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NOAA at the Ends of the Earth

Measuring a Planet - Satellite Triangulation Banner

Collage with Penquins

What do Nord, Greenland; Isla Socorro, Mexico; Easter Island; Heard Island in the Indian Ocean; and Mawson Station, Antarctica have in common? They were all stations in the Earth-girdling satellite triangulation program of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey of the 1960's. If there ever was a project that carried a NOAA ancestor agency to the far ends of the Earth, it was the satellite triangulation program. "Have suitcase (and BC-4 Camera), will travel" became the mode of life of a small group of employees of the Coast and Geodetic Survey as they rode ships, aircraft, helicopters, and sometimes even living modes of transportation to their destinations from north polar region to south polar region with stops at many remote corners of the Earth in between. Their mission was to measure the Earth, determine exact distances and directions between points thousands of miles apart, and help develop a better model for the shape of the Earth. This early space-based geodetic system was a forerunner of today's Global Positioning System. Join the Coast Surveyors as they traveled over our Earth in quest of a better understanding of its size and shape for science and engineering ....

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NOAA At The Ends of the Earth ~ Measuring a Planet

drawing depicting satellite triangulation
Concepts, Instruments,
The Depot

The Northern

easter island statues
The Southern

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Last Updated:
September 30, 2009