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Global Positioning System. Primary purposes: navigation, projectile guidance, search and rescue, surveying, communications, recreation. Global Positioning System.

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Global Positioning System

Primary purposes: navigation, projectile guidance, search and rescue, surveying, communications, recreation

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Global Positioning System

  • The GPS Master Control Station, operated by the 50th Space Wing's 2nd Space Operations Squadron at Schriever AFB is responsible for monitoring and controlling the GPS satellite constellation.

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THE WHITE HOUSEOffice of the Press SecretaryFor Immediate Release May 1, 2000


Bill: Today, I am pleased to announce that the United States will stop the intentional degradation of the Global Positioning System (GPS) signals available to the public beginning at midnight tonight. We call this degradation feature Selective Availability (SA). This will mean that civilian users of GPS will be able to pinpoint locations up to ten times more accurately than they do now.

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Q: What happened?

A: Selective Availability was removed

MAY 1, 2000 MAY 3, 2000

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Global Positioning System

  • What’s next: longer life expectancy and higher accuracy

    • GPS Block IIF – 2 of 12 launched (last in Aug., 2011)

    • GPS Block III (under development)

    • Much more here:

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GPS to Google Earth

This is why you average waypoints

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  • LiDAR – air and ground based

    • 30 year old technology

    • Cost effective only recently

  • System components

    • Laser scanner with a precise clock

    • Requires robust computer support

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Airborne scanning

30,000 points per second at ~15 cm accuracy


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How do multiple-

returns work?

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10 meter ???

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3 meter LiDAR point data

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with buildings

Univ. of Wisconsin

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without buildings

Univ. of Wisconsin

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High-resolution topography: some applications

  • Fault mapping

  • Geologic mapping

  • Landslide hazards & change thru time

  • Flood hazards

  • Surface water runoff modeling

  • Precision forestry

  • Noise propagation (roughness)

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southern Bainbridge Island

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15 km west of Seattle

Toe Jam Hill

fault scarp

Waterman Point


beach uplifted

during 900 AD


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terrestrial LiDAR scanners

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Original scan by, Brandon Vogt, and Steve Jennings

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Original scan by, Brandon Vogt, and Steve Jennings

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Original scan by, Brandon Vogt, and Steve Jennings

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Terrestrial Laser Scanning

  • UCCS (Leica-Geosystems ‘TruView’)


  • Allerton Church


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GPS / background

  • GPS


  • Lidar