As if they are environmental engineers, student pairs are challenged to use Google Earth Pro (free) GIS software to view and examine past data on hurricanes and tornados in order to (hypothetically) advise their state government on how to proceed with its next-year budget—to answer the question: should we reduce funding for natural disaster relief? To do this, students learn about maps, geographic information systems (GIS) and the global positioning system (GPS), and how they are used to deepen the way maps are used to examine and analyze data. Then they put their knowledge to work by using the GIS software to explore historical severe storm (tornado, hurricane) data in depth. Student pairs confer with other teams, conduct Internet research on specific storms and conclude by presenting their recommendations to the class. Students gain practice and perspective on making evidence-based decisions. A slide presentation as well as a student worksheet with instructions and questions are provided.
In this lesson, students find their location on a map using Latitude and Longitudinal coordinates. They determine where they should go to be rescued and how best to get there.
Students pass around and distort messages written on index cards to learn how we use signals from GPS occultations to study the atmosphere. The cards represent information sent from GPS satellites being distorted as they pass through different locations in the Earth's atmosphere and reach other satellites. Analyzing GPS occultations enables better global weather forecasting, storm tracking and climate change monitoring.
In this activity students will learn the basic concept of Global Positioning Systems (GPS) using triangulation and measurement on a small scale in the classroom. Students discover how GPS and navigation integrate mathematic and scientific concepts to create a standard for locating people and objects. This activity helps students understand both the need for and methods of navigation.
Reflective of the modernness of the technology involved, this is a challenging geometric modelling task in which students discover from scratch the geometric principles underlying the software used by GPS systems.
Students design their own logo or picture and use a handheld GPS receiver to map it out. They write out a word or graphic on a field or playground, walk the path, and log GPS data. The results display their "art" on their GPS receiver screen.
Students familiarize themselves â through trial and error â with the basics of GPS receiver operation. They view a receiver's satellite visibility screen as they walk in various directions and monitor their progress on the receiver's map. Students may enter waypoints and use the GPS information to guide them back to specific locations.
Students go on a GPS scavenger hunt. They use GPS receivers to find designated waypoints and report back on what they found. They compute distances between waypoints based on the latitude and longitude, and compare with the distance the receiver finds.
Today GPS is critical to positioning, navigation, and timing. The smooth functioning of financial transactions, air traffic, ATMs, cell phones and modern life in general around the world depend on GPS. This very criticality requires continuous modernization. The oldest satellites in the current constellation were launched in the 1990s. If you imagine using a computer of that vintage today, it is not surprising that the system is being substantially updated. Global Positioning System (GPS) is now a part of a growing international con?text-the Global Navigation Satellite System, GNSS. This course dives into how GPS and other GNSS systems are designed, how they operate, and the impacts they have on spatial analysis and spatially-enabled systems.
- Computer Science
- Information Science
- Material Type:
- Full Course
- Penn State University
- Provider Set:
- Penn State's College of Earth and Mineral Sciences (http:// e-education.psu.edu/oer/)
- Jan Van Sickle
- Date Added:
During a scavenger hunt and an art project, students learn how to use a handheld GPS receiver for personal navigation. Teachers can request assistance from the Institute of Navigation to find nearby members with experience in using GPS and in locating receivers to use.
In past times, ocean navigators tossed a piece of wood over the side of their ships and noted how long until the ship passed the wood. They used this time measurement and the length of the ship to calculate their speed and estimate how far they had traveled. In this activity, students act the part of a GPS signal traveling to the receiver to learn how travel time is converted to distance.
In the Mapping Earthquakes to Save the World activity, students leverage real-time data to plot earthquakes on a world map. The fate of the world is in their hands – the President of the United States has asked for their help to save humankind. Students identify patterns in their data and connect earthquakes with tectonic plates, making recommendations back to the President about where people are safe and where people are most at risk. This activity was heavily inspired by a project from the Stevens Institute for Technology Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education.
Whether you realize it or not, when you carry a smart phone, use a navigation system in your car, or look up the nearest coffee shop on your computer, you are using geographic information. Geographic data and technologies are embedded in almost all aspects of our lives. GEOG 160, Mapping Our Changing World, explores what geographic information and data are, what makes them unique, how they are created, and how we use them. You'll explore how geographic technologies like geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing from satellites, and global positioning systems (GPS) work together to provide us with information we rely on. You'll also become an informed consumer of the geographic content in your life.
- Physical Geography
- Material Type:
- Full Course
- Penn State's College of Earth and Mineral Sciences (http
- Penn State University
- Provider Set:
- // e-education.psu.edu/oer/)
- Jennifer Smith Mason
- Joshua Stevens
- Raechel Bianchetti White
- Ryan Baxter
- Date Added:
Students learn about the remote sensing radio occultation technique and how engineers use it with GPS satellites to monitor and study the Earth's atmospheric activity. Students may be familiar with some everyday uses of GPS, but not as familiar with how GPS technology contributes to our ongoing need for great amounts of ever-changing global atmospheric data for accurate weather forecasting, storm tracking and climate change monitoring. GPS occultations are when GPS signals sent from one satellite to another are altered (delayed, refracted) by the atmosphere passed though, such that they can be analyzed to remotely learn about the planet's atmospheric conditions.
For thousands of years, navigators have looked to the sky for direction. Today, celestial navigation has simply switched from using natural objects to human-created satellites. A constellation of satellites, called the Global Positioning System, and hand-held receivers allow for very accurate navigation. In this lesson, students investigate the fundamental concepts of GPS technology trilateration and using the speed of light to calculate distances.
In this unit, students learn the very basics of navigation, including the different kinds of navigation and their purposes. The concepts of relative and absolute location, latitude, longitude and cardinal directions are explored, as well as the use and principles of maps and a compass. Students discover the history of navigation and learn the importance of math and how it ties into navigational techniques. Understanding how trilateration can determine one's location leads to a lesson on the global positioning system and how to use a GPS receiver. The unit concludes with an overview of orbits and spacecraft trajectories from Earth to other planets.
Projections and coordinates are key advancements in the geographic sciences that allow us to better understand the nature of the Earth and how to describe location. These innovations in describing the Earth are the basis for everything that is done in a GIS framework. Shape of the Earth is a critical starting point because in fact the Earth is not round but rather a more complex shape called a geoid. Coordinate systems are often referenced to a particular model shape of the Earth, but many different formats exist because not all coordinates work equally well in all areas. While projections and coordinates are abstract concepts in themselves, students eventually find them interesting because 1) it causes them to challenge their current ideas of the Earth's shape and 2) it is much easier to visualize these ideas for learning through interactive GIS such as Google Earth.
Students learn how and why engineers design satellites to benefit life on Earth, as well as explore motion, rockets and rocket motion. Through six lessons and 10 associated hands-on activities, students discover that the motion of all objects everything from the flight of a rocket to the movement of a canoe is governed by Newton's three laws of motion. This unit introduces students to the challenges of getting into space for the purpose of exploration. The ideas of thrust, weight and control are explored, helping students to fully understand what goes into the design of rockets and the value of understanding these scientific concepts. After learning how and why the experts make specific engineering choices, students also learn about the iterative engineering design process as they design and construct their own model rockets. Then students explore triangulation, a concept that is fundamental to the navigation of satellites and global positioning systems designed by engineers; by investigating these technologies, they learn how people can determine their positions and the locations of others.
Global Satellite Navigation Systems (GNSS), such as GPS, have revolutionized positioning and navigation. Currently, four such systems are operational or under development. They are the American GPS, the Russian Glonass, the European Galileo, and the Chinese Beidou-Compass. This course will address: (1) the technical principles of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), (2) the methods to improve the accuracy of standard positioning services down to the millimeter accuracy level and the integrity of the systems, and (3) the various applications for positioning, navigation, geomatics, earth sciences, atmospheric research and space missions. The course will first address the space segment, user and control segment, signal structure, satellite and receiver clocks, timing, computation of satellite positions, broadcast and precise ephemeris. It will also cover propagation error sources such as atmospheric effects and multipath. The second part of the course covers autonomous positioning for car navigation, aviation, and location based services (LBS). This part includes the integrity of GNSS systems provided for instance by Space Based Augmentation Systems (e.g. WAAS, EGNOS) and Receiver Autonomous Integrity Monitoring (RAIM). It will also cover parameter estimation in dynamic systems: recursive least-squares estimation, Kalman filter (time update, measurement update), innovation, linearization and Extended Kalman filter. The third part of the course covers precise relative GPS positioning with two or more receivers, static and kinematic, for high-precision applications. Permanent GPS networks and the International GNSS Service (IGS) will be discussed as well. In the last part of the course there will be two tracks (students only need to do one): (1) geomatics track: RTK services, LBS, surveying and mapping, civil engineering applications (2) space track: space based GNSS for navigation, control and guidance of space missions, formation flying, attitude determination The final lecture will be on (scientific) applications of GNSS.
The high school earth and physical science unit moves through an exploration of tectonic plates, why and how they move, and the earthquakes that they cause. As the final project, teams learn about Early Warning Systems for earthquakes and how they have saved millions of lives in other countries. Teams take on a population in Oregon and design a ShakeAlert system to give them the seconds required to prepare for a mega earthquake.