I really appreciate the modern total station because it takes care of so many things I used to worry about … like the two-axis compensation system that corrects leveling errors. But sometimes I wonder: Is there a downside to all these wonderful inventions?
We constantly hear about the speed of technological innovation in today’s society. But changes in GPS satellite technology come slowly. Unlike the auto industry, it’s not necessary to come out with a different model each year.
I don’t normally write about National Geodetic Survey (NGS) software programs,
I’m making an exception in this column.
OPUS-RS (Online Positioning User Service-Rapid Static) is an operational
program available to GPS surveyors at
The inspiration for writing on this topic came from an old friend. Charles R.
Schwarz was an office mate of mine when we were graduate students at The Ohio State
It’s been nearly 26 years since the former Soviet Union launched the first Glonass spacecraft on Oct. 2, 1982. Since that time, there have been regular launches with as many as three satellites put into orbit simultaneously. The constellation is in three orbital planes inclined 64.8° to the equator.
On Feb. 15, 2008, an Associated Press article appeared in major newspapers across the country announcing that the Pentagon was going to fire a Navy missile to destroy a broken U.S. spy satellite before it re-entered the atmosphere.1
The GPS constellations are now more than 30 years old. The first satellite, launched on Feb. 22, 1978, was in the Block I constellation. It was designated SVN 1/ PRN 4 and remained operational for 21.9 months. A total of 11 Block I satellites were launched from 1978 to 1985; one of the 11 failed to attain orbit. Since 1989, all satellites launched are designated as Block II. .
As many readers know, the horizontal control stations in the NAD 83 system were readjusted and the results published in February 2007. It’s a national readjustment; all readjustment stations are in the same coordinate system.
The first two articles in this series (POB August 2007 and October 2007) explained how to solve for geoid heights, N, using Stokes’ equation. The gravity anomaly in that equation, Δg, has many different forms.