Atlas V launch marks ‘end of an era’ for GPS

CAPE CANAVERAL — A blitz of launches updating the nation’s Global Positioning System constellation concluded Friday with an Atlas V rocket’s successful first flight of the year.
A few hours after an on-time 8:38 a.m. liftoff into an azure sky, the 19-story United Launch Alliance rocket deployed the last of a dozen satellites in the series labeled GPS IIF, or 2F.
The mission marked the “end of an era,” Col. Steve Whitney, director of the Air Force’s Global Positioning Systems Directorate, said before the launch.
And it wrapped up what Whitney called one of the most aggressive launch campaigns in the last 20 years, with eight GPS satellites delivered to orbit over the past two years, a rate of one every few months.

Fandom GPS

No but imagine one where you could alternate fandoms each day;

Supernatural Fandom GPS Day:

Bobby: “Ya, idjit, go another half mile and turn back around.”
Castiel: “I don’t understand. There is a store called ‘Winchester Gear’? What do they sell? Salt shotgun shells?”
Crowley: “I run Hell and I don’t even want to go to this place. Why exactly do you want directions there?”

Harry Potter Fandom GPS Day:

Snape: “Take exit three hundred and ninety four.”
McGonagall: “Turn left now, you babbling, bumbling baboon.”
Luna: “If you look out your window more often, you’re much more likely to spot a Crumple-Horned Snorkack.”

Sherlock Fandom GPS Day:

Mycroft: “If you could manage it, a left turn this century wouldn’t be your worst decision ever.”
Mrs. Hudson: “I’m not even your landlady, dear, but if you want my directions, you’ll go back home and have a nice cuppa.”
Lestrade: “Right, what you want to do here is look out for the lane changes, because the traffic can be murder.”

Doctor Who Fandom GPS Day:

Amy Pond: “Ya bloody idiot, what ya wanna go that way for?”
River Song: “Oh, are we going somewhere? How exciting!”
Clara Oswald: “Drive. Drive you clever human. And remember to always wear your seatbelt.”

Lord of the Rings Fandom GPS Day:

Legolas: “My elf eyes see that you’ll need to turn west in 3 miles.”
Gimli: “Increase speed when you get off the interchange. Nobody cuts off a dwarf!”
Gollum: “Turn right here, Precious. Yes, right here! Gollum!

Marvel Fandom GPS Day:

Nick Fury: “I recognize that you missed the turn, but given that it was an important turn, I’m going to need to recalculate now.”
Loki: “You missed the turn. Well, I’m not exactly shocked. You must not be truly desperate to reach your destination.”
JARVIS: “May I say how refreshing it is to finally see you on the right course?”


Science Spotlight: How Your Smartphone Knows Where You Are

In 1978, the United States launched its first operational GPS satellite and by 1993, 24 GPS satellites were orbiting Earth, completing the NAVSTAR GPS constellation. Each satellite weighs around 1,900 pounds — the size of a large automobile — and orbits the earth every 12 hours in a formation that ensures every location will be in direct radio contact with at least four satellites.

Dressed with Skill

Neuroscientist May-Britt Moser, whose birthday is this month, gained global recognition in 2014. She and her then-husband Edvard won the Nobel prize in Physiology or Medicine for their work on the brain’s “inner GPS”. They discovered a type of cell, called a grid cell. They found that when a rat passed certain points arranged in a hexagonal grid in space, nerve cells were activated that form a kind of coordinate system for navigation. They went on to demonstrate how these different cell types co-operate. May-Britt chose to wear an extraordinary dress for the Nobel ceremony. Designed by Matthew Hubble, this depicted the cells on which Moser has focussed her scientific attention. The idea echoes the Nobel Textiles scheme from the MRC-CSC. This brought together artists at the Central St Martins college of art and design and Nobel-prize winning scientists to create textiles inspired by science.

Written by Deborah Oakley

You can also follow BPoD on Twitter and Facebook
Allenatevi con il cardiofrequenzimetro!
L'importanza di allenatori con il cardiofrequenzimetro per la vostra salute e per ottenere risultati velocemente!
By Luca Bonmartini


Lo sapete che allenarvi rimanendo all'interno del vostro “target” di frequenza cardiaca vi farà ottenere maggior risultati? Con un perfetto controllo della vostra frequenza cardiaca le vostre routine saranno notevolmente più efficaci!


Science Spotlight: How Your Smartphone Knows Where You Are

Quantum physics, Einstein’s theory of relativity and atomic clocks that are accurate to one billionth of a second – all of these are crucial in allowing your smartphone to pinpoint your precise location almost anywhere on Earth. It’s called the Global Positioning System, or GPS.

The GPS receiver in your smartphone uses trilateration — a more complex version of triangulation — to determine its position on Earth. In drawings, trilateration is often illustrated in 2-D using circles. But since GPS deals with satellites and Earth in the real 3-D world, spheres are a better representation of what’s actually happening.

The Cold War. Sputnik. Learn about the origins of GPS. 



“Literally everywhere in the world now has a simple address.”

What3Words is a brilliant new way of sharing your location using three simple words rather than complicated GPS co-ordinates. It works down to a resolution of 3x3m square which means you can tell your friends where you are at a music festival or share where you car is in the car park. More importantly it allows simple addressing for the 75% of locations in the world that don’t even have an address.

Clever idea! They’ve thought about a lot of the potential problems too, like error detection (e.g. table.chair.lamp & table.chair.lamps are on different continents) and different languages (English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Swahili, Russian, German, Turkish & Swedish. We are adding to those every month and are currently working on Italian, Greek, Arabic and more.)