Recent News

This page contains all recent ILRS news. For those interested in news specific to satellite missions, please visit our Mission News page.

holiday greetingsHoliday Greetings from the ILRSRelease Date: 12/18/2014Author: Carey Noll/ILRS CB

The Governing Board and the Central Bureau of the International Laser Ranging Service would like to extend thanks to you for your participation in service activities during 2014.

The ILRS has once again experienced a busy year, with the launch of new missions requiring laser ranging support, new products under development (not to mention all the effort involved in generating the ILRS contribution to the next ITRF computation), stations undergoing upgrade and improvement, sponsoring the very successful 19th International Workshop on Laser Ranging in Annapolis, and new challenges and opportunities opening up for our community through the various international activities and GGOS. We thank you for your continued support of the ILRS and its mission.

We would like to send our warmest wishes for a wonderful holiday season to all of our ILRS colleagues, staff members, and their families. Best wishes for a healthy and happy New Year.

We look forward to even more successes in 2015!

Pippo Bianco, Mike Pearlman, and Carey Noll

Spinsat satelliteSpinSat added to mission priorities listRelease Date: 12/12/2014SpinSat has been added to mission priorities list.

ILRS logoGlobal report cards now generated monthlyRelease Date: 12/11/2014The quarterly global report cards are now generated monthly.

A speed bump in space-timeEarthdata Article Featuring CDDIS Data PublishedRelease Date: 12/04/2014Like many physicists today, Rafael Lang at Purdue University is on the hunt. As in a treasure hunt, the odds of finding the treasure may be slim, but the rewards are huge and the lure of the hunt irresistible. Lang said, "If we were to find something, it would be super, super exciting, another puzzle piece to open this new world."

Read more...

galileo satelliteGalileo-201 satellite in stable Earth-pointing altitudeRelease Date: 12/02/2014ESA has informed the ILRS that the Galileo-201 satellite has undergone a series of maneuvers to place it into a stable Earth-pointing altitude and is now transmitting. The mission is now supplying predictions and the satellite has been added to the ILRS priority list.

ILRW19 logo19th International Laser Ranging Workshop at GSFC was a great successRelease Date: 11/18/2014The 19th International Laser Ranging Workshop was hosted by NASA GSFC from October 27-31, 2014 in Annapolis, Maryland. October 31 marks the 50th anniversary of the first successful Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) measurement which occurred at the Goddard Geophysical and Astronomical Observatory (GGAO) in 1964. The theme for this workshop, "Celebrating 50 Years of SLR: Remembering the Past and Planning for the Future" allowed the community to look back on its many accomplishments and to present plans for future advances in SLR technology and science. Sponsors for the Workshop were NASA, the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO), and the International Laser Ranging Service (ILRS). The Workshop was organized by Carey Noll (NASA GSFC, CDDIS DAAC Manager), Jan McGarry (NASA GSFC), Mike Pearlman (SAO) and Stephen Merkowitz (NASA GSFC) and was attended by approximately 180 participants from 25 countries.

On Monday, the history of SLR was given in a series of six invited talks by the pioneers in the field. The afternoon was devoted to invited science talks showing SLR's positive impact on various NASA and international missions.

In addition to the events in Annapolis, the participants were given a day-long tour of GSFC and GGAO, including tours of the Goddard Visitor's Center, Building 7 Integration and Testing facilities, Building 29 James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) integration and testing, and tours of the NASA next generation space geodesy systems at GGAO. A Goddard Joint Engineering and Scientific Colloquium on Wednesday featured a seminar by John Degnan, "A Celebration of Fifty Years of Satellite Laser Ranging." John's talk was introduced with a few words from GSFC Center Director, Chris Scolese.

A new format for a station operations session was introduced at this workshop where ILRS experts met in small groups of station engineers and operators to provide solutions to common station problems, information to maintain station stability, and guidelines for interacting with the analysts in determining station biases. These station clinics were well attended and received by workshop attendees.

A highlight of the Workshop was a speech and question and answer session at Thursday evening's banquet given by Dr. Piers Sellers, GSFC Deputy Director of the Sciences and Exploration Directorate and NASA astronaut.

There were 81 oral presentations and 70+ posters at the Workshop. The Goddard participants were authors or co-authors of over 30 of these, with many highlighting the new Space Geodesy Satellite Laser Ranging (SGSLR) Systems and the Next Generation Space Geodesy Network. SGSLR and the Space Geodesy Network will be built by Space Geodesy Project at Goddard for global deployment over the coming decade.

This workshop in Annapolis and GSFC proved to be a very successful gathering of international experts in the field of satellite laser ranging. The workshop website (http://cddis.gsfc.nasa.gov/lw19) will soon be updated with presentations, posters, summaries, and photos from the week.

ILRS logoNew Associate Analysis CenterRelease Date: 11/18/2014The Istituto Naz. di Fisica Nucleare - Laboratori Naz. di Frascati (Italy) has been approved as ILRS Associate Analysis Center (AAC)

IRNSSIRNSS-1CRelease Date: 11/17/2014IRNSS-1C has been added to the missions priorities list.

ILRS logoNew Associate Analysis CentersRelease Date: 09/27/2014The Institute for Space Astrophysics and Planetology (IAPS)/National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF) and the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI) South Korea have been approved as ILRS Associate Analysis Centers (AACs)

Site Log Viewer logoSite Log Viewer availableRelease Date: 09/17/2014The Site Log Viewer is now available. Browse site log files for one site or across sites.

NGSLR Celebrating 50 Years of Satellite Laser Ranging at NASA Goddard Space Flight CenterRelease Date: 08/28/2014In a field near Goddard 50 years ago this October, the first successful Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) measurements were taken, ushering in a new era in the science of measuring the Earth.

Read more

Brasilia station New ILRS tracking station at Brasilia, Brazil Release Date: 08/26/2014Data from new ILRS tracking station at Brasilia, Brazil (IERS DOMES Number: 48081S001; CDDIS SOD Number: 74072701), recently estabilished by the Russian space agency, has been validated by the ILRS Analysis Working Group.

workshop logo ITRF2013Release Date: 08/25/2014The ILRS Analysis Working Group (AWG) is finishing its contribution to the development of the next realization of the International Terrestrial Reference Frame (ITRF2013). Preliminary solution has been delivered to the IERS -- and final solution will be delivered by September.

workshop logo DE430/DE431 ephemeridesRelease Date: 08/25/2014IE, the new planetary ephemeris solution, includes 45 years of data from Lunar Laser Ranging, including six years of data to the station at Apache Point. See attached paper.

workshop logo ILRS supporting special IRNSS Tracking Campaign Release Date: 08/22/2014The ILRS is providing tracking support to the Indian Navigation Synchronous Satellites (IRNSS 1A and IRNSS 1B). Short duration campaigns are underway to seek near-simultaneous satellite laser ranging observations to help evaluate and calibrate the IRNSS orbits that are computed via other techniques. The ILRS stations that have participated in this campaign so far include: Changchun, Grasse, Graz, Herstmonceux, Matera, Yaragadee, Wettzell, and Zimmerwald.

The IRNSS satellites will provide navigation and positioning services to users in or near India, and ultimately will include a constellation of seven satellites.

workshop logo The third circular for the 19th International Workshop on Laser Ranging - Celebrating 50 years of SLR has been released.Release Date: 08/15/2014

workshop logo The second circular for the 19th International Workshop on Laser Ranging - Celebrating 50 years of SLR has been released.Release Date: 07/10/2014

workshop logo 19th International Workshop on Laser Ranging - Celebrating 50 years of SLR Release Date: 07/10/2014The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), along with the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, and the International Laser Ranging Service (ILRS), are pleased to announce that the 19th International Workshop on Laser Ranging will be held in Annapolis Maryland during the week of October 27-31, 2014 at the Historic Inns of Annapolis.

October 31, 2014 will mark the 50th anniversary of the first successful SLR measurement, conducted at what is now the Goddard Geophysical and Astronomical Observatory (GGAO). The theme for this workshop, "Celebrating 50 Years of SLR: Remembering the Past and Planning for the Future" will allow us to look back on our many accomplishments and present plans for future advances in SLR technology and science.

Visit the workshop website for more information at:

http://ilrs.gsfc.nasa.gov/ilrw19/

18th Laser Ranging Workshop Logo Proceedings from the 18th International Workshop on Laser RangingRelease Date: 03/25/2014 A website for the proceedings from the 18th International Workshop on Laser Ranging, held November 11-15, 2013 in Fujiyoshida Japan, has been created and is now available at http://cddis.gsfc.nasa.gov/lw18/.

Because a hardcopy of the proceedings will not be published, all presentations, posters, and papers collected thus far have been made available through this website. Session summaries and ILRS splinter meeting notes are also linked on the website. The ILRS would like to acknowledge the significant, and thorough, efforts of the program committee in working with workshop participants to collect the documents that are now available through the website.

CDDIS logo New CDDIS website now availableRelease Date: 03/24/2014 The CDDIS staff is pleased to announce a new CDDIS website is now available. This redesign has allowed for a review of the organization of the site and its contents, ensuring information is current and useful. The new site also incorporates an improved navigation scheme. The website features access to applications enabling data discovery. One application, the SiteLogViewer, provides an enhanced display and comparison of the contents of ILRS and IDS site logs used by the services to document a site's system configuration; IGS and IVS site logs will be added to the utility in the near future.

Comments and suggestions are welcome and should be directed to the CDDIS support group through the "Contact Us" link. We would like to acknowledge the efforts of the website development team (Lori Tyahla, Nathan Pollack, and Carey Noll) for their contributions to the site content.

Goddard LogoRobert H. Goddard Award RecipientsRelease Date: 03/18/2014 Congratulations to the Space Geodesy Project Team for receiving the Robert H. Goddard Exceptional Achievement Group Award for Engineering. Additional congratulations goes to Jan McGarry, who received an individual Robert H. Goddard Award for Exceptional Engineering Achievement.

ILRS logo Network outage - Saturday, March 15, 2014 from 08:00 a.m. through 04:00 p.m. EDT (12:00-20:00 UTC) Release Date: 03/07/2014 We have been notified that there will be a network outage (due to work on NASA's backbone equipment) on Saturday, March 15, 2014 from 08:00 a.m. through 04:00 p.m. EDT (12:00-20:00 UTC). Unfortunately, this activity will affect CDDIS operations. All connectivity to our servers will be off-line during that time. The outage will also affect access to the CDDIS, ILRS, LRO-LR, and Space Geodesy Project websites.

While the CDDIS is unavailable, users can access one of the other data centers supporting the services:

We regret the inconvenience the outage will cause our user community.

Space Geodesy Project logoNASA Solar System Exploration Division Seminar Release Date: 01/29/2014 An SSED seminar will be held Monday, February 10 from 2 to 3 p.m. in Building 34, Room W150. The speaker, Dr. Zuheir Altamimi from IGN in France, will give a presentation entitled "The International Terrestrial Reference Frame: current status and future challenges."

ILRS logo 19th International Workshop on Laser Ranging AnnouncedRelease Date: 01/21/2014 We are pleased to announce that the 19th International Workshop on Laser Ranging will be hosted at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, October 27-31 2014. Goddard has the unique opportunity to host this event at the birthplace of SLR: October 31, 2014 will mark the 50th anniversary of the first SLR measurement, conducted at what is now the Goddard Geophysical and Astronomical Observatory, GGAO. The theme for this workshop, "Celebrating 50 Years of SLR: Remembering the Past and Planning for the Future" will allow us to look back on our many accomplishments and present plans for future advances in the SLR technique. Furthermore, we solicit contributions from complementary space geodesy techniques and from activities that rely on the integration of SLR with other space geodesy techniques.

Please consider participation in this workshop and reserve the week to join us at NASA GSFC. More details will be provided shortly.

Read older news items