European Space Agency Successfully Launches Second Galileo IOV Satellite, FHWA Confirms New Safety Vest Standard Meets Class II Requirements and more.

Payload fairing of the Soyuz-Fregat launcher. Photo credit: ESA, S. Corvaja 2008

European Space Agency Successfully Launches Second Galileo IOV Satellite

On April 27, the European Space Agency (ESA) successfully launched its second Galileo In-Orbit Validation Element satellite, GIOVE-B, carrying the most accurate atomic clock to be flown in space.

“With the successful launch of GIOVE-B, we are about to complete the demonstration phase for Galileo,” said Jean Jacques Dordain, ESA director general.

According to the ESA Web site, the GIOVE-B satellite attained a medium-altitude Earth orbit via a Soyuz-Fregat rocket launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. “The Fregat upper stage performed a series of maneuvers to reach a circular orbit at an altitude of about 23,200 kilometers, inclined at 56 degrees to the equator, before safely delivering the satellite into orbit some three hours and 45 minutes later. The two solar panels that generate electricity to power the spacecraft deployed correctly and were fully operational by 05:28 CEST,” the ESA reports. The GIOVE-B satellite is now under the control of Telespazio’s spacecraft operations centre in Fucino, Italy, and in-orbit testing of the satellite is under way.

In addition to the Passive Hydrogen Maser (PHM) atomic clock that has a stability better than 1 nanosecond per day, the GIOVE-B carries two small redundant rubidium atomic clocks with stabilities of 10 nanoseconds per day. Two PHMs are to function as primary clocks onboard operational Galileo satellites. The two rubidium clocks will function as backups.

GIOVE-B also carries a radiation-monitoring payload to characterize the space environment at the altitude of the Galileo constellation and a laser retroreflector for high-accuracy laser ranging, the ESA reports. Signal generation units are to provide representative Galileo signals on three frequencies, which will be broadcast via an L-band phase array antenna designed to cover the visible earth below the satellite in its entirety.

The next step in the Galileo program will be the launch of four operational satellites by 2010. “ESA will begin shortly the procurement process for the overall constellation beyond IOV under EC responsibility,” Dordain said. Once the IOV phase is complete, the remaining satellites will be deployed to reach full operational capacity, which consists of a constellation of 30 identical satellites.

Watch the launch! POB hosts a video of the April 27 launch of GIOVE-B

Photo courtesy of SECO

FHWA Confirms New Safety Vest Standard Meets Class II Requirements

In response to inquiries, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) officials announced in February that the ANSI/ISEA 207-2006 public safety vest standard complies with federal regulation 23 CFR 634, which becomes effective Nov. 24, 2008. “We reviewed the ANSI/ISEA 207-2006 public safety vest standard very carefully and found this standard compatible with the ANSI/ISEA Class II requirements for night-time visibility,” wrote Jeffrey Paniati, FHWA associate administrator for operations, in a letter to the Emergency Responder Safety Institute in Delaware dated Feb. 4, 2008.

According to Paniati, the FHWA was aware that the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) was developing a public safety vest standard. However, ISEA’s standard was not finalized in time to meet FHWA’s rulemaking schedule requirement for regulation 23 CFR 634.

The new public safety vest standard requires anyone working within the right of way on any federal-aid highway to wear high-visibility safety apparel that meets the performance Class II or III requirements of ANSI/ISEA 107-2004. FHWA officials state that the regulation is intended to decrease the likelihood of injury and death to workers on foot who are exposed to traffic, construction vehicles or construction equipment while working in the rights of way of federal-aid highways.

The complete Federal Register report is available at For more information on 23 CFR 634, see “Safety Sense: The new high-visibility apparel regulation,” POB, March 2008.

Original 1870 field note for the Indian Territory by U.S. Surveyor Ehud Darling. Photo courtesy of BLM

BLM Makes Old Oklahoma Survey Records Available Online

In March, the Bureau of Land Management-Eastern States (BLM-ES) made its entire collection of historic surveyors’ field notes for the Indian Territory--present-day Oklahoma--available online to the public. “The joint project between the Oklahoma Department of Transportation and the Bureau of Land Management to scan the original Government Land Office field notes and plats into a digital format to preserve this information for future generations is now complete,” said Larry D. Reser, ODOT chief of surveys. “The ODOT is proud to have been a part of this endeavor, and I convey my appreciation to the BLM for its efforts and compliment them for a ‘job well-done!’”

The deteriorating survey plats, which are stored at the BLM-ES office in Springfield, Va., along with the survey notes, were scanned, indexed and posted online four years ago. In October 2005, the BLM-New Mexico and the Oklahoma Department of Transportation agreed to share the cost of delivering the 238 volumes and 155,552 pages of accompanying survey field notes to complete the online project.

The survey notes contain detailed information on how early surveyors marked and measured the area, which had been newly designated Indian Territory in 1866 in preparation for settlement by the relocated American Indian population. In addition, the notes contain valuable historical information, such as the location of early roads and trails, the quality of soil and tree species found in the region.

“Production continues for the survey plats in the states of New Mexico and Wisconsin as well as the field notes for the state of Idaho under a Service Level Agreement between organizations,” said John Butterfield, GLO system manager and cadastral survey system project manager. The purpose of the Service Level Agreement is to identify roles, responsibilities and funding, specify requirements for deliverables and establish service-level performance and outcomes. “Because of the immensity and cost of these efforts, BLM-ES will continue to look for and promote partnerships like those with Idaho, New Mexico and Oklahoma.”

This year marks the 10th year GLO records have been available to the public online. Historical survey plats for Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Michigan and Mississippi are also available in addition to survey information for the original 13 Colonies.

The GLO records are available for download atwww.glorecords.blm.govunder the “Search Surveys” link.

Clear Seas Research Attains CASRO Membership

Clear Seas Research, a division of POB’s parent company, BNP Media, has been accepted as a member of the Council of American Survey Research Organizations (CASRO). Clear Seas Research provides research to the architecture/construction, food/beverage/packaging, gaming, manufacturing, mechanical systems and security industries.

“CASRO sets the standard for research excellence,” said Sarah Corp, executive director of Clear Seas Research. “The CASRO designation further solidifies Clear Seas as a firm dedicated to providing superior research results. This designation also serves as an assurance to our clients that our research practices are conducted with integrity and that we abide by the highest of ethical standards. We are honored to be a part of this exciting family of premiere research organizations.”

Associate Editor Wendy Lyons compiles “Newsline.” Contact her at 248/786-1620 orlyonsw@bnpmedia.