GNSS updates; China prepares for independent navigation system; CLSA promotes the surveying profession; and Western Kentucky University offers surveying education.

Lockheed Martin’s GPS Block IIR-M satellite was declared operational on Dec. 20, 2006.

GNSS Updates


A new Lockheed Martin modernized Global Position-ing System Block IIR-M satellite launched on Nov. 20, 2006 and was declared fully operational by the U.S. Air Force on Dec. 20, 2006. The satellite, called GPS IIR-16M, joins two other modernized Block IIR-M spacecrafts. A fourth Block IIR-M is at Cape Canaveral to support a future launch this year.


On Dec. 25, 2006, Russia launched three GLONASS-M model satellites from the Baikonur Cosmodrome Space Center in Kazakhstan. According to the Russian Federal Space Agency, 18 satellites are planned to be in orbit by late 2007 or early 2008, and a full orbital group of 24 satellites is planned by the end of 2009.

GLONASS will be available to Russian domestic consumers for military and civilian purposes by the end of 2007. The United States, Russia and the European Space Agency are discussing the joint use of GLONASS with the GPS and Galileo satellite navigation systems.


In 2004, China joined the European Union’s Galileo 30-satellite navigation system. Recent news anticipates that the satellite system will be fully operational in China in 2008. The system is intended to provide safe, reliable and accurate navigational information for China in fields of civil aviation, railway, waterway and road transportation.

European Union (EU) and the European Space Agency began the Galileo project in 2002 to develop a satellite navigation system separate from the United States’ GPS system. Unlike the military-managed GPS, Galileo will remain under civilian control, increasing the EU’s strategic independence. Israel, India and South Korea are also participating in Galileo.

China Prepares for Independent Navigation System

On Nov. 2, 2006, China announced plans to build an alternative satellite navigation system that will include up to 35 satellites. The navigation system, named the “Beidou System,” is anticipated to be operational in 2008 and will include five geostationary Earth orbit satellites and 30 medium Earth orbit satellites. It will primarily be applied in national economic construction, providing high performance navigation and position services for surveying, traffic, meteorology, petroleum, ocean, forest fire prevention, hazard forecast, telecommunications, public security and other special industries. The system is anticipated to encompass China and portions of several bordering countries.

According to a report released by the Xinhua News Agency in China, only a few countries can develop a satellite navigation system independently. As an independent navigation system, the Beidou system could be in competition with the United States’ GPS system or the EU’s Galileo satellite navigational system.

As part of the California Land Surveyors Association’s campaign to promote the surveying profession, recruitment videos, along with printed material, such as posters and informational packets, are being distributed throughout the state of California.

CLSA Promotes the Surveying Profession

The California Land Surveyors Association has developed a campaign to promote careers in the surveying profession. In April 2006, CLSA developed a short video titled “Choose Your Path…Make Your Mark” geared toward high school students. The seven-minute video describes the surveying profession in a fast and upbeat style that is appealing to teenagers and urges students to actively pursue a career in surveying.

After viewing the short informational video, students are invited to click to for additional information. The unique website features many facets of being a surveyor and the history of surveying. It connects visitors with local professional surveyors in each state and provides a short background on the cutting-edge technology surveyors use today. The website offers steps to receiving education and licensure, and provides a list of schools and surveying education programs accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

Under the careers section, the website lists tangible career paths, complete with salary ranges and employment opportunities. Other resources include special links to surveying education and certification programs through the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) and NSPS, and classroom activities to promote the profession.

According to Dorothy Calegari, CLSA executive director, CLSA has also developed its own website and printed material, such as posters and other informational packets, that work cohesively with the video. The website,, is being launched this month to aid the recruitment campaign. At press time, a mailing was being sent to all California high school math department heads and career centers.

The key to successfully implementing this program, according to Calegari, is to encourage participation of CLSA chapters by providing them with resources to implement the program on a local level. After the videos are viewed in each high school, a follow-up program with the schools and their closest CLSA chapter will take place. As part of the program, members of local surveying chapters in California plan to visit local high schools to promote the profession and answer questions from prospective students. Members of CLSA are encouraged to participate by discussing the program and identifying the resources available to students. CLSA’s committee chairs are working on a resource package to provide to each chapter. This package will include PowerPoint presentations, scripts and recruitment material that CLSA chapters can utilize at the local level. Additionally, CLSA encourages high school math teachers throughout California to attend local surveying chapter meetings to receive more information for students interested in the profession.

As an additional effort to promote awareness of the surveying profession beyond the state of California, CLSA developed a strategy to aid other state societies. “We recognize that many of the state land surveyor associations do not have the resources to develop a recruitment campaign,” Calegari says. Therefore, for a fee, surveying state societies and associations around the United States have the opportunity to order a customized recruitment video from CLSA for their respective use. A nonprofit program created through the CLSA works to customize the videos, complete with a customized state society logo and mailing address, a DVD master copy, a license to reproduce the video and a customized DVD label for reproduction.

“It is the desire of the California Land Surveyors Association to disseminate the information we have developed for use by the profession,” Calegari says. “We are counting on the profession to put these resources to work.”

For additional information on CLSA's recruitment efforts or to order a customized video,

In August 2005, a minor in land surveying program was developed at Western Kentucky University. A certification in land surveying is now also available.

Western Kentucky University Offers Surveying Education

In cooperation with the Kentucky State Board of Licensure, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, Ky., developed two new education programs for students to meet the educational requirements to become a licensed professional surveyor.

In August 2005, a minor in land surveying program was developed for students who wish to pursue licensure as a surveyor, in addition to receiving a civil engineering degree. The new minor enables students to meet the requirements of a civil engineering degree as well as the educational requirements for licensure as a professional surveyor in the state of Kentucky. In order to meet the requirements for a minor in surveying, a student must complete 26 hours of additional courses in subjects such as boundary surveying, remote sensing, architectural drafting and Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

A certificate in land surveying was also added to the university’s curriculum. The certification requires a shorter plan of study and is geared toward unlicensed surveyors and engineers who have already completed a baccalaureate degree in civil engineering, mining or agricultural engineering accredited by ABET. Engineering students who do not wish to minor in surveying may choose to receive a certification in land surveying by following this course of study that requires an additional 15 hours of courses in surveying subjects. For further details,