Summarized from the PBO Futures Workshop Final Report written by Glen Mattioli, U. Texas at Arlington & UNAVCO; Rebecca Bendick, U. Montana; James Foster, U. Hawaii; and Jeff Freymueller, U. Alaksa, Fairbanks
Edited by Beth Bartel
10 April 2015
The National Science Foundation (NSF) sponsored a Community Workshop entitled “The future of PBO in the GAGE Facility (2013-2018) and after EarthScope,” which was held at the DoubleTree Hotel in Breckenridge, Colorado from September 22nd through 24th, 2014. The 69 participants included 42 scientists at academic institutions; five USGS staff, including the Program Officer for Volcano Hazards; the NSF EarthScope and SAGE Facility Program Officer; four representatives from state departments of transportation or the state spatial reference networks; and 15 UNAVCO technical and 2 UNAVCO support staff. The objectives for the workshop were to initiate community discussion into how best to position PBO to support priority science topics and education and outreach within the context of current and likely future budgetary scenarios.
Presentations Invited speakers made two keynote presentations. The first, by Prof. Paul Segall of Stanford University, was entitled “Looking back: Scientific discoveries, novel applications, and lessons learned.” The second, by Prof. Michael Bevis of Ohio State University, was entitled “Looking forward: Challenges and questions for the future.” Both presentations are available on the workshop webpage. Additionally, UNAVCO staff gave several brief presentations related to current status of the EarthScope PBO.
Breakout Sessions The bulk of the workshop was organized around scientific and technical breakout sessions. Resulting recommendations were divided into immediate and longer-term strategies, with the former intended to guide UNAVCO actions and policies during the current funding period, and the latter intended to position UNAVCO and the PBO facility for research innovation in subsequent funding periods.
PBO was recognized by workshop participants as a critical national geodetic resource in addition to being a world-class scientific research facility. PBO is now viewed as a “utility” by many critical stakeholders, who do not directly support its ongoing operation and maintenance or any costs for new capital equipment. These stakeholders need upgrades to PBO sites to make fuller use of this utility; however, partial replacement and upgradingthe of aging PBO infrastructure as planned in GAGE is not possible under current budget scenarios. In order to meet current budget constraints, PBO management has mandated that operationa and maintenance costs be reduced, which means possible loss of data and likely decrease of sensor uptime in the long run.
Stakeholders who depend on the continued operation of parts of the PBO include the USGS (Earthquake Hazards Program and Volcano Hazards Program), NOAA (both the National Geodetic Survey and National Weather Service), NASA (ARIA project, earthquake early warning pilot projects, future mission calibration and validation), state Departments of Transportation and/or Natural Resources, and the land surveying community in most western states. Currently or in the longer term, some of these stakeholders require enhancement to the current PBO stations, because they require real-time or near-real-time data and/or observations from additional GNSS systems like Galileo or GLONASS. This highlights the need for high-rate and real-time data streams and archived products to position UNAVCO for future funding and relevance for both NSF and non-NSF projects. The need for sustaining partners remains paramount through the end of the EarthScope project in September 2018 and beyond.
The immediate action recommendations optimize the current PBO operations to balance efficiency, data return, and the sensor network’s ability to capture signals of greatest scientific interest. The longer-term action recommendations build a foundation for future groundbreaking scientific techniques and applications. Both are specifically designed to address the very broad range of purposes for which present-day data streams are used, from more traditional tectonics studies to hazard monitoring to atmospheric and surface processes detection.
Recommendations for immediate action include:
Recommendations to position PBO for the future include:
For the full report, follow the link below.
Last modified: Monday, 04-Jul-2016 22:23:17 UTC