Tag: GPS Declassified

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

I recently gave a talk to a Dallas group about the need to build ASAP a backup to GPS. In researching this, the growth in the importance of GPS to the US economy surprised me. Read More View Post

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In case anyone needs a break from seeing Nancy P. try to appear to be solemn in black, I was recently on The Space Shot podcast twice: https://thespaceshot.fireside.fm/403 Read More View Post

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The UNP has many space books for sale at 50% off through the end of November. I highly recommend the Outward Odyssey: A People’s History of Spaceflight series. The shipping cost of $6 is high but is less onerous if spread over multiple books. https://www.nebraskapress.unl.edu/fall-sale/ Here’s Jim Lovell holding my tome. Read More View Post

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Appearance on Cold War Conversations Podcast

 

My interview was posted today. I talked about the early space program and the origins of GPS. This podcast is great. I especially liked the episode where Hess’s interpreter talked about his conversations with the former Nazi #2. Here I am with my father in 1963.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Air Power School Picks Up My Book

 

Amazon has a section where authors can track sales of their books and of particular interest are the sales by geography. Two weeks ago, I sold fourteen copies of the hardcover in a week. But it put the geography section as “other,” which means that it wasn’t from a big city. I haven’t sold fourteen copies in a week since the initial month in which it was released, so I wondered if a book club selected it. Tonight I found out that the Air Power School in Birmingham Alabama is reading it; the Air Force’s MA and PhD granting institution of Air and Space strategy. This is the biggest news we’ve had since we were invited three years ago to speak to Air Force Space Command and a four star general (Hyten) introduced our talk. Sorry for the vanity, but the many Ricochet authors know how nice it is when you find out that your book is being recognized and used by significant people.

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I spoke with my co-author at the New York Military Affairs Symposium on 5/5. C-SPAN recorded it and will be playing it this Saturday: Global Positioning System History Authors Richard Easton and Eric Frazier discuss the history and evolution of global positioning system, or GPS. Read More View Post

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Book Review: “GPS Declassified”

 

“GPS Declassified” by Richard D. Easton and Eric F. FrazierAt the dawn of the space age, as the United States planned to launch its Vanguard satellites during the International Geophysical Year (1957–1958), the need to track the orbit of the satellites became apparent. Optical and radar tracking were considered (and eventually used for various applications), but for the first very small satellites would have been difficult. The Naval Research Laboratory proposed a system, Minitrack, which would use the radio beacon of the satellite, received by multiple ground stations on the Earth, which by interferometry would determine the position and velocity of a satellite with great precision. For the scheme to work, a “fence” of receiving stations would have to be laid out which the satellite would regularly cross in its orbit, the positions of each of the receiving stations would have to be known very accurately, and clocks at all of the receiving stations would have to be precisely synchronised with a master clock at the control station which calculated the satellite’s orbit.

The technical challenges were overcome, and Minitrack stations were placed into operation at locations within the United States and as far flung as Cuba, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Australia, and in the Caribbean. Although designed to track the U.S. Vanguard satellites, after the unexpected launch of Sputnik, receivers were hastily modified to receive the frequency on which it transmitted its beeps, and the system successfully proved itself tracking the first Earth satellite. Minitrack was used to track subsequent U.S. and Soviet satellites until it was supplanted in 1962 by the more capable Spacecraft Tracking and Data Acquisition Network.