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UNAVCO 1996 Annual Report

B.2 Equipment Loans and Servicing

Eighty-five community GPS receivers were supported by the Boulder Facility in FY97. The full-time UNAVCO pool includes ten Trimble SSi, 17 Trimble SSE, five Trimble SST, and two Ashtech Z-12 receivers. The Facility also supports 16 Trimble SSE receivers on a 50% time share with Stanford University, the University of Alaska, and the University of South Carolina. An inventory of over 8,000 pieces of ancillary equipment is maintained for community use including three types of antennas. Other ancillary equipment includes 34 download computers, 30 solar panels, 32 optical plummets, 32 optical tribrachs, 68 tripods, and eight radio modems. The Facility maintained support in FY97 for an additional 30 receivers purchased using NSF funds and located at various universities.

The Facility receives, tests, calibrates, repairs, upgrades, packages, ships, and documents this equipment to support GPS data collection activities worldwide. Most receiver requests in FY97 were for the period mid-May through October, with a lull in the winter months. The normal winter hiatus in GPS projects allows more receivers to be used in support of NSF Polar Program's projects in Antarctica than would otherwise be possible.

The Facility is able to repair all of the equipment included in a GPS system. Facility staff have had specialized training from manufacturers to repair receivers, antennas, tribrachs, optical plummets and tripods. They also have extensive experience with repairing PCs and other electronics equipment. This ability to repair equipment in-house results in tens of thousands of dollars of cost savings yearly. In FY97, the Facility repaired five, modified sixteen, and upgraded four Trimble SSE systems including both pool and community-owned receivers. A new Service Partner Agreement allowing the Boulder Facility to perform warranty repairs was negotiated with Trimble Navigation Limited. A similar agreement is being pursued with Ashtech.

The following sections discuss use of the pool equipment on specific projects.

Agent Projects

The term "agent" project is used to refer to projects that request equipment support from the Facility but have no UNAVCO field engineer in the field during data collection. During FY97, the Facility supported 29 agent projects with varying levels of equipment provided (Table B-1). The Facility continues to see an increased number of requests for ancillary equipment, primarily from investigators who obtained receivers under the ARI award. Historically, requests for one to two receivers are often used to support new areas of research. EAR-funded projects in the last year also used the community pool equipment to augment university-owned resources, meet emergency responses, or provide unique resources such as processing software keys.

Table B-1: Agent Projects Using NSF Pool Resources in FY97

Project/Location Principal Investigator (PI) Receivers and Ancillary Equipment Ship Date Project Funding


Tien Shan B. Hager 1 SSE 5/95-9/97 NSF EAR-IF
MIT Class T. Herring 1 SSE 22 Oct-Nov 8 Community[6]
Jalisco Block
C. DeMets
J. Stock
Upgrade 3 UNAM Rx
6 solar panels
1/2/97 - 4/9/97 NSF EAR-Geophysics
In Situ Measurement D. Agnew 1 RTK system 2/17/97-3/17/97 NSF EAR
So. California Survey R. Reilinger solar panels, tribrachs, tool kits (4 ea) 2/26/97- 3/21/97 Community
New Mexico Tech. N. Dunbar 1 GPSurvey Key 3/1/97 - 6/1/97 NSF
Northern Papua E. Silver 6 batteries 3/10/97 - 4/11/97 NSF EAR
LSU Project R. Dokka 2 SSI 3/11/97-4/14/97 Community
Ohio State G. Hamilton 1 GP Survey Key 3/15/97 - 4/1/97 NSF
Kinematic Continental Collision (Nepal) R. Bilham
1 GPSurvey Key
1 computer
3/21/97 - 6/7/97 NSF TEG
Robotics Guidance K. Gifford 1 RTK system 4/28/97 - 5/27/97 Community
Siberia Hydrology L. Hinzman 1 RTK system 4/20/97 - 6/30/97 NSF EAR-Hydrology
CU Choke-Ring Antenna P. Axelrad 2 CR Ant. 4/29/97 - 5/12/97 Community
Antenna Tests J. Freymueller 2 CR Ant. 4/25/97 - 6/5/97 Community
RTCM Development B. Johns 1 RTCM SSE & Modems 5/1/97 - 5/31/97 NSF OPP
Central Asia/Kyrgyzstan B. Hager 1 SSE, 4 solar panels 4/24/97 - 10/15/97 NSF EAR-CD
Greenland U. Herzfeld 1 SSE + GPS. Key 4/11/97-7/15/97 Community
Low Elevation Antenna Test C. Albers 2 SSE, 2 TR, 2 Ashtech 6/19/97-6/24/97 Community
GPS/Reftek Integration S. Anandakrishnan 1 SSE 6/13/97 - 8/15/97 NSF OPP
Wabash Valley M. Hamburger 2 SSI + GPS. Key 7/28/97 - 9/3/97 Community
Bulgaria C. Burchfiel
4 SSE solar panels
1 gas powered drill
8/15/97 - 10/10/97
5/30/97 - 7/30/97
NSF EAR-Active Tectonics
Cooperative Ice Core G. Hamilton 2 SST 7/17/97 - 10/2797 NSF ATM-CD
Montserrat G. Mattioli 2 spike mounts 7/2/97-perm NSF EHR and MRC
East Africa Rift C. Scholz 1 tribrach 1/15/97-7/15/97 Community
White/Inyo Range B. Tikoff 2 SSE/GPS key 7/9/97-7/18/97 NSF EAR-Petrology
Altyn Tagh M. McNutt 2 SSI, solar panels 9/1/97 - 10/1/97 NSF-Geophysics
Micropulse Antenna Test C. Rocken 2 TR, 2 SSE 8/7/97-8/22/97 Community
Arenal Volcano S. Schwartz 4 solar, spike mount 9/15/97-10/15/97 NSF EAR-Geophysics
Indonesia Y. Bock 4 SSE 10/1/97-11/1/97 Community

Equipment services staff in the Boulder Facility act as the point of contact for agent projects, with additional consultation provided by field engineers as needed. Facility staff, primarily Ed Manzanares, consult with investigators to determine equipment required for the project, manage the necessary shipping, training, and special packaging requests, and provide support for data management to ensure data are successfully returned to the UNAVCO archive[7]. The demand on archiving staff often increase for an agent project as tasks normally handled by the field engineer must be handled by these staff upon receipt of the data.

Long-term Loans of Equipment

In FY96, ten UNAVCO pool Trimble 4000 SSE receivers were made available to NSF investigators for long-term loan for installation at continuous stations. This was made possible by the influx into the GPS research community of ARI receivers, less demand on the pool for campaign-type support, and the desire to rotate older pool equipment into more stable permanent installations. Four receivers were allocated to Brad Hager for support to the Acquisition of Continuous GPS Receivers for Investigating the Geodynamics of Intracontinental Mountain Building in the Tien Shan grant in FY97. Two of these receivers were installed in the summer of 1997 in Kyrgyzstan with extensive support from the Boulder Facility. The other two receivers have been prepared for shipment and are awaiting notification of permission from the Chinese for permanent installation in western China. A fifth receiver continues to be used by Yehuda Bock to support his research in Indonesia and several proposals requesting use of the remaining five systems are under review by NSF. These long-term loans result in net savings to the NSF EAR-IF Program in meeting these project receiver requirements.

[6] Community support refers to requests of two receivers or less when no specific NSF grant is available to the PI to justify the loan. Community loans have been authorized by NSF EAR-IF and the UNAVCO Steering Committee.

[7] The agent PI is responsible for data collection, management, and submission to the UNAVCO Archive.

1997 Annual Report - 27 OCT 1997


Last modified: Monday, 27-Oct-2014 18:36:09 UTC


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