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Remote Station Technology

Aurora over Mount Erebus

Power and Communication through the Polar Night

Remote autonomous power and communication systems for GPS instruments have been developed specifically to withstand the extreme polar environment while keeping logistical installation expenses to a minimum. Similar systems for seismic research are available from IRIS/PASSCAL. These modular power and communications systems are adaptable to serve as platforms for other instruments beyond GPS and seismic devices.

This capability for polar research was the outcome of the NSF sponsored development project NSF-ANT 0619908.

Features and Specifications

  • 5 watts continuous year-round power
  • GPS data retrieval via Iridium link, up to 10 MB/day
  • Deployed by 2-3 people in a single light aircraft trip
  • Solar and wind power for multi-year operation
  • Lithium battery backup available
  • Designs for snow and rock surfaces
  • Custom engineering solutions
  • Network monitoring, data management and distribution

UNAVCO Polar GPS System

Designed for moderate cold and extreme wind

The UNAVCO Polar GPS system relies on a moderately sized battery bank with charging from solar and wind, and minimal insulation. Iridium and point-to-point radio communications solutions are available. The above left system was installed at Bear Peninsula and the above right system was installed at Kohler Glacier, both in West Antarctica, as part of the POLENET project.

UNAVCO Polar GPS System: Polar Plateau Version

Designed for extreme cold and moderate wind

The Polar Plateau GPS system is a modified version of the Polar GPS System. It uses an enclosure with high efficiency vacuum panel insulation and active heating. Solar and wind power sources provide year-round autonomous operation, including Iridium communications. The above left system was installed from the Norway-US IPY Traverse above the subglacial Recovery Lakes. (Photo: T. Scambos)


Last modified: 2019-12-24  02:12:29  America/Denver