Encyclopedia Astronautica
Timation



timants1.jpg
Timation TS-1
Credit: US Navy
timasat1.jpg
Timation 1
Credit: US Navy
vtimatio.jpg
Timation
Credit: US Navy
American navigation technology satellite. 2 launches, 1967.05.31 (Timation 1) and 1969.09.30 (Timation 2).

The Naval Research Laboratory's (NRL's) Naval Center for Space Technology (NCST) conceived the TIMATION (TIMe/navigATION) program in 1964 and launched the TIMATION I satellite in 1967 and the TIMATION II satellite in 1969. TIMATION proved that a system using a passive ranging technique, combined with highly accurate clocks, could provide the basis for a new and revolutionary navigation system with three-dimensional coverage (longitude, latitude, and altitude) throughout the world. NCST's TIMATION program paved the way for what eventually became the Global Positioning System (GPS).

In 1973 the TIMATION program was merged with the Air Force's 621B program, with the Air Force being named as the Executive Service, to form the NAVSTAR GPS program. NRL'S TIMATION III satellite was redesignated the Navigation Technology Satellite 1 (NTS-1) and was launched in the summer of 1974 in connection with the NAVSTAR effort. NTS-1 had two rubidium-vapor frequency standards (clocks), while the earlier TIMATION satellites had carried selected high-performance crystal oscillator clocks to test the NRL theory.

The successful launch of NTS-2 marked the beginning of a new era in navigation and timekeeping history. NTS-2 was launched on 23 June 1977 as the first NAVSTAR GPS Phase I satellite. NTS-2 technological features included cesium frequency standards, a nickel-hydrogen battery, three-axis gravity-gradient stabilization with momentum-wheel unloading, control of the spacecraft orbit, laser retroreflectors, solar-cell experiments, radiation dosimeters, and a worldwide network for data acquisition. The satellite experiment has verified Einstein's relativistic clock shift.

All of the NTS and TIMATION satellites were designed, built, and tested by the SED at NRL'S Payload Processing Facility in Washington, D.C.

The prestigious Collier trophy was presented to NRL in 1993 in recognition of NRL'S pioneering contributions to GPS.

Gross mass: 700 kg (1,540 lb).
First Launch: 1967.05.31.
Last Launch: 1969.09.30.
Number: 2 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Delta The Delta launch vehicle was America's longest-lived, most reliable, and lowest-cost space launch vehicle. Development began in 1955 and it continued in service in the 21st Century despite numerous candidate replacements. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Delta American orbital launch vehicle. The Delta launch vehicle was America's longest-lived, most reliable, and lowest-cost space launch vehicle. Delta began as Thor, a crash December 1955 program to produce an intermediate range ballistic missile using existing components, which flew thirteen months after go-ahead. Fifteen months after that, a space launch version flew, using an existing upper stage. The addition of solid rocket boosters allowed the Thor core and Able/Delta upper stages to be stretched. Costs were kept down by using first and second-stage rocket engines surplus to the Apollo program in the 1970's. Continuous introduction of new 'existing' technology over the years resulted in an incredible evolution - the payload into a geosynchronous transfer orbit increasing from 68 kg in 1962 to 3810 kg by 2002. Delta survived innumerable attempts to kill the program and replace it with 'more rationale' alternatives. By 2008 nearly 1,000 boosters had flown over a fifty-year career, and cancellation was again announced. More...
  • Thor Agena D American orbital launch vehicle. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Thor DM-21 + 1 x Agena D More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • USAF American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. United States Air Force, USA. More...

Associated Programs
  • Navstar The Navstar GPS (Global Positioning System) program was a joint service effort directed by the United States Department of Defence. Navstar GPS is a space-based radio-positioning system nominally consisting of a 24-satellite constellation that provides navigation and timing information to military and civilian users worldwide. In addition to the satellites, the system consists of a worldwide satellite control network and GPS receiver units that acquire the satellite's signals and translate them into position information. Originally envisioned as primarily a military system, GPS was found to have a wide variety of civilian applications, many of them never conceived by the original system's designers. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • JPL Mission and Spacecraft Library, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1997. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Launch Log, October 1998. Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Vandenberg Vandenberg Air Force Base is located on the Central Coast of California about 240 km northwest of Los Angeles. It is used for launches of unmanned government and commercial satellites into polar orbit and intercontinental ballistic missile test launches toward the Kwajalein Atoll. More...
  • Vandenberg SLC1W Delta launch complex. Originally a Thor 75 SMS launch pad. Upgraded to a space launch complex in 1966. More...
  • Vandenberg SLC2W Delta launch complex. Originally a Thor 75 SMS launch pad. Upgraded to a space launch complex in 1966. More...

Timation Chronology


1967 May 31 - . 09:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Agena D SLV-2. LV Configuration: Thor SLV-2 Agena D 443 / Agena D SS-01B 2704.
  • Timation 1 - . Mass: 700 kg (1,540 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Program: Navstar. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: Timation. USAF Sat Cat: 2847 . COSPAR: 1967-053E. Apogee: 900 km (550 mi). Perigee: 894 km (555 mi). Inclination: 70.0000 deg. Period: 102.90 min. Summary: Navigation experiments leading eventually to Navstar/GPS system. Operated for 74 months..

1969 September 30 - . 13:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC1W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thorad Agena D SLV-2G. LV Configuration: Thorad SLV-2G Agena D 525 / Agena D.
  • Timation 2 - . Mass: 700 kg (1,540 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Program: Navstar. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: Timation. USAF Sat Cat: 4257 . COSPAR: 1969-082C. Apogee: 925 km (574 mi). Perigee: 898 km (557 mi). Inclination: 70.0000 deg. Period: 103.20 min. Summary: Navigation experiments leading eventually to Navstar/GPS system. Operated for 6 years..

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