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Ops Issues

Operational Issues Session Summary

M. Pearlman and G. Kirchner

Title of Paper Principal Author
Data Yield of the ILRS Global Network Over The Past Decade E. Pavlis
The ILRS Report Card and Performance Charts M. Torrence

Korea's First Satellite for Satellite Laser Ranging

J.H. Lee
EUROLAS Real Time Status Exchange W. Gurtner
CDDIS Archive Structure Supporting Laser Ranging Data and Products C. Noll
ILRS Tracking Support of GP-B P. Shelus
The MICROSCOPE Mission R. Biancale
ALOS Overview: Time-restricted operation H. Kunimori
Status of the NASA SLR Network D. Carter
ILRS Mission Support P. Shelus


The Session on Operational Issues was a catchall for items not addressed elsewhere.  

Erricos Pavlis briefed us on his poster on the last 10 years of Lageos data, noting the weekend effect and the apparent reduction in data starting in 2004, probably due to the NASA reductions. Mark Torrence gave a short presentation on the progress at RITSS to resurrect the station data report card. Maury Dube gave a briefing on his poster on the new data structure being adopted by the data centers.

Werner Gurtner reviewed the status of the Real Time Station Status Exchange. A number of stations have incorporated it into their operations; all stations should seriously consider participation. David Carter gave us a rundown on the NASA budget reductions; data yield and coverage have been seriously impacted as has headquarters operations, but there is some optimism for improvement in FY 2005.

Jun Ho Lee gave us some background on the Korean Research Center (Satrac) and a new solar research and engineering test bed satellite that is being considered for launch in the 2005-7 timeframe with retros; some concern about the 300km by 700km orbit. Peter Shelus reported on GP-B frame dragging relativity experiment; the program is scheduled to last a minimum of 16 months with SLR tracking support to commence in July. The spacecraft geometry limits SLR opportunities; predictions and viewing tables being organized. Richard Biancale gave a presentation on the French Microscope Mission, a drag free microsatellite for as test of Equivalence Principle planned for launch on 2006. The mission, which is extremely weight limited, would rely on SLR tracking for 1-meter orbits for the relativity experiment. A secondary experiment is planned to measure atmospheric helium density. A final decision on the mission is anticipated in July.

Hiroo Kunimori gave a presentation on the remote sensing ALOS mission, which is now scheduled for launch by JAXA in 2005. On-board sensors are vulnerable to SLR and scheduling will require very careful planning. Peter Shelus reported that ICESat, with its laser altimeter, is being tracked on a limited basis by a few stations; the sensors are very vulnerable to SLR and methods of automated protection are being examined. Peter also reported the status on a number of other missions. Meteor-3M continues to rely on SLR since its radio system failed, but tracking is weak from only a few stations. Stations are asked to make a little more effort. GFO-1 is back in operation after solar activity hiatus; once again this satellite depends solely on SLR for tracking. Since the PRARE operations have been reduced, ERS-2 is now placing even greater dependence on SLR while the mission is now planned to continue through 2005. The stations have been consistently getting more data on Topex/Poseidon than Jason probably due to the comparative link margins; T/P mission has recently assumed stow mode while some systems problems are being addressed. The Grace and Champ Missions continue to rely on SLR for GPS and SST validation, scale, and gravity field model development. The complex of passive satellites (Lageos, Starlette, Stella, BE-C, etc.) are still very fundamental tools for the recovery of the long period gravity field terms and time-varying gravity field components. SLR is still the most accurate technique for the definition of radial orbit component for both geodynamics and altimetry missions.


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Author: Carey E. Noll
Responsible NASA Official: Carey E. Noll
Last Updated: August 16, 2004