Global Positioning System or GPS has made our lives easier by enabling us to go where we want to go. The global positioning system was first introduced in the year 1970 by the U.S Department of Defense. Now it is used everywhere by military personnel as well as everyday people.
The US National Oceanic and atmospheric office, operates the National Oceanic and Climatic Remote Experiment (NOCRX) under the Department of Energy. The NOCRX is a three part facility comprising seven earth orbit satellites. It goes by names such as Covesat, Stratospheric Aeropollution Measurement (CAM). It has succeeded in measuring the pressure and temperature of the atmosphere at different altitudes.
In 2021, another geostationary orbit satellite is scheduled to be launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. The facility is named GOES-17. The facility itself is the first of its kind. Its primary mission is to test the quality of data collected by balloon and sounding aircraft during flights over the Earth. It also aims to collect data on the upper atmosphere of the Earth.
In addition to that, in the upcoming years the NOCRX will be preparing the final version of the GLASER satellite for a future flight. The new GLASER-GRAIL will perform the identical function as the previous one. Once the final version is ready, it goes to be launched aboard an Air Force One plane, which is scheduled to be replaced by the new space plane, the Venture reusable orbital aircraft concept. This will be the first-time that a spy plane will be launched into orbit. In this case, it will be used in monitoring the Middle East and Asia Pacific areas.
The United States’ military is the primary user of geostationary satellites. Its primary role is the monitoring of the continental United States. There are two main intelligence and surveillance radars that are used: The Global Positioning System (GPS) and the Defense Signals Intelligence Satellite (DMS). Both are designed to function together with the operational weather prediction satellites.
Some of the operational goes west satellite missions are supposed to be launched on an unmanned aerial vehicle (UUAV). These UAVs will land on different locations to collect different types of data. It appears that this is part of the military intelligence and surveillance program. So far, there has been no confirmation that it goes beyond the Earth’s atmosphere. So far, there has been no confirmation that it goes west. Although it may be possible that sometime in the future, it will go west but it hasn’t happened yet.