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Recent News

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

ESA logoESA Lunar Pathfinder mission to include Lunar Laser RangingRelease Date: 04/28/2022 The European Space Agency (ESA) announced that a test version of unique satellite navigation receiver has been delivered for the Lunar Pathfinder spacecraft, scheduled for launch in 2024. The receiver will receive GNSS-signals from the Galileo and GPS constellations for position, navigation and timing around the Moon. The Lunar Pathfinder spacecraft will also carry a laser retroreflector array for lunar laser ranging, and an X-Band transponder for ranging and communications using conventional deep space tracking facilities.

The laser retroreflector array on Lunar Pathfinder will be an evolution of the retroreflector array designed for NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The LRO retroreflector array is a 15 × 18 × 5 cm, 650-g array of twelve 32-mm diameter solid corner cubes mounted on the LRO anti-nadir deck. In 2020, NASA scientists and colleagues from the ILRS station at Grasse, France, conducted successful two-way laser ranging to the LRO spacecraft.

Lunar Pathfinder will relay signals from lunar orbital and lunar surface missions, and provide navigation information for lunar orbiting and surface assets. The Lunar Pathfinder spacecraft is being built by SSTL (Surrey Satellite Technology Limited) in the U.K.

Link for ESA news story: https://www.esa.int/Applications/Navigation/The_Moon_where_no_satnav_has_gone_before

Description of Lunar Laser Ranging to NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO)
Mazarico E., Sun X., Torre JM. et al (2020). "First two-way laser ranging to a lunar orbiter: infrared observations from the Grasse station to LRO's retro-reflector array". Earth Planets Space 72, 113. doi:10.1186/s40623-020-01243-w

GGOS logoGGOS Coordinating Office Develops Film to Promote GeodesyRelease Date: 04/28/2022 The Global Geodetic Observing System (GGOS) Coordinating Office has helped to organize a general ∼8 minute video that explains geodesy, the geodetic observations and products that are available from the different IAG services, and the benefits of geodesy to science and society.

The GGOS video so far is available in English, Spanish, German, French & Japanese.

Contributors included Allison Craddock (IGS, NASA/JPL, USA), Detlef Angermann (GGOS, TU München, Germany), Basara Miyahara (GGOS, Geospatial Information Authority of Japan), Laura Sánchez (GGOS, TU München, Germany), Martin Sehnal (GGOS, BEV Federal Office of Metrology and Surveying, Austria), Michael Pearlman (ILRS, Harvard Center for Astrophysics, USA), Riccardo Barzaghi (IAG, Politecnico di Milano, Italy), Adrian Jäggi (IAG, AIUB, Switzerland), Zuheir Altamimi (IAG, Institut Géographique National, France), Richard Gross (GGOS, NASA/JPL, USA), Kosuke Heki (GGOS, Hokkaido University, Japan), Toshimichi Otsubo (ILRS, Hitotsubashi University, Japan), Laurent Soudarin (IDS, CLS, France), Alexandre Couhert (IDS, CNES, France), Pascale Ferrage (IDS, CNES, France), Frank Lemoine (IDS & ILRS, NASA GSFC, USA), Kayako Hori, Shinobu Kurihara, William Martínez, and Katharina Sehnal.

Check out the videos on YouTube:

English: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jwqz097N2IY

Spanish: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biqkQ8Iy5rI

French: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CLlDXIl_aI

German: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sjp4cGbKT8

Japanese: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQ6k64IkQ1g

Please share the video(s) in your home institutes and on social media.

If you would like to contribute to GGOS by translating the video into another language, please contact the GGOS Coordinating Office (email: co AT ggos.org).

IERS logoThe IERS ITRS Center at the IGN (Institut Géographique National, France) announced the availability of the ITRF2020 solution Release Date: 04/21/2022 On April 15, 2022, the IERS ITRS Center at the IGN (Institut Géographique National, France) announced the availability of the ITRF2020 solution at their dedicated web site:

https://itrf.ign.fr/en/solutions/ITRF2020

The new reference frame realization includes the contributions of all the IAG Geodetic Services (IVS, ILRS, IDS, IGS) and their Analysis Centers and Combination Centers. The ILRS contribution was based on a reprocessing of SLR data to the LAGEOS, LAGEOS-2 & the two Etalon satellites from 1993.0 to 2020.0 and to LAGEOS only from 1983.0 to 1993.0. As part of the reprocessing, the ILRS Analysis Standing Committee (ASC) conducted a 5-year effort of systematic analysis, to determine systematic errors in the SLR data. The reanalysis incorporated an improved "target signature" model (CoG) for better separation of true systematic errors from errors in describing the target's signature (Rodriguez et al., 2019; Pavlis et al., 2021). A major result is that the scale difference with VLBI in ITRF2020 is ~1.4 mm (0.23 ppb) compared to ITRF2014 where the SLR-VLBI scale difference was ~8.8 mm (1.37 ppb). While SLR defines the origin of the ITRF, both SLR & VLBI are used to define the scale of the ITRF. We show the characteristics of the ILRS contribution to ITRF2020 in the figure below, with the ITRF2020 SLR scale in blue and the ITRF2014 SLR scale in red (Pavlis et al., 2021).


The ILRS ASC is working on an ILRS extended version, the SLRF2020, which will include the SLR stations that were not part of the ITRF2020 solution and will provide instructions on how to get the highest accuracy results when implementing this extended model in SLR data analysis.

In the meantime, users should visit the ITRF website to update their procedures with the new files and software that have been released with the ITRF2020, and should implement the new Post-Seismic Displacement model and other related enhancements.

The ITRS solutions by the other ITRS centers, DTRF2020 from DGFI-TUM (Deutsches Geodätisches Forschungsinstitut, Technische Universität München), and JTRF2020 from JPL (the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory), are being finalized and should be available in the near future (e.g. Glomsda et al., 2021).

References:
Glomsda M., Seitz M., Bloßfeld M. et al. (2021). "DTRF2020: the ITRS2020 realization of DGFI-TUM", Frontiers of Geodetic Science (virtual meeting, Sept. 22, 2021). (https://mediatum.ub.tum.de/doc/1625232/1625232.pdf)

Pavlis E., Luceri V., Basoni A. et al. (2021). "ITRF2020: The International Laser Ranging Service (ILRS) Contribution, AGU 2021 Fall Meeting , 13-17 December 2021, doi:10.1002/essoar.10509208.1

Rodriguez, J., Appleby, G., Otsubo, T. (2019). "Upgraded modelling for the determination of centre of mass corrections of geodetic SLR satellites: impact on key parameters of the terrestrial reference frame", J. Geodesy, 93(12), 2553-2568, doi:10.1007/s00190-019-01315-0.

Tenerife stationNew ILRS Station Izaña (7701, IZ1L) in Tenerife (Canary Islands, Spain) is now OperationalRelease Date: 04/14/2022 Izaña (7701) has completed the requirements to be an operational station in the ILRS network and its data has been released from quarantine. The Analysis Standing Committee has approved the release of data collected since 2021-11-28.

We thank our station colleagues Andrea Di Mira, Jens Steinborn for their efforts, and congratulate them on this achievement!

IRNSS SatelliteILRS Stations Participate in Tracking Campaign for the IRNSS SatellitesRelease Date: 04/12/2022 From April 17-30, 2022 at the request of ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization), the ILRS Central Bureau is organizing a tracking campaign for the IRNSS Indian constellation of GNSS satellites. The objective is for the network to provide an even distribution of SLR normal points around the orbit, for the satellites that are the focus of the campaign. The IRNSS satellites are located in geosynchronous (24-hr) orbits over the Indian Ocean region and their ground track makes a 'figure-8' on the surface of the Earth.

Seven satellites (IRNSS-1A,1B,1C,1D,1E,1F and IRNSS-1I) make up the IRNSS constellation, and are on the ILRS tracking roster. The distance to the geosynchronous orbit altitude (35786 km) makes these satellites challenging objects to track for the ILRS stations. Each IRNSS satellite is equipped with a retroreflector array consisting of 40 corner cubes, where each cube is 29.7 mm in height and 38 mm in diameter. These cubes were designed, manufactured and tested in India. The retroreflector arrays underwent thermo-optical characterization at the National Institute of Nuclear Physics/National Laboratory of Frascati facility in Italy (Porcelli et al., 2017). The current tracking campaign is a follow-on to an earlier ILRS campaign in 2018.

During the current campaign ILRS stations in the Eastern Region of the Indian Ocean (Asia, Australia) will track IRNSS 1C plus IRNSS -1D. ILRS stations in the Western Region of the Indian Ocean (Europe, Africa) will track IRNSS 1C plus IRNSS- 1I. While stations may try to track in the daytime, but it is expected that most data will be obtained during nighttime passes.

The IRNSS tracking data from the campaign will be used to assess the performance of these IRNSS satellites, in a similar way to how SLR data are used to validate the performance of other GNSS constellations such as Galileo.

References:

IRNSS constellation home page: https://www.isro.gov.in/irnss-programme

Kogure S., Ganeshan A.S., and Montenbruck O. (2017). "Regional systems", in Springer Handbook of Global Navigation Satellite Systems, pp. 305-337, I Teunissen, P.J., Montenbruck, O. (eds). Springer-Verlag, Cham. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-42928-1_11.

Porcelli, L., et al. (2017). "Thermo-optical vacuum testing of IRNSS laser retroreflector array qualification model", Adv. Space Res., 60(5), 1054-1061, doi: 10.1016/j.asr.2017.05.012.

Sen J.R., Lakshimi K.T. Mukundun M. et al. (2020). "IRNSS information for beginners", Remote Sensing of Clouds and the Atmosphere XXV, Proceedings of SPIE, 11531, 115310O, doi: 10.1117/12.2575993.

ILRS logoDefinitions of Pass, Pass-Segment, and SessionRelease Date: 04/11/2022 The CDDIS, EDC, and NASA DOC provide statistics for the ILRS community including the monthly report cards, verification counts, and statistics for presentations and reports. These groups have worked together to standardize their definitions of a pass and a pass-segment.

The following definitions have been agreed to:

  • A pass is defined as all tracking that lasts less than a full satellite period. For geosynchronous satellites, the duration is capped at 24 hours; this is the standard product.
  • A pass-segment is another term for a session (interval of continuous data) which is a reflection of how the data was taken at the station and submitted to the data centers. A single pass-segment/session is counted from one H1 to H8.

A pass includes all data taken on a satellite during one transit over the station. The pass-segment is just a magnification of how the data was taken and submitted.

REFAG 2022 logoCall for Papers for IAG REFAG2022 Meeting Release Date: 04/04/2022 The primary scope of REFAG 2022 is to address today's theoretical concepts of reference systems and their practical implementation by space geodetic techniques and their combination. Contributions for the meeting may include, global reference frames by individual space geodetic techniques and their combination; space geodetic measurements and mitigation of their systematic errors; geocenter motion and non-tidal loading effects; terrestrial and space geodetic ties for multi-technique combination; regional reference frames and related applications; Celestial reference frames; comparison and combination of Earth Orientation parameters; and use and challenges of geodetic reference frames for Earth science applications. The scientific program of the symposium will also cover initiatives and projects that endorse the role of geodetic reference frames for scientific exploration, sustainable development, climate monitoring, and satellite navigation.

Key Dates:

  • June 20, 2022 (Abstract deadline)
  • July 25, 2022 (Early registration deadline)
For more information, check the URL for the meeting: www.refag2022.org


station in Tenerife SpainNew ILRS Station (Izaña, IZ1L) in Tenerife (Canary Islands, Spain) undergoing acceptance testingRelease Date: 03/28/2022 The new SLR station Izaña (IZ1L, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain) is undergoing acceptance testing. The station is providing tracking data to LAGEOS-1, LAGEOS-2 and LARES which are being analyzed by the ILRS Analysis Standing Committee (ASC) to verify the performance prior to its acceptance as an operational station of the ILRS. The station Izaña (IZ1L) is built for the European Space Agency (ESA) by a consortium of European companies and institutes under the lead of DiGOS Potsdam GmbH (Germany). A recent article in the online space news periodical "spaceref.com" provides news of and a description of the station. (URL: http://spaceref.com/commercial-space/new-laser-station-lights-the-way-to-space-debris-reduction.html)

station in Tenerife Spain

ESA's new Izaña (IZ1L) laser ranging station in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain



ILRS logoCPF v1 format discontinuedRelease Date: 03/10/2022 On March 1, 2022, the ILRS officially discontinued predictions in the CPF v1 format and have switched to the CPF v2 format. Please find the most recent predictions available at https://cddis.nasa.gov/archive/slr/cpf_predicts_v2/current/

IAG logoIAG Statement on UkraineRelease Date: 03/04/2022 The International Association of Geodesy, a parent organization of the IVS/ILRS, has posted a statement on Ukraine. Read the statement.



Tom ClarkThe Passing of Professopr George Veis (based on a bio written by Ivan Mueller)Release Date: 01/31/2022 It is with great sadness that we convey the passing of George Veis, scientist, teacher, and a good friend to all of us; truly one of the fathers of Space Geodesy.

George was born in Athens in 1929. In 1951 he graduated in Surveying Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA). In 1955 he was the recipient of a Greek state fellowship for advanced studies in Paris at the Sorbonne and the Ecole Nationale des Sciences Geographiques. He then spent some time at the Observatoire de Paris and the Bureau Gravimetrique International. Starting in 1957 he continued his postgraduate studies at the Ohio State University, where he was awarded with his PhD in 1958, after defending his famous dissertation on the "Geodetic Applications of Observations of the Moon, Artificial Satellites and Rockets".

George was one of the framers of the early Satellite Geodesy Program at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, which itself was a fundamental element of the early NASA Space Geodesy Activity.

George joined the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO), (later the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) in 1959 at the beginning of satellite geodesy era and the deployment of the Baker Nunn Satellite Tracking Cameras for geodetic and other scientific research. Over two decades as principal scientific consultant at SAO, he helped guide activities as the satellite geodesy program evolved with the Baker Nunn Camera and the emergence of Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR). He worked with the engineers on the design of the SAO SLR systems and the retroreflectors on satellites.

While at SAO, George contributed the early concept and evolution of the Differential Orbit Improvement (DOI) Program, which became the main analysis tool for satellite tracking, geopotential estimation, station coordinate determination, and satellite drag research. He defined the fundamental reference system used for many years, which now forms the basis of modern models of earth rotation, precession, and nutation. He also initiated the SAO Star Catalogue project, which provided a uniform all-sky catalogue for precision camera observations, and was used for many years all over the world.

Keeping his connection with SAO, George returned to NTUA, where he was elected Professor of Surveying (renamed later Higher Geodesy and Cartography) to develop satellite geodesy in Greece.

In 1969 he established the tracking station at Dionysos, installed a Baker-Nunn camera there, and began developing a laser ranging system. He had the vision of a complete geophysical observatory with, of course, satellite tracking, a meteorological observatory, earth tide monitoring, strain gauges, etc. He also developed surveys based on Transit Doppler measurements and GPS when the equipment became available. As an early mobile SLR deployment, George transported the Dionysos laser system to the remote island of Othoni, north of Corfu, Greece, and used it in October of 1973 to measure the distance to an Italian target at Specchia, Cristi at the tip of the boot. This measurement enabled for the first time the accurate connection of the Greek geodetic network with main Europe (Balodimos D., Geodetic Connection between Greece and Italy, Anno xxxvi, Bollettino di Geodesia e scienze Affini, 1977).

Dionysos laser system deployed on the island of Othoni northeast of Corfu, Greece, in October of 1973 (D. Balodimos personal archive).

Dionysos laser system deployed on the island of Othoni northeast of Corfu, Greece, in October of 1973 (D. Balodimos personal archive).

George's department at NTUA was a major source of young geodesists for the global community.

The Dionysos station contributed to the MERIT, MEDLAS, WEGENER and other programs. Between 1965 and 1984 George also organised the famous series of international symposia, in Lagonissi and Athens, on the "Use of Artificial Satellites for Geodesy and Geodynamics". The five volumes of the proceedings of these symposia document a great part of 20 years of geodetic history.

George's career as a science-administrator was also rich. As a member of the NTUA's senate and the Dean of the Faculty of Surveying Engineering, he suffered a short, but painful imprisonment by the military dictatorship in Greece, because of his proper academic comportment during students protest which caused the furious reaction of the regime. He was the Secretary General of the Hellenic Committee for Geodesy and Geophysics, its President from 1982 to 1990. He was President of the Board of the Athens National Observatory and the President of the Observatory's Scientific Council. He was the President of the Cadastre and Mapping Organization of Greece and the President of the National Consultative Council for Research. He also presided over several IAG/IUGG and COSPAR organizations. George retired from the NTUA in 1997. The ETH of Zurich honored him with an Honorary Doctor's degree.

George continued to be active in a key position as the President of the important Supreme Council for Personnel Selection, a state authority responsible for the selection of personnel for the public administration in Greece. George was awarded the Levallois Medal in 2003 in recognition of his distinguished service to the science of geodesy.

George Veis continued to be endlessly creative, engaging, seducing, elegant, modern and forever young scientist, who shared his ideas with enthusiasm, and helped everyone with whom he had contact. He witnessed the birth of space geodesy, its evolution from many meters to mm's, and continued to think about its future until his death. He had celebrated his 92nd birthday last September 8th, 2021.

George is survived by his wife Katerina, and children Konstandinos, Alexandros, Ino, Nico and Maria, and his grandchildren. His funeral is set for January 31, at noon.

May his memory be an abiding blessing.

George Veis during his last visit to the USA in 2014, while attending the ILRS Annapolis Workshop.

George Veis during his last visit to the USA in 2014, while attending the ILRS Annapolis Workshop.



Tom ClarkThe passing of Thomas ClarkRelease Date: 10/05/2021 Space Geodesy lost a longtime colleague and friend with the passing of Thomas Arvid Clark on September 28, 2021. Tom was a pioneer in Space Geodesy and Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI), and a founding member of the NASA Crustal Dynamics Project.

Tom received his B.S. in Engineering Physics and his Ph.D. in Astro-Geophysics from the University of Colorado in 1961 and 1967 respectively. From 1966 to 1968, he served as Chief of the Astronomy Branch at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and as Project Scientist on the Spacelab Coronagraph. At GSFC, where he moved in 1968, Tom received numerous NASA awards for his pioneering work on Radio Astronomy Explorer 1 and 2 and several generations of Very Long Baseline Interferometry systems. Tom developed the Totally Accurate Clock (TAC), an inexpensive GPS timing receiver that found widespread use in a number of global networks. Tom was named a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in 1991 and a Fellow of the International Association of Geodesy (IAG) in 1999. Tom was also a pioneer in amateur and digital radio; he designed and flew several low cost satellites for relaying amateur radio messages around the globe and is a past president of AMSAT. He was one of only 50 initial inductees into the CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame, a list which included such engineering luminaries and inventors as Guglielmo Marconi (radio), Samuel Morse (telegraph), Nikola Tesla (HF generators and radio), and John Bardeen and William Schockley (transistor). Tom retired from GSFC in 2001 but remained active in Amateur Radio activities.

Those of us who worked with Tom during the Crustal Dynamics period remember him as a brilliant mind, a very interesting and sometimes caustic character, but someone who was kind, supportive, and very helpful to those of us around him. We will miss him.

ILRS logoThird circular for ILRS Virtual World Tour 2021 releasedRelease Date: 09/30/2021 Dear Colleagues:

We look forward to seeing you at "ILRS Virtual World Tour 2021". Progress has been made at the five tour hosts and by the session chairs. Now we have just opened the registration form. Please visit the event website below and find the link.
https://ilrs.gsfc.nasa.gov/ILRS_Virtual_World_Tour_2021/index.html
Registration period: October 1 to 15, 2021

Participants are encouraged to register as a group if possible, due to the limit of Microsoft Teams individual participants allowed. The URL links will be sent only to the registered people.

See you in a month!

ILRS Virtual World Tour 2021 Organizers:
Claudia Carabajal/SSAI, Inc, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, USA
Evan Hoffman/NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, USA
Igor Ignatenko/VNIIFTRI, Russia
Jason Laing/Peraton NSGN Operations Lead, USA
Toshimichi Otsubo/Hitotsubashi University, Japan (Chair)
Michael Pearlman/ Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, USA
Ulrich Schreiber/Geodetic Observatory Wettzell, Germany
Zhang Zhongping/Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, China

ILRS logoSecond circular for ILRS Virtual World Tour 2021 releasedRelease Date: 08/31/2021 Dear Colleagues:

We are happy to report the updates on this year's "ILRS Virtual World Tour". In addition to the virtual visits to the stations (∼120 min), short special add-on sessions (30-60 min) are planned with the help of the Standing Committee Chairs. We look forward to seeing you in the last week of October.

Schedule (tentative; in UTC):

Monday, October 25
12:00 Opening session with reports from ILRS CB and Geodetic Community
12:45 Virtual Tour of Herstmonceux, UK

Tuesday, October 26
13:00 Virtual Tour of Wettzell, Germany
15:00 Special Session on Network & Engineering, LLR and Space Debris Ranging

Wednesday, October 27
13:00 Virtual Tour of Mendeleevo, Russia
15:00 Special Session on Analysis

Thursday, October 28
06:00 Virtual Tour of Shanghai, China
08:00 Special Session on Missions (1)

Friday, October 29
16:00 Virtual Tour of Monument Peak, USA
18:00 Special Session on Data Format and Missions (2), and Closing

Workshop website: https://ilrs.gsfc.nasa.gov/ILRS_Virtual_World_Tour_2021/index.html

Logistics:
Microsoft Teams will be used for all of these sessions.
The Third Circular will be issued later with details on registration.

ILRS Virtual World Tour 2021 Organizers:
Claudia Carabajal/SSAI, Inc @ NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, USA
Evan Hoffman/NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, USA
Igor Ignatenko/VNIIFTRI, Russia
Jason Laing/Peraton NSGN Operations Lead, USA
Toshimichi Otsubo/Hitotsubashi University, Japan (Chair)
Michael Pearlman/Center for Astrophysics, USA
Ulrich Schreiber/Geodetic Observatory Wettzell, Germany
Zhang Zhongping/Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, China


ILRS logoThe Passing of Prof. Vladimir VasilievRelease Date: 08/11/2021 Prof. Vladimir Vasiliev, a Russian scientist who made a huge personal contribution to the development of radio-laser systems, died on August 10, 2021 from coronavirus at the age of 90. In 1962, on his initiative, work began to assess the possibilities of using lasers in space technology. Vasiliev is the ancestor and ideologist of domestic optical-laser topics in such areas as precision geodetic; radio and optical range finders; onboard laser range finders for space systems; laser gyroscopes; spacecraft docking systems; optical communication; and navigation systems. Under his leadership, the necessary design and technological base was formed for the creation of on-board and ground laser information-measuring systems for various purposes, Vasiliev's ideas for calculating high-performance optical retroreflective antennas have been successfully used in the creation of the global GLONASS system and in many other domestic and international satellite laser ranging systems.

Vasiliev is the ideologist of the creation of passive precision optical mini-satellites operating on the principle of the Luneberg lens. These laser passive mini-satellites open up the possibility of studying geodeformations with a sub-millimeter accuracy. In 2002, an experimental model of the retroreflector ball was manufactured, installed on the Meteor-3M spacecraft and successfully passed flight tests. In 2009, the world's first full-scale autonomous glass laser mini-satellite BLITS was launched and successfully operated together with the global network of ILRS laser stations. As a result of many years of fruitful scientific and pedagogical activity, V. Vasiliev created a well known scientific school, which enjoys the well-deserved authority of specialists in our country and abroad. V. Vasiliev has been awarded many state and departmental awards.

He is the author of over 250 scientific works and 6 monographs, one of which is "Electro-optical and radio measurements", adopted as a textbook for higher educational institutions.

The passing of Vladimir Vasiliev is a great loss to all of us. We send our condolences to Professor Vasiliev's family.

ILRS logoNew schedule of ILRS Workshop Kunming on Laser RangingRelease Date: 08/10/2021 Dear Colleagues:

After discussion with our local colleagues in Kunming, the new date of the 22nd International Workshop on Laser Ranging has now been decided to be October 31 - November 4, 2022.

In view of the covid pandemic, further announcements will be updated ASAP. You can also find new information at: 22ndilrs2020.csp.escience.cn

Logo for 2021 ILRS Virtual World TourILRS Virtual World Tour 2021- October 25-29, 2021Release Date: 07/22/2021 Dear Colleagues,

Due to the COVID 19, we have had to postpone our laser workshops, our annual seminal events, in 2020 and 2021. The ILRS again wishes to provide the opportunity for our worldwide community to meet, at least virtually, and share. We are now planning the "2021" version of "Virtual World Tour" following the success of last year.

This online event will be held October 25-29, 2021, to virtually visit 5 stations in 5 days, stopping at: Herstmonceux, UK, Mendeleevo, Russia, Monument Peak, USA, Shanghai, China and Wettzell, Germany.

The time table details are now in process. We are also planning short add-on session each dayto allow us to provide updates and some opportunity for discussion on issues important to the ILRS community.

Please highlight the dates on your calendar. More details will follow.

Dan O'Gara retired after 37 years of dedicated support to the International Geodetic Community Release Date: 05/12/2021 The International Laser Ranging Service (ILRS) and the NASA Space Geodesy Project (SGP) express our appreciation and congratulations to Dan O'Gara for his 37 years of service to the international geodetic community. Dan retired from the University of Hawaii (UH) on April 30, 2021.

Much of Dan O'Gara's work at UH was with the Lunar Ranging Experiment (LURE) observatory. The University of Hawaii's LURE was installed on Haleakala in 1973. Dan joined the team in the early 1980s, performing maintenance and developing the software to control the LURE beam director and operating the system. The station became known as HOLLAS by the ILRS community as it gained the capability to track satellites and took on the 4-character code of HALL (for Haleakala Laser), but the locals always referred to it as LURE. Dan eventually became the station manager for LURE while he continued to develop the software and operate the system.

See https://ilrs.gsfc.nasa.gov/network/stations/inactive/HALL_station_info.html and http://koa.ifa.hawaii.edu/Lure/#:~:text=The%20Lure%20Observatory%20is%20located,Maui%20in%20the%20Hawaiian%20archipelago.&text=The%20Lunar%20Ranging%20Experiment%20(LURE,and%20reflectors%20on%20the%20Moon

The LURE facility was decommissioned in 1990 to make room for another experiment. In 2006, NASA installed the TLRS-4 Satellite Laser Ranging station at a different location on the top of the mountain. Dan continued his work as station manager, operator, and laser ranging software expert for TLRS-4.

Dan is well known and liked by everyone in the ILRS and SGP. He continued his interest in the lunar community even after the UH lunar laser ranging program ended. He participated in multiple ILRS Workshops including the Workshop in Annapolis which celebrated the 50th anniversary of SLR. He hosted numerous site visits to Haleakala by many groups and supported the Space Geodesy Project's preliminary work to deploy a next generation SLR station and new GNSS stations on the top of Haleakala, helping the SGP team find a good location for the new SLR system and supporting the team's site visit in 2015.

The Maui SLR stations have played a critical role in the international SLR network by covering satellite tracking over the Pacific. The station team under the leadership and management of Dan O'Gara has done a great job. His calm demeanor and sense of humor has been much appreciated.

Dan was the face of Hawaii laser ranging for many decades. He will be greatly missed by his colleagues and friends in the Space Geodesy Project and the International Laser Ranging Service. We wish Dan a healthy and happy retirement, and great success in his future plans!

group photo with Dan O'Gara in the center

Dan O'Gara, featured at the center of the picture, accompanied by SGP folks during a site visit in 2015. From left to right: Jan McGarry, Stephen Merkowitz, Dan O'Gara, Jim Long, Scott Wetzel, and David Stowers. (Photo credit: Scott Wetzel)



ILRS logoILRS Workshops Cancelled/Postponed Release Date: 04/09/2021 Dear Colleagues,

In view of the continued threat of the current pandemic, the ILRS and the members of the Kunmimg Station have decided that it would be best to postpone the 22nd International Workshop on Laser Ranging until 2022. We know that it is a disappointment to skip another year, but we really have no choice. The date for the 2022 workshop at Kunming, China has yet to be decided.

Plans are being formulated to have another program of virtual station tours, with perhaps some talks on pertinent ILRS subjects in late 2021, in place of the workshop.

As a consequence, the Technical Workshop scheduled for Arequipa, Peru will also be postponed another year, until 2023.

We thank both the Kunming and Arequipa teams for their patience and preparation to date. We know that both workshops will be great successes.

Looking on the bright side, our community should have much to report when these workshops are finally held.

We hope that you and your community will continue to act in safety.

With best wishes,

Mike Pearlman
Director, ILRS Central Bureau

ILRS logoNew Software for ILRS Station Plots Release Date: 02/05/2021 The ILRS has been generating global report cards monthly including meteorological data, LAGEOS performance, and satellite data information. The software to create these plots have been recently upgraded through the efforts of the Station Plots Working Group, formulated by the ILRS Central Bureau in 2020. The start date of the new charts begin in 2012/05, when the CRD format was released.

With this upgrade, some plots were combined and additions were made. For more information on the changes made to the report cards, please see: With this upgrade, some plots were combined and additions were made. For more information on the changes made to the report cards, please see the Overview of Station Plots page.

If you notice any discrepancies on a webpage please feel free to contact us at support-cddis@earthdata.nasa.gov.

Hayabusa2 logoTwo-way ranging to the Hayabusa 2 spacecraft is succesfulRelease Date: 02/05/2021 In JAXA's press conference on 4 Feb 2021, Prof Takahide Mizuno of JAXA and Prof Toshimichi Otsubo of Hitotsubashi University announced the success of two-way ranging to the Hayabusa 2 spacecraft. During the post-flyby period in December 2020, a two-way link was established with Grasse, and one-way links were confirmed with Koganei and Mt Stromlo.

Read the results of the experiment...

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