A record 80 geodetic GPS receivers were deployed by UNAVCO Polar Services to Antarctica in support of 25 individual PI-based projects in the United States Antarctic Program. Ten pallets were sent south in September (Figure 1) for the bulk of the support provided from the UNAVCO "satellite facility" at McMurdo Station (Figure 2), and a separate shipment was sent to Hobart, Australia for research on the Amery Ice Shelf. The receivers deployed include 10 new Internet enabled Trimble NetRS reference stations, 20 new low-power Trimble R7 campaign units with new L2C tracking, and 20 low-power Trimble 5700s. In addition to the receivers, UNAVCO has deployed several solar power systems, Ethernet communication links, and enclosures for long-term continuous applications.
The field season is well under way, with both campaign and permanent station work in progress on Mt. Erebus in support of research by Dr. Philip Kyle of New Mexico Tech. Figure 3 shows Jim Greenberg retrieving a receiver from Abbott Peak, after it was left to collect data through the Antarctic winter from an extremely exposed location on a remote nunatak.
In addition to collecting GPS data in a region of tremor activity, this site served to evaluate the Trimble Zephyr Geodetic structural performance in high winds (no damage detected), and the autonomous operation of a Trimble 5700 receiver installation with a solar power system that was NOT sized to provide power through four month dark Antarctic winter. The receiver ran uninterrupted until May 29, shut down, and resumed logging data in a cold-soaked state on August 29, with un-interrupted data logging from September 25.
Figure 4 and 5 show Beth Bartel and Jim at Mt. Erebus permanent GPS site CONZ, performing maintenance and replacing the receiver with a new Trimble NetRS. This is the first of several Internet-accessible GPS stations slated for installation this season, and a repeater at CONZ will allow access to sites in the Transantarctic Mountains in support of the Ohio State University/USGS TAMDEF network led by Dr. Terry Wilson of OSU. An Iridium data link will also be deployed for evaluation of data retrieval from more remote locations. Figure 6 shows the solar frame, antenna and a section of tower being dropped off for the CONZ repeater site on Mt Erebus. Figure 7 shows Beth setting up a TAMDEF campaign site at Cape Royds which is also useful for the Erebus network.
Other projects underway include glaciology research in the McMurdo Dry Valleys (Dr. Andrew Fountain and Dr. Jaakko Putkonen), monitoring the world's largest icebergs that calved off the Ross Ice Shelf (Dr. Doug MacAyeal), a 40 receiver network studying tidal modulation of west-Antarctic ice stream flow (Drs. Sridhar Anandakrishnan and Robert Bindschadler), monitoring an active rift system at the front of the Amery Ice Shelf in East Antarctica (Dr. Helen Fricker), and campaign and continuous GPS surveys of Kamb Ice Stream in West Antarctica (Dr. Slawek Tulaczyk).
See the UNAVCO Polar Services for additional information.
Last modified: Sunday, 11-May-2014 18:01:47 UTC