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Instrumentation

Geophysical instruments such as GPS/GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite Systems) receivers, strainmeters, seismometers, tiltmeters, SAR, and LiDAR are essential to data collection and analysis performed by UNAVCO community members. UNAVCO provides expertise in design, construction, and installation of monumentation, power, communication, and other technical requirements for permanent stations. Following installation, UNAVCO tests and troubleshoots the instruments and the data collection, power and communications systems required to record and access data from continuously operating and often remote sites. UNAVCO also provides network monitoring for several networks from which UNAVCO downloads data.

Do you need help with any of the instrumentation topics listed here?

  • Instrument/Equipment Loan to UNAVCO community members includes GPS/GNSS receivers & antennae, terrestrial LiDAR scanning (TLS), and other equipment for science investigations. Highest priority for equipment loans is given to PIs with NSF-funded projects who request UNAVCO support in their proposal.
  • Instrument/Equipment Purchases by UNAVCO community members is currently limited to some modern GPS/GNSS receivers & antennae.
  • Instrument/Equipment Repair of modern Trimble GPS/GNSS and Vaisala meteorological units owned by UNAVCO community members may be requested. Repairs of other legacy instruments belonging to UNAVCO community members will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
  • Development & Testing of equipment for UNAVCO community members can be requested, including extreme thermal tests, antenna motion tests, testing of new GNSS receivers and antennae, and so on.
  • Email instrumentationunavco.org for quick questions or if you cannot find what you need in the instrumentation topics covered below.

Geophysical instruments measure the physical attributes of the Earth, and these measurements are collected for use by the UNAVCO science community.

  • GPS/GNSS Receivers & Antennae (for GPS, GLONASS, etc.) collect GNSS data which, after processing, is used to measure millimeter-level surface motion measurements at specific points over a period of time; the datasets include temporary, episodic campaign surveys and permanent installations.
  • Geodetic Imaging uses electromagnetic waves to quantify centimeter-scale motions at the Earth’s surface over several square meters to hundreds of square kilometers.
  • Laser Strainmeters are long-baseline (450-meter) measurements of deformation on the Earth's surface.
  • Borehole Instrumentation is buried 100 to 200 m below the ground to operate at the low noise levels required to capture small, short term transients. These include:
  • Meteorological Systems can be co-located with other geodetic instruments to provide near-surface atmospheric measurements.
  • Tide Gauge Systems can be co-located with other geodetic instruments to provide sea level measurements.

UNAVCO designs, engineers, installs, and advises on GPS/GNSS monumentation and associated ancillary hardware and equipment for permanent stations.

  • Monumentation Types support GNSS antennae and are chosen depending on the type of project, whether permanent, long-term, or campaign site occupations.
  • Power & Enclosures are optimized to provide continuous or cycled power through a variety of environmental conditions and include a combination of: solar, battery, AC, wind, fuel-cells and timing systems protecting key equipment from the weather.
  • Field Computers & Digitizers — to support borehole instrumentation and ready analog borehole sensor signals for digital transmission.

Communication technologies ensure that data collected in the field can be retrieved and reaches scientists and/or the UNAVCO data repository.

  • Cellular technologies are the most common method used to retrieve data from remote sites.
  • Land-based communications involve Internet connections, such as WISP, DSL, cable, dial-up modem and other analog systems.
  • Radio communications are used for line-of-sight communications over tens of miles in remote locations.
  • Satellite communications using VSAT, BGAN, or Iridium when sites are remote or where no cellular, land-based, or other radio methods are available.

Network monitoring allows our engineers and other users to find the operational status of instruments in several networks from which UNAVCO downloads data.

    • Polar Networks shows the station health and locations for UNAVCO's remote polar sites.
      • ANET is the Antarctica sub-network of POLENET sites.
      • GNET is the Greenland sub-network of POLENET sites.
    • Real-Time GPS — is a 1-Hz streaming subnet of the PBO GPS Network and COCONet

Last modified: Friday, 01-Apr-2016 22:52:47 UTC

 

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