Members of the UNAVCO and IRIS engineering teams worked together to upgrade the power system and enclosure at UNAVCO NOTA GNSS station AC20 near Girdwood, Alaska.

As we work together to establish a vision for a comprehensive geophysical observatory beyond 2023, we recognize the importance of demonstrating the success of our collaboration now and in the past. The UNAVCO operated GAGE facility and the SAGE facility operated by IRIS comprise future components of The EarthScope Consortium, Inc. Nowhere is that collaboration so clear as in Alaska, where engineering teams from IRIS and UNAVCO already share physical facility space in Anchorage, AK.

On 22 October, 2020, team members from UNAVCO and IRIS worked together to upgrade the power system and enclosure at UNAVCO NOTA (Network of the Americas) GNSS station AC20 near Girdwood, AK. Ken Austin (UNAVCO) spearheaded the planning and logistics, and received assistance on the day of operation from Jeremy Miner (IRIS) and John Soderquist (IRIS).

The purpose of the mission was to upgrade the power system and enclosure at AC20 because the long term AC power connection was terminated by our host. The project repurposed an old Grizzly cooler and swing set with three 80 Watt solar panels from the Alaska Transportable Array (ATA) project combined with a UNAVCO DC power and instrumentation system. With permission from Alaska State Parks, we helicopter-slung the new power system, moved and assembled the equipment, and removed the old AC system. Total time on site was approximately 4 hours, including the helicopter operations.

Coordinated fieldwork, like the power upgrade at AC20 that require special operations (e.g. helicopter support), demonstrates how IRIS and UNAVCO engineering staff work effectively together on projects of mutual interest and benefit to the geophysical community.


Written by:

  • Ken Austin and Ryan Bierma
  • Posted: 10 November 2020
  • Last updated: 8 April 2021