• Laser ranging to the moon
    Laser Ranging to the Moon
    NGSLR, located at NASA GSFC's Goddard Geophysical and Astronomical
    Observatory (GGAO),is shown ranging to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO)
    orbiting the Moon. The LRO Laser Ranging (LR) system enables the spacecraft
    to achieve its precision orbit determination requirement.
  • antenna
    VGOS, located at NASA GSFC's Goddard
    Geophysical and Astronomical Observatory
    (GGAO), is the next generation of
    geodetic VLBI systems
  • Monument brace
    Drilled Brace Monument for GNSS Antenna
    The newly installed drilled brace monument for the
    Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) antenna at
    NASA GSFC's Goddard Geophysical and Astronomical
    Observatory (GGAO). The multi-GNSS-capable
    receiver tracks signals from several GNSS including
    GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo.
    DORIS Antenna
    The Doppler Orbitography and Radio-positioning Integrated
    by Satellite (DORIS) antenna located at NASA GSFC's Goddard
    Geophysical and Astronomical Observatory (GGAO) tracks
    satellites equipped with DORIS beacons; NGSLR can be seen
    in the background.

  • Sun pointing test

SGP is completing the implementation of a new 12-meter broadband Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) station at NASA's Kōkeʻe Park Geophysical Observatory (KPGO) on Kauai, Hawaii. This blog follows the progress towards the station completion with updates from the team about once a week.

Latest news

Chopo Ma retires

Photo of CHopo Ma

After a very long and distinguished career in VLBI, Chopo Ma has retired from NASA, effective September 30, 2017. We wish Chopo the best for the next stage in his life. With his retirement, Frank Lemoine has been named the new Space Geodesy Project Scientist.

NASA, Norway to Develop Arctic Laser-Ranging Station
NASA and the Norwegian Mapping Authority are partnering to develop a state-of-the-art satellite laser ranging station 650 miles from the North Pole that will produce high-precision locations of orbiting satellites, help track changes in the ice sheets and improve the efficiency of marine transportation and agriculture.

Under the new agreement signed on Aug. 7, Norway and NASA will build and install a satellite laser ranging facility in the scientific base of Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard. NASA will also provide expert consultation on how to operate the instruments. The ground-based laser transmits ultrashort laser pulses aimed at satellites specially equipped with a retroreflector, an array of special mirrors that bounce the pulses back. The system measures the time it takes for the light to travel back to its point of origin, which is used to determine the position of the satellite with respect to the ground station with an accuracy of around 0.04 inches (1 millimeter).


Printed version of the Journal of Geodesy Special Issue on VLBI now available
The printed version of the Journal of Geodesy Special Issue on VLBI: Journal of Geodesy, Volume 91, Issue 7, July 2017, is now available at https://link.springer.com/journal/190/91/7/page/1. This volume includes a Preface and 14 scientific articles devoted to various aspects of the VLBI theory, methodology and data analysis.

Dr. Bill Petrachenko receives Career Service award
Dr. Bill Petrachenko from NRCan has received a Career Service award from Canada’s Department of Natural Resources. More information is available on the NRCan website.

June 08, 2017 was a significant anniversary for VLBI
In 1967, three groups -- one Canadian, another a collaboration between the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) and Cornell University, and a third at MIT and Haystack Observatory -- were each working to achieve the first VLBI observation.

Fifty years ago today, on June 8, 1967, one of the first such experiments was successfully carried out between Haystack and NRAO (see attached figure). In 1971, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences awarded its Rumford Prize to members of all three groups. The MIT and Haystack recipients were J.A. Ball, A.H. Barrett, B.F. Burke, J.C. Carter, P.P. Crowther, G.M. Hyde, J.M. Moran, A.E.E. Rogers.

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Using Quasars to Measure the Earth: A Brief History of VLBI

Looking Down a Well: A Brief History of Geodesy

Staff profiles