NOAA-Wide GNSS Workshop Dave Skaggs Research Center Boulder, Colorado October 24-25, 2007 David Zilkoski, Director NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey GNSS

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  • NOAA-Wide GNSS WorkshopDave Skaggs Research CenterBoulder, ColoradoOctober 24-25, 2007

    David Zilkoski, Director NOAAs National Geodetic SurveyGNSS and NOAA: Imagine the Possibilities

  • NGS began using GPS in 1983. This Macrometer V1000 is the first GPS receiver owned by NOAA. 1983 GPS and Its Components: Limited Application of Use A Limited Number of SatellitesAnalysis CentersGPS Receivers

  • Todays GPS and Components: Three Major Changes24 GPS Satellites with Increased Types and Accuracy of SignalsIncreased Mobility and Usefulness of GPS Receivers


  • GLONASSGalileo3) Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)other constellationsaugmentationsWAASEGNOSCORSNDGPSLAASQZSSGPS

  • NOAA Leads IGS Analysis CentersNOAAs National Geodetic Survey was selected to coordinate International GNSS Service (IGS) analyses for the next four years.

    NGS was selected out of 10 other IGS analysis centers to perform the main product combination and quality control operations.

    Products consist of satellite orbits, clocks, and associated Earth orientation parameters. Image Credit:

  • Today GPS is Used by Many NOAA ProgramsNational Hurricane CenterInundation modelsNational Weather ServiceTsunamisGPS Ionosphere Weather Models Marine FisheriesSWaPS, Benthic MappingOcean and Atmospheric ResearchClimate Change and Sea Level Rise Atmospheric ModelsNational Ocean ServiceNWLON (CO-OPS)Digital coasts (CSC)Coastal mapping/shoreline (NGS/Coast survey)Coral Reef Conservation Program (OCRM/NCCOS)Coastal Zone Managers (OCRM)

    NOAA PPBES Programs the benefit from Height Mod:Coastal & Marine Resources (CMR)Coral Reef Conservation (COR)Ecosystem Observations (EOP)Ecosystem Research (ERP) Habitat (HAB)Climate & Ecosystems (CLE)Climate Observations & Analysis (COA)Climate Predictions & Projections (CPP)Coasts, Estuaries, & Oceans (CEO)Environmental Modeling (MOD) Hydrology (HYD)Local Forecasts & Warnings (LFW)Space Weather (SWX) Tsunami (TSU)Aviation Weather (AWX )Marine Transportation System (MTS)Marine Weather (MWX)NOAA Emergency Response (EMR)Surface Weather (SFC)Regional Decision Support (RDS)

  • Navigation, Positioning, and Docking of NOAAs Fleet GNSS enabled digital displays provide all-weather navigation, positioning, and docking. GNSS provides the foundation for safe operations during adverse weather, such as fog and blinding storms. GNSS real-time navigation and water-level data prevents groundings and collisions with bridges.

  • GNSS Helps Prevent the Destruction of Marine Environments Caused by Industry 98-percent of nations tonnage in international commerce moves by sea. Without accurate geodetic information, nautical charts would be riddled errors, accidents, groundings, and spills of hazardous cargo would increase. Exxon Valdez

  • GNSS and NOAAs Emergency ResponseGNSS allows NOAA to track the current location and movement of oil spills, which allows for positioning of defensive equipment to protect marine environments.

    Environmental sensitivity maps and spill-response models help cleanup managers identify the most vulnerable ecological areas near a spill and predict how the spill will respond to weather, current, and tide conditions.

    GNSS guides emergency responders to disaster areas quickly, accurately, and efficiently.

  • GNSS and Weather ForecastingGNSS is a reliable, low-cost technology for measuring water vapor, which is essential for predicting storms.

  • GNSS Guides Marine Resources in Estuarine and Coastal WetlandsCoastal zone managers are able to make more informed decisions about fisheries programs, stock assessments, algal blooms, and other issues affecting the health and vitality of coastal ecosystems.

  • GNSS and the Shallow Water Positioning System (SWAPS)SWAPS provides research opportunities to quantify patterns of damage and recovery on shallow coastal habitats, including:

    The potential for surveying large areas rapidly without the need to deploy divers,

    The ability to return to specific locations within damaged areas without establishing perimeter tags or markers, and

    The ability to survey an area remotely without specialized field personnel.

  • Time Transfer for NLDNSlide Courtesy of Seth Gutman

  • Slide Courtesy of Seth Gutman

  • We are harnessing power in the sky to chart a prosperous new course on the ground. - Vice President and Noble Prize for Peace Recipient Al Gore

    How could the future look?

  • Underwater Positioning of Remote Operating Vehicles (ROVs)Deep water ROVs return to same location within centimeters.ITRF2000Longitude: 123 07' 13' West Latitude: 37 43' 04''North Elevation: -503 meters

  • Water Levels Anywhere, Anytime, and Any Place!Images Credit: NOAA and www.nhptv.orgGNSS on Buoys improve hydrographic charts that translate into improved marine traffic control, safety, and productivity in ports, rivers, and open ocean.

    ITRF2000Longitude: 74 29' 56' West Latitude: 37 14' 38'' North Elevation: 54 meters

  • Increased Efficiency and Better Environmental Stewardship with Precision AgricultureOnboard computers in farm equipment can regulate the precise mix of chemicals for every square foot based on known soil qualities and GNSS positioning, effectively reducing the amount of fertilizer and pesticides used.

    Harmful farm runoff, which contaminates watersheds, decreases as position accuracy increases.

    Crop output can increase as GNSS guided robotic farm equipment can be used 24-7.Image Credits In Order:,, and USACE

  • GNSS and Digital Elevation Maps (DEMs)With the help of GNSS, more accurate DEMs can be produced to support Community Resiliency efforts by better detecting local relative sea-level rise and water-levels in flood prone areas.

    DEMs in coastal ecosystems provide a better understanding of a wetlands ability to serve as a storm-surge buffer.

  • More Accurate Positioning of UAVs Provide:Climate Quicker Data Collection Weather Research Closer to Data SourceFisheries Enforcement Expanded and More Frequent MonitoringCoastal Zone StudiesMore Accurate Data Fire MonitoringReplaces Human MonitoringSearch and RescueProvides an Aerial View in Harsh TerrainHurricane Monitoring Search and RescueForest FiresSlide Courtesy of Scott Raydar

  • UAV Fire Fighting Capability & PredictionFirefighters employ hand held radios connecting them to each other, their command post, and the tankersFirefighters receive HALE images on their PDAsSmoke jumpers & firefighters arriveCourtesy Northrop Grumman

  • GNSS Enabled UAVs in the Gulf of MexicoHarmful Algal Bloom along Florida CoastlineSlide Courtesy of Scott Raydar

  • GNSS Applications in Various EcosystemsPipeline MovementCoastal Erosion Monitoring Argos-Linked Tagged Loggerhead Sea Turtles Tracked by NOAA Polar SatelliteSlide Courtesy of Scott Raydar

  • Questions? Comments?

    Designed to monitor sea grass and coral reefs in shallow water. Our first version was remotely operated, we later decided to go to a Carolina Skiff. The latest version is pushed by a person in the water. With the post processing of GPS data and editing the video a 3 to 5 centimeter position or better are not unusual results.Slide 6. In addition to its use for positioning and navigation, GPS also provides precise timing information for activities such as locating lightning strikes. This slide shows what a National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN) sensor looks like, where these sensors are located in the continental U.S, and what a display of lightning strike locations looks like on a NOAA weather computer workstation. When lightning is generated, large amounts of energy are released in the form of light, heat, sound, and radio waves. Radio waves travel at the speed of light in the atmosphere and arrive at National Lightning Detection Network sensors at different times. Knowing the precise locations of the NLDN sites, and the times of arrival of the lightning-generated radio waves, one can estimate the location of the lightning strike with great accuracy.Slide 5. This slide illustrates the use of GPS to track dropsondes that are deployed at high altitude by NOAA aircraft such as the G-IV shown flying above the clouds near its base in Tampa, Florida. Dropsondes are commonly deployed over remote locations to provide essential atmospheric information when severe weather events such as hurricanes are far offshore.Slide 8. The NOAA National Geodetic Survey uses GPS to monitor water levels along the coasts and rivers of the U.S. The image on the left illustrates the use of GPS to make these measurements on buoys have substantially improved hydrographic charts which translates into improved marine traffic control, safety, and productivity. The diagram on the right shows the relationship of important hydrographic measurements to the GPS ellipsoid; a mathematical figure to which the orbits of the NAVSTAR GPS satellites are referred.NOAAs is looking into many potential UAS applications at its three test bases. As you are all aware, UAS provide a new means to collect data; conduct long endurance flights for weather forecasting; validate satellite measurements; monitor atmospheric composition and climate; gather critical data for input into hurricane models; and enforce regulations over National Marine Sanctuaries.Examples:In February 2006, NOAA used the Silver Fox UAS to conduct flight operations over the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. In March 2006, NOAA participated in an air quality study in the Indian Ocean led by Scripps Institution of Oceanography that used Manta UASs to observe aerosol-ra