ILRS NEWG Meeting (Nice 2000)

Nice, France
26 April 2000

The Networks and Engineering Working Group met in Nice on 26 April 2000. The attendees included Werner Gurtner (chair), Yang FuMin, Wolfgang Schlueter, Wolfgang Seemueller, David Carter, John Degnan, Graham Appleby, Ulrich Schreiber, Van Husson, and Mike Pearlman, and as guests John Luck, Roger Wood, John Manning, Matti Paunonen, and Peter Shelus.

At the recommendation of the Working Group, action is being taken to streamline the message distribution process. Routine operations reports will be distributed through the SLReport exploder. Centers currently producing these reports will be encouraged to reduce as much as possible their individual distribution lists. A "hotmail" exploder will be established to facilitate rapid communication (and display) of highest priority messages. SLRmail will remain available for other routine traffic.

At the recommendation of the Working Group an exploder will also be established for the distribution of predictions. The exploder will be established at EDC with an intelligent, rapid response back-up at HTSI.

The present list of NEWG tasks includes (chairman of subgroups marked with an '*'):

  • Provide a communications link between the analysis community and the global network to determine (a) what feedback the stations desire, (b) what feedback or information already exists; and (c) who initiates and implements the improvements in feedback. (*Yang, Koenig, and Appleby)
  • Facilitate ranging data problem and anomaly resolution by (a) generating a catalog of quality checks performed by the various Analysis Centers, (b) specifying the feedback needed by the tracking sites, (c) developing a catalog of diagnostics for trouble shooting, and (d) developing software for data consistency and format checks that could be run on the normal point files at the stations (*Koenig, Husson, and Donovan)
  • Review and maintain a system configuration data base with search capability (*Husson and Gurtner)
  • Establish and maintain a knowledge data base (*Pearlman and Degnan)
  • Perform engineering analysis in support of new missions and network scheduling (*Schreiber and Carter)
  • Coordinate and catalyze engineering improvements within the global network.  (*Kirchner, Degnan, Zagwodzki, and Donovan)

Discussion and Action items:

Items 1 and 2 overlap considerably and should be consolidated. Van Husson already performs many of the activities within his roles in both the Working Group and the Central Bureau. He will lead the consolidated activity and its working team. Koenig is currently unavailable to participate due to his involvement in the Champ mission. A mechanism should be developed to draw on broader expertise to resolve technical problems at the stations. The team should be broadened a bit to include more practitioners.

Under item 3, the system log form has been developed by the Working Group and will be implemented by the Central Bureau. Responses will be returned via ftp and tabulated in a web accessible ASCII file. The Working Group will develop requirements for a search capability to be implemented by the Central Bureau.

Under item 4, an on-line bibliography with both engineering and analysis/scientific references has been established on the web site by the Central Bureau. An aggressive program to bring the bibliography up to date and keep it current needs to be implemented by the Central Bureau. A search capability based on "key words" for each entry in the knowledge base should established. A dictionary of "key words" will be developed by Degnan and Pearlman for review and augmentation by members of the four Working Groups. The Central Bureau will establish a program to assign five key words to each entry in the knowledge base using authors recommendations wherever possible and focussing first on the past decade of material. Once the dictionary of key words is established, authors will be required to include five key words in their submissions to the knowledge base (bibliography). Ultimately, all items in the knowledge base should link to (a) full electronic text (if it exists) or (b) a location where hard copy exits and can be copied.

Under item 5, a computation algorithm for the link budget to retroreflector satellites is linked from the web site, along with zenith signal strengths for some satellites expressed relative to that of Lageos. The Table should be completed to include all retroreflector satellites and should be kept current as new satellites are launched. A graphical display of the off-zenith dependence for all satellites should also be included. This team should include Stephan Riepl.

Item 6 should be a standing activity. Lists of popular and well-tested components should be provided to the community in an attempt to promote standardization and enhance communication.