In June 2008, NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey incorporated 43 new GPS tracking stations into the Continuously Operating Reference Station (CORS) network, including 13 new stations established by the Federal Aviation Administration as part of their Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS). WAAS now has a total of 38 stations providing data to the CORS network. Four of the new WAAS stations are located in Alaska, four in Canada, and five in Mexico. The addition of the new stations significantly improves the geographic coverage of the CORS network to the benefit of the geospatial positioning community. The expanded coverage will also benefit those organizations that apply CORS data to monitor the distribution of moisture in the atmosphere and/or the distribution of free electrons in the ionosphere.
The CORS network (www.ngs.noaa.gov/CORS/) is a multipurpose cooperative endeavor involving over 200 government, academic, and private organizations sharing data from their GPS tracking stations with NOAA. NOAA analyzes and distributes the data free of charge in order to standardize positioning data across the country to the National Spatial Reference System maintained by NOAA. The CORS network currently contains over 1,200 GPS tracking stations spanning the United States, its territories, and a few foreign countries. Surveyors, GIS users and others can post-process their GPS data with GPS data from the CORS network to determine three-dimensional positional coordinates that approach a few centimeters in accuracy. Alternatively, users can submit their GPS data to the web-based Online Positioning User Service (OPUS) utility (www.ngs.noaa.gov/OPUS/) to have NOAA compute such coordinates automatically.
WAAS (gps.faa.gov) monitors and corrects GPS signals for safe aircraft navigation across North America. The first 25 WAAS stations have been contributing to CORS applications for nearly a decade. (Contact: Richard.Snay@noaa.gov, tel: 301-713-3191 x103)