Seminar: Where are you?

Prof. Thomas A Herring, MIT

The use of Global Positioning System (GPS) in a wide variety of applications has exploded in the last few years. Hikers, sailors, and aviators use the system as a navigation aid but many others use GPS in ways that were not considered during its design. Some of the most stringent uses come from meteorology, where the system is used to track water vapor in the atmosphere, and from geophysics, where it is used to measure continental drift, deformation leading up earthquakes, and mean sea-level rise. In this seminar we explore how positions on the Earth were determined before GPS; how GPS itself works and the range of applications in which GPS is now a critical element. This seminar is followed by a UROP in the spring semester where results from precise GPS measurements will be analyzed and displayed on the web.

Publication date: 
September, 2009