similar devices could be used to build earthquake warning systems.

Cell phones can detect ground motion and warn others before strong shaking arrives. ("Everyone Check Your Phones - NYC" by Jim Pennucci, used under CC BY.)

Cell phones can detect ground motion and warn others before strong shaking arrives. (“Everyone Check Your Phones – NYC” by Jim Pennucci, used under CC BY.)

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NASA researchers study of Ionosphere may help improve GPS Communications

 

Written by Elizabeth Landau
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – When you don’t know how to get to an unfamiliar place, you probably rely on a smart phone or other device with a Global Positioning System (GPS) module for guidance. You may not realize that, especially at high latitudes on our planet, signals traveling between GPS satellites and your device can get distorted in Earth’s upper atmosphere.

Researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, in collaboration with the University of New Brunswick in Canada, are studying irregularities in the ionosphere, a part of the atmosphere centered about 217 miles (350 kilometers) above the ground that defines the boundary between Earth and space.

The Aurora Borealis viewed by the crew of Expedition 30 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken on February 7, 2012 from 09:54:04 to 10:03:59 GMT, on a pass from the North Pacific Ocean, west of Canada, to southwestern Illinois. (NASA/JSC)

The Aurora Borealis viewed by the crew of Expedition 30 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken on February 7, 2012 from 09:54:04 to 10:03:59 GMT, on a pass from the North Pacific Ocean, west of Canada, to southwestern Illinois. (NASA/JSC)

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Land Between the Lakes offers these Summer Safety Tips

 

Land Between the Lakes - LBLGolden Pond, KY – In preparation for one of the most popular holidays at Land Between The Lakes (LBL), Forest Service Law Enforcement Officers are offering their annual list of safe habits to follow while visiting the National Recreation Area and area State Resort Parks.

“We want everyone to have fun while they are here,” explains Forest Service Law Enforcement Patrol Captain, Duane Cameron, “and often times practicing safe habits can make all the difference in the world.” Cameron asks visitors to keep the following safety tips in mind while enjoying the great outdoors this summer:

Sunset at LBL. (Land Between the Lakes)

Sunset at LBL. (Land Between the Lakes)

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LBL Law Enforcement gives Summer Safety Tips

 

Land Between the Lakes - LBLGolden Pond, KY – In preparation for one of the most popular holidays at Land Between The Lakes (LBL), Forest Service Law Enforcement Officers are offering their annual list of safe habits to follow while visiting the National Recreation Area and area State Resort Parks.

“We want everyone to have fun while they are here,” explains Forest Service Law Enforcement Patrol Captain, Duane Cameron, “and often times practicing safe habits can make all the difference in the world.”

LBL's Energy Lake Area. (Land Between the Lakes)

LBL’s Energy Lake Area. (Land Between the Lakes)

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NASA to study Neutron stars for groundbreaking Space Navigation Technology

 

Written by Lori Keesey
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – Neutron stars have been called the zombies of the cosmos. They shine even though they’re technically dead, occasionally feeding on neighboring stars if they venture too close.

Interestingly, these unusual objects, born when a massive star extinguishes its fuel and collapses under its own gravity, also may help future space travelers navigate to Mars and other distant destinations.

This artist’s rendition shows the NICER/SEXTANT payload that NASA recently selected as its next Explorer Mission of Opportunity. The 56-telescope payload will fly on the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

This artist’s rendition shows the NICER/SEXTANT payload that NASA recently selected as its next Explorer Mission of Opportunity. The 56-telescope payload will fly on the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

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NASA Goddard Space Flight Center scientist developes Math Equations to help understand the movement of the Solar Wind

 

Written by Karen C. Fox
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – Many areas of scientific research — Earth’s weather, ocean currents, the outpouring of magnetic energy from the sun — require mapping out the large scale features of a complex system and its intricate details simultaneously.

Describing such systems accurately, relies on numerous kinds of input, beginning with observations of the system, incorporating mathematical equations to approximate those observations, running computer simulations to attempt to replicate observations, and cycling back through all the steps to refine and improve the models until they jibe with what’s seen.

A constant stream of particles and electromagnetic waves streams from the sun toward Earth, which is surrounded by a protective bubble called the magnetosphere. A scientist at NASA Goddard has recently devised, for the first time, a set of equations that can help describe waves in the solar wind known as Alfven waves. (Credit: European Space Agency (ESA) )

A constant stream of particles and electromagnetic waves streams from the sun toward Earth, which is surrounded by a protective bubble called the magnetosphere. A scientist at NASA Goddard has recently devised, for the first time, a set of equations that can help describe waves in the solar wind known as Alfven waves. (Credit: European Space Agency (ESA) )

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APSU Students conduct research on different GPS devices accuracy for field purposes

 

Austin Peay State University

Austin Peay State UniversityClarksville, TN – Late last year, a group of Austin Peay State University geosciences students hiked through the woods in rural North Carolina, conducting field research.

They were looking for unusual rock outcroppings, and after each discovery, the students painstakingly scribbled down the longitudinal and latitudinal coordinates of the rocks into their notebooks.

That is, except for APSU student Maurice Testa. He simply pulled out his smart phone and quickly went to work.

APSU students James Martin, Maurice Testa and Eric Whitaker stand before their poster at the Geological Society of America meeting.

APSU students James Martin, Maurice Testa and Eric Whitaker stand before their poster at the Geological Society of America meeting.

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