Over the past five years, the International GNSS Service (IGS) has made continuous efforts to extend its service from GPS and GLONASS to the variety of newly established global and regional navigation satellite systems. This report summarizes the achievements and progress made in this period by the IGS Multi-GNSS Experiment (MGEX). The status and tracking capabilities of the IGS monitoring station network are presented and the multi-GNSS products derived from this resource are discussed. The achieved performance is assessed and related to the current level of space segment and user equipment characterization. While the performance of orbit and clock products for BeiDou, Galileo, and QZSS still lags behind the legacy GPS and GLONASS products, continued progress has been made since launch of the MGEX project and already enables use of the new constellations for precise point positioning, atmospheric research and other applications. Directions for further research are identified to fully integrate the new constellations into routine GNSS processing. Furthermore, the active support of GNSS providers is encouraged to assist the scientific community in the generation of fully competitive products for the new constellations.
The International Reference Ionosphere (IRI), a joint project of URSI and COSPAR, is the de facto international standard for the climatological specification of ionospheric parameters and as such it is currently undergoing registration as Technical Specification (TS) of the International Standardization Organization (ISO). IRI by charter and design is an empirical model based on a wide range of ground and space data. It describes monthly averages of ionospheric densities and temperatures in the altitude range 50–1500 km in the non-auroral ionosphere. Since its inception in 1969 the IRI model has been steadily improved with newer data and with better mathematical descriptions of global and temporal variation patterns. A large number of independent studies have validated the IRI model in comparisons with direct and indirect ionospheric measurements not used in the model development. A comparison with IRI is often one of the first science tasks by an ionospheric satellite or rocket team. This paper describes the latest version of the IRI model, IRI-2007, explaining the most important changes that are being introduced with this version. These include: (1) two new options for the topside electron density, (2) a new model for the topside ion composition, (3) the first-time inclusion of a model for the spread F occurrence probability, (4) a NeuralNet model for auroral E-region electron densities, (5) a model for the plasmaspheric electron temperature, and (6) the latest International Geomagnetic Reference Field (IGRF) model for the computation of magnetic coordinates including their changes due to the secular variation of the magnetic field.
An accurate and continuous monitoring of lakes and inland seas is available since 1993 thanks to the satellite altimetry missions (Topex–Poseidon, GFO, ERS-2, Jason-1, Jason-2 and Envisat). Global data processing of these satellites provides temporal and spatial time series of lakes surface height with a decimetre precision on the whole Earth. The response of water level to regional hydrology is particularly marked for lakes and inland seas in semi-arid regions. A lake data centre is under development at by LEGOS (Laboratoire d’Etude en Géophysique et Océanographie Spatiale) in Toulouse, in coordination with the HYDROLARE project (Headed by SHI: State Hydrological Institute of the Russian Academy of Science). It already provides level variations for about 150 lakes and reservoirs, freely available on the web site (HYDROWEB: ), and surface-volume variations of about 50 big lakes are also calculated through a combination of various satellite images (Modis, Asar, Landsat, Cbers) and radar altimetry. The final objective is to achieve in 2011 a fully operating data centre based on remote sensing technique and controlled by the in situ infrastructure for the Global Terrestrial Network for Lakes (GTN-L) under the supervision of WMO (World Meteorological Organization) and GCOS (Global Climate Observing System).
Recent analyses on the instability of the orbital debris population in the low Earth orbit (LEO) region and the collision between Iridium 33 and Cosmos 2251 have reignited interest in using active debris removal (ADR) to remediate the environment. There are, however, monumental technical, resource, operational, legal, and political challenges in making economically viable ADR a reality. Before a consensus on the need for ADR can be reached, a careful analysis of its effectiveness must be conducted. The goal is to demonstrate the need and feasibility of using ADR to better preserve the future environment and to explore different operational options to maximize the benefit-to-cost ratio. This paper describes a new sensitivity study on using ADR to stabilize the future LEO debris environment. The NASA long-term orbital debris evolutionary model, LEGEND, is used to quantify the effects of several key parameters, including target selection criteria/constraints and the starting epoch of ADR implementation. Additional analyses on potential ADR targets among the existing satellites and the benefits of collision avoidance maneuvers are also included.
This paper presents a contemporary review of vertical coupling in the atmosphere and ionosphere system induced by internal waves of lower atmospheric origin. Atmospheric waves are primarily generated by meteorological processes, possess a broad range of spatial and temporal scales, and can propagate to the upper atmosphere. A brief summary of internal wave theory is given, focusing on gravity waves, solar tides, planetary Rossby and Kelvin waves. Observations of wave signatures in the upper atmosphere, their relationship with the direct propagation of waves into the upper atmosphere, dynamical and thermal impacts as well as concepts, approaches, and numerical modeling techniques are outlined. Recent progress in studies of sudden stratospheric warming and upper atmospheric variability are discussed in the context of wave-induced vertical coupling between the lower and upper atmosphere.
Scramjet is found to be the efficient method for the space shuttle. In this paper, numerical simulation is performed to investigate the fundamental flow physics of the interaction between an array of fuel jets and multi air jets in a supersonic transverse flow. Hydrogen as a fuel is released with a global equivalence ratio of 0.5 in presence of micro air jets on a flat plate into a Mach 4 crossflow. The fuel and air are injected through streamwise-aligned flush circular portholes. The hydrogen is injected through 4 holes with 7dj space when the air is injected in the interval of the hydrogen jets. The numerical simulation is performed by using the Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes equations with Menter’s Shear Stress Transport (SST) turbulence model. Both the number of air jets and jet-to-freestream total pressure ratio are varied in a parametric study. The interaction of the fuel and air jet in the supersonic flow present extremely complex feature of fuel and air jet. The results present various flow features depending upon the number and mass flow rate of micro air jets. These flow features were found to have significant effects on the penetration of hydrogen jets. A variation of the number of air jets, along with the jet-to-freestream total pressure ratio, induced a variety of flow structure in the downstream of the fuel jets.
There is a growing appreciation that the environmental conditions that we call space weather impact the technological infrastructure that powers the coupled economies around the world. With that comes the need to better shield society against space weather by improving forecasts, environmental specifications, and infrastructure design. We recognize that much progress has been made and continues to be made with a powerful suite of research observatories on the ground and in space, forming the basis of a Sun–Earth system observatory. But the domain of space weather is vast – extending from deep within the Sun to far outside the planetary orbits – and the physics complex – including couplings between various types of physical processes that link scales and domains from the microscopic to large parts of the solar system. Consequently, advanced understanding of space weather requires a coordinated international approach to effectively provide awareness of the processes within the Sun–Earth system through observation-driven models. This roadmap prioritizes the scientific focus areas and research infrastructure that are needed to significantly advance our understanding of space weather of all intensities and of its implications for society. Advancement of the existing system observatory through the addition of small to moderate state-of-the-art capabilities designed to fill observational gaps will enable significant advances. Such a strategy requires urgent action: key instrumentation needs to be sustained, and action needs to be taken before core capabilities are lost in the aging ensemble. We recommend advances through priority focus (1) on observation-based modeling throughout the Sun–Earth system, (2) on forecasts more than 12 h ahead of the magnetic structure of incoming coronal mass ejections, (3) on understanding the geospace response to variable solar-wind stresses that lead to intense geomagnetically-induced currents and ionospheric and radiation storms, and (4) on developing a comprehensive specification of space climate, including the characterization of extreme space storms to guide resilient and robust engineering of technological infrastructures. The roadmap clusters its implementation recommendations by formulating three action pathways, and outlines needed instrumentation and research programs and infrastructure for each of these. An executive summary provides an overview of all recommendations.
This article discusses the attitude modes employed by present Global (and Regional) Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSSs) and the models used to describe them along with definitions of the constellation-specific spacecraft body frames. A uniform convention for the labeling of the principal spacecraft axes is proposed by the International GNSS Service (IGS), which results in a common formulation of the nominal attitude of all GNSS satellites in yaw-steering mode irrespective of their specific orbit and constellation. The conventions defined within this document provide the basis for the specification of antenna phase center offsets and variations in a multi-GNSS version of the IGS absolute phase center model in the ANTEX (antenna exchange) format. To facilitate the joint analysis of GNSS observations and satellite laser ranging measurements, laser retroreflector array coordinates consistent with the IGS-specific spacecraft frame conventions are provided in addition to representative antenna offset values for all GNSS constellations.
The Asteroid Impact & Deflection Assessment (AIDA) mission is a joint cooperation between European and US space agencies that consists of two separate and independent spacecraft that will be launched to a binary asteroid system, the near-Earth asteroid Didymos, to test the kinetic impactor technique to deflect an asteroid. The European Asteroid Impact Mission (AIM) is set to rendezvous with the asteroid system to fully characterize the smaller of the two binary components a few months prior to the impact by the US Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft. AIM is a unique mission as it will be the first time that a spacecraft will investigate the surface, subsurface, and internal properties of a small binary near-Earth asteroid. In addition it will perform various important technology demonstrations that can serve other space missions. The knowledge obtained by this mission will have great implications for our understanding of the history of the Solar System. Having direct information on the surface and internal properties of small asteroids will allow us to understand how the various processes they undergo work and transform these small bodies as well as, for this particular case, how a binary system forms. Making these measurements from up close and comparing them with ground-based data from telescopes will also allow us to calibrate remote observations and improve our data interpretation of other systems. With DART, thanks to the characterization of the target by AIM, the mission will be the first fully documented impact experiment at asteroid scale, which will include the characterization of the target’s properties and the outcome of the impact. AIDA will thus offer a great opportunity to test and refine our understanding and models at the actual scale of an asteroid, and to check whether the current extrapolations of material strength from laboratory-scale targets to the scale of AIDA’s target are valid. Moreover, it will offer a first check of the validity of the kinetic impactor concept to deflect a small body and lead to improved efficiency for future kinetic impactor designs. This paper focuses on the science return of AIM, the current knowledge of its target from ground-based observations, and the instrumentation planned to get the necessary data.
The concerns over land use/land cover (LULC) change have emerged on the global stage due to the realisation that changes occurring on the land surface also influence climate, ecosystem and its services. As a result, the importance of accurate mapping of LULC and its changes over time is on the increase. Landsat satellite is a major data source for regional to global LULC analysis. The main objective of this study focuses on the comparison of three classification tools for Landsat images, which are maximum likelihood classification (MLC), support vector machine and artificial neural network (ANN), in order to select the best method among them. The classifiers algorithms are well optimized for the gamma, penalty, degree of polynomial in case of SVM, while for ANN minimum output activation threshold and RMSE are taken into account. The overall analysis shows that the ANN is superior to the kernel based SVM (linear, radial based, sigmoid and polynomial) and MLC. The best tool (ANN) is then applied on detecting the LULC change over part of Walnut Creek, Iowa. The change analysis of the multi temporal images indicates an increase in urban areas and a major shift in the agricultural practices.
Snow cover over the Northern Hemisphere plays a crucial role in the Earth’s hydrology and surface energy balance, and modulates feedbacks that control variations of global climate. While many of these variations are associated with exchanges of energy and mass between the land surface and the atmosphere, other expected changes are likely to propagate downstream and affect oceanic processes in coastal zones. For example, a large component of the freshwater flux into the Arctic Ocean comes from snow melt. The timing and magnitude of this flux affects biological and thermodynamic processes in the Arctic Ocean, and potentially across the globe through their impact on North Atlantic Deep Water formation. Several recent global remotely sensed products provide information at unprecedented temporal, spatial, and spectral resolutions. In this article we review the theoretical underpinnings and characteristics of three key products. We also demonstrate the seasonal and spatial patterns of agreement and disagreement amongst them, and discuss current and future directions in their application and development. Though there is general agreement amongst these products, there can be disagreement over certain geographic regions and under conditions of ephemeral, patchy and melting snow.
We present in detail the scientific objectives in fundamental physics of the Space–Time Explorer and QUantum Equivalence Space Test (STE–QUEST) space mission. STE–QUEST was pre-selected by the European Space Agency together with four other missions for the cosmic vision M3 launch opportunity planned around 2024. It carries out tests of different aspects of the Einstein Equivalence Principle using atomic clocks, matter wave interferometry and long distance time/frequency links, providing fascinating science at the interface between quantum mechanics and gravitation that cannot be achieved, at that level of precision, in ground experiments. We especially emphasize the specific strong interest of performing Equivalence Principle tests in the quantum regime, i.e. using quantum atomic wave interferometry. Although STE–QUEST was finally not selected in early 2014 because of budgetary and technological reasons, its science case was very highly rated. Our aim is to expose that science to a large audience in order to allow future projects and proposals to take advantage of the STE–QUEST experience.
This paper presents the results of the cross-validation of a multivariate logistic regression model using remote sensing data and GIS for landslide hazard analysis on the Penang, Cameron, and Selangor areas in Malaysia. Landslide locations in the study areas were identified by interpreting aerial photographs and satellite images, supported by field surveys. SPOT 5 and Landsat TM satellite imagery were used to map landcover and vegetation index, respectively. Maps of topography, soil type, lineaments and land cover were constructed from the spatial datasets. Ten factors which influence landslide occurrence, i.e., slope, aspect, curvature, distance from drainage, lithology, distance from lineaments, soil type, landcover, rainfall precipitation, and normalized difference vegetation index (ndvi), were extracted from the spatial database and the logistic regression coefficient of each factor was computed. Then the landslide hazard was analysed using the multivariate logistic regression coefficients derived not only from the data for the respective area but also using the logistic regression coefficients calculated from each of the other two areas (nine hazard maps in all) as a cross-validation of the model. For verification of the model, the results of the analyses were then compared with the field-verified landslide locations. Among the three cases of the application of logistic regression coefficient in the same study area, the case of Selangor based on the Selangor logistic regression coefficients showed the highest accuracy (94%), where as Penang based on the Penang coefficients showed the lowest accuracy (86%). Similarly, among the six cases from the cross application of logistic regression coefficient in other two areas, the case of Selangor based on logistic coefficient of Cameron showed highest (90%) prediction accuracy where as the case of Penang based on the Selangor logistic regression coefficients showed the lowest accuracy (79%). Qualitatively, the cross application model yields reasonable results which can be used for preliminary landslide hazard mapping.
The development, operation, and analysis of data from cubesats can promote science education and spur technology utilization in emerging and developing nations. This platform offers uniquely low construction and launch costs together with a comparative ubiquity of launch providers; factors that have led more than 80 universities and several emerging nations to develop programs in this field. Their small size and weight enables cubesats to “piggyback” on rocket launches and accompany orbiters travelling to Moon and Mars. It is envisaged that constellations of cubesats will be used for larger science missions. We present a brief history, technology overview, and summary of applications in science and industry for these small satellites. Cubesat technical success stories are offered along with a summary of pitfalls and challenges encountered in both developed and emerging nations. A discussion of economic and public policy issues aims to facilitate the decision-making process for those considering utilization of this unique technology.
The European component of the joint ESA-NASA Asteroid Impact & Deflection Assessment (AIDA) mission has been redesigned from the original version called Asteroid Impact Mission (AIM), and is now called Hera. The main objectives of AIDA are twofold: (1) to perform an asteroid deflection test by means of a kinetic impactor under detailed study at NASA (called DART, for Double Asteroid Redirection Test); and (2) to investigate with Hera the changes in geophysical and dynamical properties of the target binary asteroid after the DART impact. This joint mission will allow extrapolating the results of the kinetic impact to other asteroids and therefore fully validate such asteroid deflection techniques. Hera leverages technology and payload pre-developments of the previous AIM, and focuses on key measurements to validate impact models such as the detailed characterisation of the impact crater. As such, AIDA will be the first documented deflection experiment and binary asteroid investigation. In particular, it will be the first mission to investigate a binary asteroid, and return new scientific knowledge with important implications for our understanding of asteroid formation and solar system history. Hera will investigate the smallest asteroid visited so far therefore providing a unique opportunity to shed light on the role cohesion and Van der Waals forces may play in the formation and resulting internal structure of such small bodies.
Hot flow anomalies (HFAs) are studied using observations of the RAPID suprathermal charged particle detector, the FGM magnetometer, and the CIS plasma detector aboard the four Cluster spacecraft. Previously, we studied several specific features of tangential discontinuities on the basis of Cluster measurements in February–April 2003. In this paper, we confirm the following results: the angle between the Sun direction and the tangentional discontinuity (TD) normal is larger than 45° during HFAs, the magnetic field directional change is large. We then present evidence for a new necessary condition for the formation of HFAs, that is, the ( ) than the long-term average. The existence of this condition is also confirmed by simultaneous ACE MAG and SWEPAM solar wind observations at the L1 point 1.4 million km upstream of the Earth. The results are compared with recent hybrid simulations.
Multi-constellation GNSS precise point positioning (PPP) first became feasible back to 2007 but with only two constellations, namely GPS and GLONASS. With the availability of more satellites and precise orbit and clock products from BeiDou and Galileo, it is possible now to investigate PPP with four constellations, namely GPS, BeiDou, GLONASS and Galileo. This research aims at investigating the quad-constellation PPP for position determination and analyzing its positioning performance. A quad-constellation PPP model is developed to simultaneously process the observations from all the four GNSS systems. The developed model is also applicable to the PPP processing with observations from single, dual or triple constellations. The analysis on PPP accuracy and convergence time is conducted based on data processing results from both static and kinematic tests of single-constellation and multi-constellations. The three-hour static positioning results indicate that the BeiDou-only PPP accuracy is worse than the GPS-only PPP. The RMSs of position errors for BeiDou-only PPP are 5.2 cm, 2.7 cm and 8.3 cm in east, north and up directions while the ones for GPS-only PPP are 3.9 cm, 1.6 cm and 5.7 cm. The GPS/BeiDou PPP improves the positioning accuracy by 28%, 6% and 7% and reduces the convergence time by 26%, 13% and 14% over the GPS-only PPP in three coordinate components, respectively. The GPS/GLONASS PPP achieves slightly better performance than the GPS/BeiDou PPP. The triple-constellation PPP further increases the positioning accuracy and decreases the convergence time over the dual-constellation PPP. The improvement of positioning performance is not significant after adding Galileo due to currently limited number of satellites. Similar to the static positioning, the quad-constellation kinematic PPP also significantly improves the positioning performance in contrast with single-constellation and dual-constellations. The time varying characteristics of the time differences between the four systems are also investigated. The results indicate that the system time differences of GPS with BeiDou, GLONASS and Galileo are very stable over time with STD values of better than 1.1 ns.
The mass density of Earth’s thermosphere (∼90–600 km altitude) is a critical parameter for low Earth orbit prediction because of the atmospheric drag on satellites in this region. In this review, we first survey techniques for measuring thermospheric density, empirical models that provide a synthesis of historical data, and physical models that simulate the environment by solving fluid equations. We then review the climate and weather features that are observed in thermospheric density (including its response to solar forcing) and summarize recent studies of these features. The review is focused on results published between 2000 and 2014, which coincides with a period of extensive accelerometer measurements of density and accompanying research; some historical context is also provided.
GRACE, designed to monitor temporal variations in the fluid mass at the surface of the Earth, is still operating and providing invaluable data 7 years after launch. One hundred and ninety-nine satellite-only geopotential solutions to degree and order 50 were recomputed per 10-day interval for the period 29 July 2002–27 May 2008 using an improved data editing and solution regularization procedure. These release 2 solutions are significantly improved compared to release 1 solutions, the noise over deserts and oceans in the form of North–South striping being reduced by 20–40%. This is thanks to the tailored regularization of each individual Stokes coefficient applied in the solution procedure, and to a time-variable reference model containing mean annual, semiannual and secular variations for degrees 2–50 towards which the variations per 10-day solution are constrained. It may attenuate signals of the order of a few percent, whereas this always occurs when applying a Gaussian smoother even with a half-width smoothing radius as small as 300 km. The uncertainty of an individual point in the time series of a basin expressed in equivalent water height inferred from the 10-day solutions is approximately 20 mm. Comparison of these 10-day solutions to monthly GRACE project solutions (CSR, GFZ and JPL) shows substantial differences. Even for the largest basin, the Amazon, a 15% difference in annual amplitude is found between CNES release 2 and CSR versus GFZ and JPL. The mass-loss estimates for East and West Greenland vary by 100%. Sometimes clear outliers are detected in the GFZ and JPL solutions when a particular basin is studied, which have to be eliminated. In view of the large differences detected between the time series for specific basins, it is hazardous to draw conclusions based on a single solution.
The Multi-GNSS Experiment (MGEX) of the International GNSS Service (IGS) aims at the data collection and analysis of available satellite navigation systems. In particular the new global and regional satellite navigation systems are of interest, i.e., the European Galileo, the Chinese BeiDou, the Japanese QZSS as well as satellite based augmentation systems. This article analyzes the orbit and clock quality of the Galileo products of four MGEX analysis centers for a common time period of 20 weeks. Orbit comparisons of the individual analysis centers have a consistency at the 5–30 cm level. Day boundary discontinuities range from 4 to 28 cm whereas 2-day orbit fit RMS values vary between 1 and 7 cm. The accuracy evaluated by satellite laser ranging residuals is on the one decimeter level with a systematic bias of about −5 cm for all analysis centers. In addition, systematic errors on the decimeter level related to solar radiation pressure mismodeling are present in all orbit products. Due to the correlation of radial orbit errors with the clock parameters, these errors are also visible as a bump in the Allan deviation of the Galileo satellite clocks at the orbital frequency.