Thursday, February 23, 2012

How GPS Determines Locations

NASA Pinning Down Where 'Here' is Better Than Ever

NASA's Next-Generation Satellite Laser Ranging system NASA's Jan McGarry (left) and Stephen Merkowitz stand next to the Next-Generation Satellite Laser Ranging (NGSLR) system, one of the ground stations that makes up the quadrangle of instruments known as the Space Geodesy project, as it peeks through the station's open dome. The NGSLR laser ranges to Earth-orbiting satellites and to NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. McGarry leads the development of the NGSLR and Merkowitz is the project manager for the Space Geodesy project. Image Credit: NASA/GSFC/Elizabeth Zubritsky
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February 23, 2012
Before our Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation devices can tell us where we are, the satellites that make up the GPS need to know exactly where they are. For that, they rely on a network of sites that serve as "you are here" signs planted throughout the world. The catch is, the sites don't sit still because they're on a planet that isn't at rest, yet modern measurements require more and more accuracy in pinpointing where "here" is.


Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
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Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
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* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
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* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
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* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
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* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
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* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
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* Public Transit:
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