Navigation Technology Satellite – II (Timation IV)
Launched 23 June 1977, 12-hour, circular orbit
NTS-II, the rst satellite completely designed and built by NRL under GPS Joint Program funding,was the rst of a four-satellite constellation congured to demonstrate instantaneous navigationpositioning. The effect of relativity on the onboard cesium atomic clocks was measured andcorrected so that a GPS receiver on Earth could observe that the rate of GPS time is the sameas UTC (Universal Time Coordinated). The clock frequency stability specication of 2 parts per
was met. NTS-II was the rst operational NAVSTAR GPS Satellite.
Timation III (Navigation Technology Satellite – I)
Launched 14 July 1974, 8-hour, circular orbit
The third NRL satellite carried a quartz clock and two digitally controlled rubidium atomicclocks — the rst atomic clocks in space. Worldwide time transfer was demonstrated.
Launched 31 May 1967, 2-hour, circular orbit
Time navigation, a visionary and patented satellite navigation method for passively measuringrange from the time of ight of transmitted timing signals, was rst demonstrated to Navyand DoD sponsors with the Timation I satellite on 25 October 1967. Now used by the GlobalPositioning System, time navigation requires synchronism between the onboard clock anda clock at the receiver. For the 1967 demonstration, a graphical range-intercept chart wasused to determine the receiver’s (navigator’s) position and clock offset, using three or moremeasurements. Position accuracy in subsequent Timation I demonstrations with moving boats,vehicles, and airplanes was on the order of 1/3 nautical mile.
Launched 30 September 1969, 2-hour, circular orbit
Positioning accuracy was improved to 33 meters by transmitting the timing signal simultaneouslyat two frequencies, making possible correction for ionosphere delay. The orbital position of thesatellite was determined to 10 meters. Transatlantic satellite time transfer accuracy of better than one microsecond was achieved between the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, DC,and the Royal Greenwich Observatory in England.