Next Generation NASA Space Geodetic Network

The long-range goal of the Space Geodesy Project is to build, deploy and operate a next generation NASA Space Geodetic Network (NSGN) of integrated, multi-technique next generation space geodetic observing systems. This new NSGN will serve as NASA’s core contribution to a global network designed to produce the higher quality observational data required to maintain the Terrestrial Reference Frame and provide other data necessary for fully realizing the measurement potential of the current and coming generation of Earth Observing spacecraft.

To accomplish this, SGP will carry to completion three tasks, all of which are in progress at the present time:

  1. Complete ongoing Network Design Studies that describe the appropriate number and distribution of next generation Space Geodetic Stations for an improved global network, with appropriate trade studies demonstrating the effects of increasing or decreasing the number of stations and changing their possible locations;
  2. Establish the prototype next generation integrated NASA Space Geodetic Station, comprised of next generation SLR (NGSLR) and next generation VLBI (VLBI2010) systems co-located with GNSS and DORIS systems, and demonstrate the ability of this station to operate as an integrated system including the routine measurement of vector ties between individual observing systems;
  3. Produce a Project Implementation Plan (IP) for the build out, deployment and operation of a proposed next generation integrated NASA Space Geodetic Network that will form the core of the next generation global network needed to meet the requirements of the current and coming generation of Earth observing satellites.

The Next Generation Network development will be performed at the Goddard Geophysical and Astronomical Observatory (GGAO) located 3 miles from the main campus of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Greenbelt, MD.

SGP has developed a glossary of terminology used within the project to describe sites, stations, and instruments.