2013 Project News

  • NASA logoNASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship (NESSF) Program Release Date: 12/23/2013 NASA announces a call for graduate fellowship proposals to the NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship (NESSF) program for the 2014-2015 academic year. This call for fellowship proposals solicits applications from accredited U.S. universities on behalf of individuals pursuing Master of Science (M.Sc.) or Doctoral (Ph.D.) degrees in Earth and space sciences, or related disciplines. The purpose of NESSF is to ensure continued training of a highly qualified workforce in disciplines needed to achieve NASA’s scientific goals. Awards resulting from the competitive selection will be made in the form of training grants to the respective universities.

    The deadline for NEW applications is February 3, 2014, and the deadline for RENEWAL applications is March 17, 2014.

    The NESSF call for proposals and submission instructions are located at the NESSF 14 solicitation index page at http://nspires.nasaprs.com/ - click on "Solicitations" then click on "Open Solicitations" then select the "NESSF 14" announcement. Also refer to "Proposal Submission Instructions" and "Frequently Asked Questions" listed under "Other Documents" on the NESSF 14 solicitation index page.

    All proposals must be submitted in electronic format only through the NASA NSPIRES system. The advisor has an active role in the submission of the fellowship proposal. To use the NSPIRES system, the advisor, the student, and the university must all register. Extended instructions on how to submit an electronic proposal package are posted on the NESSF 14 solicitation index page listed above. You can register in NSPIRES at http://nspires.nasaprs.com/.

    For further information contact Claire Macaulay, Program Administrator for NESSF Earth Science Research, Telephone: (202) 358-0151, E-mail: claire.i.macaulay@nasa.gov or Dolores Holland, Program Administrator for NESSF Heliophysics Research, Planetary Science Research, and Astrophysics Research, Telephone: (202) 358-0734, E-mail: hq-nessf-Space@nasa.gov.
  • Link to full articleNASA and US Air Force reach agreement Release Date: 09/06/2013 An agreement was reached between NASA and the US Air Force concerning the hosting of NASA supplied laser retroreflector arrays onto future GPS satellites. This agreement gives NASA the formal approval to move forward with the GPS Laser Retroreflector Array (GPS-LRA) Project that will supply the retroreflectors for the GPS-III satellites starting with SV-9.

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  • 18th International Workshop on Laser Ranging Logo18th International Workshop on Laser Ranging Release Date: 07/19/2013 Registration and abstract submission for the 18th International Workshop on Laser Ranging are now open. Participants are all requested to fill out these forms by 20 September. The overall schedule in the workshop week, including the opening lectures on Monday morning by Dr J J Degnan and Dr M Fujita, can be found on the workshop website.

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  • California's Chariot Fire affects Monument Peak operationsRelease Date: 07/15/2013 The Chariot Fire in southern California has required the shutdown of operations at NASA's MOBLAS-4 SLR station in Monument Peak. The crew safely evacuated on Monday July 8th and returned July 12th. The station has safely returned to operations. The fire reached within a mile of the station. (Photo courtesy of wildfiretoday.com)

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  • NASA Forms Space Geodesy Working Group
    05/30/2013 NASA has formed the Space Geodesy Working Group to perform fact-finding related to the scientific, technical, and organizational issues associated with the ongoing development of its Space Geodesy Program. The term of service for the Space Geodesy Working Group is three years. The Working Group is tasked to:

    • Conduct semi-annual reviews of the Space Geodesy Program to include reviews of the Program's scientific requirements, strategies, and technical approaches; and
    • Provide technical findings to NASA on its evaluations of and options for resolving program and project challenges following each semi-annual review.

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  • Space Geodesy SLR Request for Information Released
    05/02/2013 The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Space Geodesy Project (SGP) is soliciting information to improve its understanding of the interest, capabilities, and Rough Order of Magnitude (ROM) estimates for planning the construction, deployment, and operation of the next generation Space Geodesy (SG) Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) Stations that will be part of a new NASA’s Space Geodetic Network (SGN). NASA is considering the construction of up to ten new SLR stations that will contribute to the larger Global Geodetic Observing System (GGOS).

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  • 18th International Workshop on Laser Ranging Logo The first announcement of the next International Workshop on Laser Ranging has been issued.Release Date: 04/23/2013 The 18th International Workshop on Laser Ranging is organized so that worldwide scientists and engineers in this and related fields can exchange their views, share opinions on the on-going problems, and navigate the future.

    The theme of this year's workshop is "Pursuing Ultimate Accuracy & Creating New Synergies." In addition to the important topic of maximizing accuracy, this workshop is intended to enhance the potential of laser ranging with the inclusion of activities in relevant fields.

    The workshop will take place November 11-15, 2013 at the Highland Resort Hotel, Fujiyoshida, Japan. More information is available on the workshop website: http://geo.science.hit-u.ac.jp/lw18/.

    Please consider your participation and reserve the week now. The procedures for the registration (including hotel booking) and the abstract submission will be announced in July. Please contact the local organizing committee (Z-LW18@jaxa.jp) for additional information.
  • ITRF2013 Call for Participation
    03/28/2013 Please be informed that the ITRF2013 Call for Participation is now released and could be retrieved at the ITRF web site, using the following link:


    In addition to the solicited global solutions from the four space geodesy techniques (to be provided by the Technique Services), we also solicit and encourage the owners of co-location sites to consider conducting new local tie surveys using the most up to date survey methods. Indeed, the local ties available at the ITRS Center for a certain number of co-location sites are now old by 10 to 20 years. In this respect, we would greatly appreciate the contribution of the national mapping and space agencies investing and operating co-location sites, which constitute the main foundation of the ITRF. More details regarding the local tie survey are available in the ITRF2013 CfP.
  • Earth Orientation Animations
    03/01/2013 When you think of the Earth’s orientation, you’d probably imagine something like a globe, where it always rotates around an axis, called the spin axis, defined by the north and south poles. And while this generally makes sense, in reality, the Earth’s orientation is constantly changing very slightly, and this change can be described in three ways. Learn more about how the Earth's orientation changes by watching these animations.

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  • NASA Beams Mona Lisa to Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter at the Moon
    01/28/2013 Laser communication and ranging experiments were successfully conducted from the satellite laser ranging (SLR) station at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) in lunar orbit. The experiments used 4096-ary pulse position modulation (PPM) for the laser pulses during one-way LRO Laser Ranging (LR) operations. Reed-Solomon forward error correction codes were used to correct the PPM symbol errors due to atmosphere turbulence and pointing jitter. The signal fading was measured and the results were compared to the model.

    The Mona Lisa Lasercom to the Moon from NGSLR demonstrates the potential of the SG Network beyond geodesy. The NASA news release was picked up by nearly all the major news outlets. Several members of the NGSLR team were co-authors of the paper which was published online in Optics Express.

    Read the paper in Optics Express
    Read the NASA news release