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Recent News

This page contains all recent ILRS news. For those interested in news specific to satellite missions, please visit our Mission News page.

SGP logoThe Space Geodesy Project awards contract to KBRwyle Technology Solutions, LLCRelease Date: 10/05/2018The Space Geodesy Project awarded a contract to KBRwyle Technology Solutions, LLC in Columbia, Maryland, for the construction, deployment and commissioning of the agency’s next-generation Space Geodesy Satellite Laser Ranging (SGSLR) stations. https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-awards-contract-for-space-geodesy-satellite-laser-ranging-stations

ILRS logoElections completed for the 2018-2020 term of the ILRS Governing BoardRelease Date: 10/04/2018 The ILRS recently completed elections for the 2018-2020 term of the ILRS Governing Board. The members for the next term of the Board, taking office in November 2018 are:

Director of the Central Bureau
Secretary of the Central Bureau
Representative of IAG Commission 1
IERS Representative
EUROLAS Network Representatives
NASA Network Representatives
WPLTN Representatives
Analysis Representatives
LLR Representative
Data Center Representative
At-Large Representatives
Mike Pearlman (appointed)
Carey Noll (appointed)
Urs Hugentobler (appointed)
Daniela Thaller (appointed)
Pippo Bianco, Georg Kirchner
Jan McGarry, Stephen Merkowitz
James Bennett, Zhang Zhongping
Cinzia Luceri, Erricos Pavlis
Jean-Marie Torre
Christian Schwatke
Toshi Otsubo, Matt Wilkinson

Two additional members of the Board will be appointed by the Governing Board, bringing total membership to 18 members. The chair will be elected at a meeting of the Board held in conjunction with the 21st International Workshop on Laser Ranging in November.

Congratulations to the newly elected representatives and thank you to all the excellent candidates who participated in the ILRS Governing Board election process. We were fortunate to have many very qualified candidates.

CDDIS logoNASA Earth Science Data and Services Survey for 2018Release Date: 10/01/2018 Recently, some of you may have received an email from the CFI Group on behalf of NASA. This message asked you to complete a survey for users of NASA Earth science data and services, which includes the Crustal Dynamics Data Information System (CDDIS). The CDDIS is one of twelve NASA Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) science data centers evaluated by this survey. The purpose of this survey is to help NASA and the DAACs assess customer satisfaction and improve future services. Suggestions from past surveys have been implemented to improve the tools and services offered by the CDDIS.

Please participate! Your feedback affects our future performance and helps to identify science needs. You will be able to take the survey for each DAAC you use. This is your opportunity to influence the priorities of the DAACs, including CDDIS.

If you did not receive a survey and wish to complete one or know of someone who uses CDDIS and/or EOSDIS data and services who did not receive a survey, please contact


The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) is the only national cross-industry measure of customer satisfaction in the United States. NASA commissioned the CFI Group, an independent research and consulting organization, to conduct a brief survey to rate the products and services NASA currently provides from NASA's EOSDIS data centers. Please consider responding to this survey; your input will help us to better serve our user community.

Presentations of these results given to NASA Earth science are available at:


Thank you in advance to all of you who are willing to spend a few minutes to complete the survey.

IWLR 21 logoDeadline for Abstract Submission Extended for 21st IWLRRelease Date: 07/02/2018The 21st International Workshop on Laser Ranging will be held in Canberra Australia, November 05-09, 2018. The deadline for abstract submission has been extended to Wednesday August 01, 2018.

We encourage you to submit your abstracts and complete your registration as soon as possible. Please explore the workshop website at http://www.iwlr2018.serc.org.au/ for updated information, including the workshop program, links to registration and abstract submission, and information about the venue and hotel booking.

ILRS logSecond LARGE campaign of 2018Release Date: 06/27/2018The second LARGE campaign of 2018 will take place from July 1 through September 30, 2018.

Jean Dickey in her office in 2016
Image credit:
The Passing of Jean Dickey Release Date: 06/25/2018
Dear Colleagues,

Our friend and scientific colleague Jean Dickey passed away on May 9, 2018.

Jean was a brilliant and highly valued member of the geodetic research community. She started her career first studying engineering and later switching to physics at a small liberal arts college, now St. Francis University. In her senior year, she entered an honors program at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory. Jean completed her Ph.D. at Rutgers University in 1976 in high-energy physics. As a postdoc at Caltech, she analyzed data from particle experiments that were performed at Fermilab.

She joined JPL in 1980, initially studying the round-trip travel time of lasers shot between observatories on Earth and reflectors left on the moon by the Apollo astronauts. Jean made seminal contributions on Earth rotation, including polar motion and length of day, and how small variations can have big impacts on weather, sea level and even space exploration. Jean's groundbreaking work ranged from El Niño events to the Earth's core. She has published more than 70 well cited peer-reviewed papers, many in high impact journals. Jean served as group supervisor at JPL from 1983 to 2005, was appointed Principal Scientist in 2005 and Senior Research Scientist in 2007. Jean chaired the National Research Council Committee on "Earth Gravity from Space" in 1996-7. Her leadership contributed significantly to the selection and later launch of the GRACE mission, to be followed a week from now by GRACE-FO. A prominent and pioneering geophysicist, in 1993 she was the first woman to give the American Geophysical Union's (AGU) Bowie Lecture, speaking on Earth's rotation as an interdisciplinary approach to Earth System science. Jean was the first woman to serve as President of the AGU Geodesy Section, from 1994 to 1995.

Jean's superb accomplishments were recognized by several prestigious awards throughout her career. Jean was elected Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and the International Association of Geodesy. She was awarded the NASA Exceptional Service Medal in 1998, and the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal in 2003.

A loving mother and sister, Jean is survived by two sons, two grandchildren, three sisters and two brothers. Services will be held Monday May 14 at 9:30 am at St. Philip the Apostle Catholic Church, 151 S. Hill Ave, Pasadena.

Susan Owen/JPL
Carmen Boening/JPL
Victor Zlotnicki/JPL

Map of ILRS stations for which JCET will provide a weather serviceJCET weather service for ILRS network Release Date: 06/13/2018JCET's ILRS ASC Product and Information Server now includes a link to an ILRS network weather forecast service, compiled from The Weather Underground.

ILRW LogoSecond Circular for the 21st International Workshop on Laser Ranging ReleasedRelease Date: 06/06/2018The Space Environment Research Centre (SERC) and the International Laser Ranging Service (ILRS) are actively organizing the 21st International Workshop on Laser Ranging in Canberra, Australia during the week of November 05-09, 2018. The second circular has been released. Registration is now open and attendees are encouraged to submit an abstract for oral and poster sessions.

ILRS logoFirst LARGE Campaign of 2018 is Now OverRelease Date: 05/29/2018The first 2018 LARGE Campaign is now over. A summary report for the campaign is available on the LARGE Activities and Meetings page.

S-NET satellitesFirst successful SLR returns to S-NetRelease Date: 04/16/2018The SLR system in Riga, Latvia was the first ILRS station to obtain returns from one of the four SNET satellites (SNET-4); Yarragadee, Australia also tracked SNET-4 the following day. Riga obtained returns at 21:57 UTC on April 12; Yarragadee's first successful pass was on April 13 at 16:00 UTC. Congratulations to both stations on their persistent efforts to range to these difficult targets.

Jason-2 satelliteTime Transfer by Laser Link (T2L2) mission onboard the Jason-2 satellite is now completedRelease Date: 04/09/2018The Time Transfer by Laser Link (T2L2) mission onboard the Jason-2 satellite is now completed. The T2L2 space instrument, which has been in operation for nearly 10 years, will be turned off on April 09, 2018. Most of the initial objectives for the experiment have been successfully achieved. The Jason-2 satellite remains operational, as does laser ranging to the satellite.

NASA logoNew NASA VLBI Civil Servant position open for applicationsRelease Date: 03/13/2018A new NASA VLBI Civil Servant position is now posted and open for applications. There are two postings, one senior and one mid-level, and applicants should decide which one best fits his/her experience level:

GS-14: http://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/493509700

GS-15: http://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/493510000

The postings currently close on Tuesday, March 27, 2018. Please note that the job is only open to U.S. citizens and U.S. nationals.

Prof. KozaiThe passing of Dr Yoshihide KozaiRelease Date: 02/15/2018Dr. Yoshihide Kozai passed away on 5 February 2018 at the age of 89. He was very well known in the field of orbit dynamics and also as a leading pioneer of satellite laser ranging since 1960s. He later served as the founding Director General of National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). He had a strong presence even after that - many of us remember his appearance and great speech in the 18th Int. Workshop on Laser Ranging in Fujiyoshida. He will be extremely missed.

CDDIS logoEOSDIS awarded the 2015 Pecora awardRelease Date: 02/14/2018EOSDIS was awarded the 2015 Pecora award. This prestigious award is given to groups that make outstanding contributions toward understanding the Earth by means of remote sensing. The citation highlights the EOSDIS accomplishments in providing an open archive system for a global user community. CDDIS is one of twelve DAACs supporting EOSDIS efforts through the Earth Science Data and Information System (ESDIS) project. Carey Noll, CDDIS Manager, accepted their award certificate from Andy Mitchell, ESDIS Project Manager, and Jeanne Behnke, Deputy Project Manager/Operations, at the 2018 DAAC Managers Meeting.

ILRS logLARGE campaign to begin February 15Release Date: 02/06/2018The first LARGE Campaign for 2018 will run from February 15 to May 15. Each GNSS constellation has identified 4 primary and 4 secondary satellites for tracking:

GLONASS-131, -134, -136, -137
Galileo-102, -202, -209, -210
Compass-G1, -I3, -M3, -MS1
GLONASS -128, -132, -133, -135
Galileo-103, -203, -211, -213
Compass-I5, -IS2, -I6B, -MS2

Please refer to the ILRS priority list on February 15 for the exact priorities. Also note that in April, the list of secondary satellites for Galileo will change as per request from the mission.


During the campaign, the ILRS will provide GLONASS, Galileo, and Compass predictions to the stations for ONLY THESE SELECTED SATELLITES in order to encourage stations to focus on only these targets.

Stations are requested to track the primary satellites over at least two, preferably three, widely spaced segments over the arc, with each segment containing at least two normal points. For the secondary satellites, stations are asked to track at least one segment with at least two normal points over the arc. If some of the primary satellites cannot be tracked due to daylight, weather conditions or other reasons, then we are asking the stations to put more emphasis on the secondary satellites.

ILRW LogoFirst Circular for the 21st International Workshop on Laser Ranging ReleasedRelease Date: 02/02/2018The Space Environment Research Centre (SERC) and the International Laser Ranging Service (ILRS) are pleased to announce that the 21st International Workshop on Laser Ranging will be held in Canberra, Australia during the week of November 04-09, 2018 at the John Curtin School of Medical Research (Australian National University) and Mount Stromlo. The first circular has been released.

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