NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey, in collaboration with more than 155 organizations, manages a network of continuously operating reference stations (CORS). These stations record GPS signals, around the clock, at more than 680 locations spanning the United States, most of its territories, and several foreign countries. The NOAA Web utility, known as the “user-friendly” CORS (UFCORS) server, has distributed more than two million GPS data packages since its inception in November 1998. Each package contains GPS data recorded at a CORS site for a time interval of one or more hours, together with official positional coordinates and descriptive information for the site. Each package also includes corresponding orbital information for the GPS satellites. GIS professionals, airborne mapping professionals, land surveyors and others have used these GPS data to determine precise positional coordinates for locations where they have collected corresponding GPS data. Information obtained via UFCORS has also been used to track travel paths of moving platforms–such as aircraft, boats, and land vehicles—on which corresponding GPS data have been collected.
While NOAA distributes most CORS information via the Internet’s anonymous file transfer protocol, UFCORS enables users to receive the same information, via the Web, in any of several convenient formats. UFCORS allows users to automatically obtain GPS data for the exact time interval that they specify. Additionally, UFCORS allows users to choose the sampling rate for their requested GPS data. For example, while some sites in the CORS network capture GPS data at a 30-second sampling rate, UFCORS will interpolate these data to a 1-second sampling rate should an airborne mapping professional request such high rate data to better track the path of an airborne sensor. Moreover, UFCORS users may specify how the electronic files containing CORS information should be compressed to speed file transfer from NOAA’s Web server to their computer. Users typically receive requested data packages within a few minutes after hitting the submit button on the UFCORS Web page.
UFCORS usage has been accelerating greatly since August 2004 when NOAA introduced the new version allowing users to obtain GPS data within an hour after NOAA obtains them. Currently, UFCORS is distributing an average of more than 2,000 GPS data packages per day. NOAA estimates that UFCORS will have distributed more than 600,000 data packages in 2005 alone. To use UFCORS, go to http://ngs.noaa.gov/CORS/ and select the “ufcors” link. This Web site also features the CORS Newsletter which identifies the over 155 organizations that operate the sites comprising the CORS network. These organizations include numerous foreign, federal, state, and local government agencies, as well as various academic and commercial institutions.
For further information, please contact:
Manager, National CORS Program
NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey
1315 East-West Highway / Room 8813
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Tel: 301-713-3191 x 103