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What's New

New for 2012

Iridium Download System Hosted by NEON:

GAGE operates a large number of polar GPS stations which rely on Iridium Dial-Up service for data retrieval. This necessitates several Iridium base modems to be operated locally, however Iridium broadcasts interfere with GPS signals and are detrimental to GPS testing which is part of GAGE's core responsibilities. In 2012 an agreement was reached with NEON, the National Ecological Observatory Network facility in Boulder CO, to host the Iridium download equipment. Iridium downloads are now done at NEON, and data is retrieved by GAGE over the internet.

Novel Applications of GAGE Polar Power Platform:

Three customized systems based on the polar power platform were delivered in 2012 for non-polar / non-GPS applications. First, a modified polar GPS station was installed in Ames, Iowa as part of the Continental Scale Soil Moisture Network project (PI John Braun / Kristine Larson). Second, a power system for a ground-level ozone instrument was installed at Marble Point, Antarctica (PI Linnea Avallone / Lars Kalnajs). Finally, a power system was constructed for an ocean temperature profiling Distributed Temperature Sensing system at Windless Bight, Antarctica (PI Scott Tyler / David Holland, photo courtesy Jason Bryenton). In addition to these systems, four customized power systems were also deployed in previous seasons for polar weather station applications.

New for 2011

Integrated GPS / AWS Prototype Demonstration:

In collaboration with the Automatic Weather Station project, a prototype system was designed and fielded at the GAGE test facility near McMurdo Station. The antarctic-grade weather instruments are integrated with the GPS power and communications systems, and data is being delivered to University of Wisconsin. Also being tested at this station during winter 2012 is a Leading Edge LEv50 wind turbine, to assess its performance during the polar winter.

GPS Station Design for High Ablation Zones:

Areas of high annual ablation present unique challenges for measurement of glacial dynamics. GAGE now offers a system designed for this environment, featuring GPS monumentation and power systems mounted on single poles. These poles are set into holes drilled deep into the glacier surface, remaining vertical as the surface ablates away. Shown is one such system in Greenland after a year's operation.

New for 2010

Ongoing Remote Station Technology Development:

• The Trimble NetR9 receiver is now being deployed by GAGE Polar. This receiver supports remote Iridium communications, has improved satellite tracking functionality, and good cold performance without a significant increase in power consumption.

• GAGE Polar campaign GPS systems have been redesigned, including new solar regulators, wiring and connectors, enclosure, physical layout, and documentation.

• GAGE has completed a project with Xeos Technologies to develop the next generation of polar-worthy Iridium communications hardware. The XI-100 modem offers advanced thermal management, optimized single-channel Iridium SBD + RUDICS communications, TCP/IP connectivity to remote devices, with minimized power consumption. Prototype field demonstrations have been successful. Development continues and deployments are planned for Greenland and Antarctica in 2011.

New for 2009

Power and Communication System Development Project Completed:

Reliable remote autonomous power and communication systems designed specifically for the extreme polar environment are available. Two distinct system designs - the Polar Plateau System designed for extreme cold and moderate wind and the Continental Margin System designed for extreme winds and moderate temperatures - are both intended to minimize lositical installation expenses. Similar systems for seismic research are available from IRIS/PASSCAL. This new support capability for polar research is the outcome of the NSF sponsored development project NSF-ANT 0619908. For more information see the project proposal.

New for 2008

Terrestrial Laser Scanning Instrument Acquired:

GAGE has purchased an Optech ILRIS-3D Terrestrial Laser Scanner (TLS) as part of the Aquisition of a Terrestrial Laser Scanning System for Polar Research proposal. The TLS system is a shared resource managed by the GAGE Facility.

New for 2007

New Geodetic Infrastructure and Data with IPY POLENET Project:

The International Polar Year POLENET project began with the installation of 23 new CGPS stations in Greenland, and another 17 stations are slated to be installed in Antarctica during the 2007-08 field season. The systems deployed represent the remote polar CGPS systems best-practices, are the product of the IRIS/GAGE/community power and communications system development MRI proposal effort. The POLENET project has an open data policy, and the extent of the network provides valuable infrastructure for the larger community. Much of the data are downloaded daily via Iridium satellite communications. Network maps and data access are available from the GAGE data archive.

Polar power kits available to the community:

A goal of the power and communications system MRI proposal is to make the systems available to the broader polar research community. The current "Polar margins" systems are designed to withstand the extreme environment of the polar margins (extreme winds and moderate cold), and power a 5W system year-round. The systems weigh 1200 lbs, fit in most helicopters, and can be set up in a few hours. Polar researchers may contact GAGE to include these "best-practices" power system kits in their proposals, and availability is not limited to GPS users. For further information contact

Terrestrial Laser Scanning Instrument Acquisition Proposal Funded:

The National Science Foundation recently awarded funding to GAGE for the proposal Aquisition of a Terrestrial Laser Scanning System for Polar Research. The goal is to acquire a single TLS instrument and develop the necessary support capability to deploy the instrument on PI projects. The TLS system will be a shared resource managed by the GAGE Facility and integrated into GAGE’s ongoing support for NSF-OPP projects. Considering the expense of TLS equipment and the expertise needed for successful operation, this approach represents the most cost effective means of making this technology accessible to the OPP research community.

New for 2006

Remote Station Engineering Proposal Funded:

The National Science Foundation recently awarded funding to IRIS and GAGE for a unique proposal to design and build a reliable power and communication system for autonomous polar station operation. This development effort will involve close collaboration with Antarctic seismologists and GPS scientists. The stated goals of this project are to use the latest power and communication technologies, linked with the collective experience and expertise of the science community and IRIS/GAGE staff to 1) design, integrate, and test a scalable power and communication system optimized for ease of deployment and reliable multi-year operation in severe polar environments; and 2) provide an initial pool of these systems for deployment and testing in science experiments. Access to the new systems through GAGE and IRIS will open doors for scientists and institutions that do not have the technical and field skills currently required to execute remote polar GPS and seismic research projects. A Polar Networks Science Committee (PNSC) has also been formed to advise and assist the GAGE and IRIS/PASSCAL facilities on this and future projects. More general information can be found at the GAGE Remote Station Engineering page.

GPS Base Station at Atqasuk, Alaska:

A GPS base station (ATQK) in Atqasuk provides a local source of geodetic quality differential corrections for GPS data post-processing by scientists and others operating in the Atqasuk area on the Alaska North Slope. The station is located at the ARM Climate Research Facility (ACRF) which provides security, power, and ethernet communications.

DGPS System at Summmit Camp, Greenland:

GAGE and VECO Polar Resources (VPR) operate a GPS system at Summit Camp, Greenland in support of National Science Foundation sponsored research. This RTK system provides centimeter level differential corrections to properly equipped users in the vicinity of Summit Camp, simplifying many GPS survey tasks that would otherwise require time consuming collection and post-processing of data. The equipment may also be used for post-processed static and kinematic surveys.

New for 2005

Iridium data communications capability:

GAGE now provides a global data communication solution for geodetic GPS data retrieval based on the Iridium satellite system.

Local and remote development test facilities established:

Resources for testing and validation of components and systems for remote Polar extreme environment applications include the Niwot Ridge facility at 11,600ft elevation on the continental divide, the Marshall facilty outside of Boulder, and a Thermotron environmental test chamber at GAGE.

New for 2004

DGPS System at Toolik Field Station, Alaska:

GAGE and the University of Alaska, Fairbanks Institute of Arctic Biology have installed a differential GPS system at the Toolik Lake field station. The Trimble 5700 base and rover system provides centimeter-level precision in real-time and through post-processing.

Trimble NetRS Permanent Station Receivers:

New addition to GAGE receiver pool. Low power (3.8W), internet enabled, L2C tracking, high-memory (1Gb, GAGE configuration) geodetic receiver for permanent station applications.

Trimble R7 Receivers:

New addition to GAGE receiver pool. 19 L2C tracking, low power (<3W), high-memory (512Mb) geodetic receivers were added to the OPP receiver pool for extended campaign and semi-permanent applications.

Enhanced Engineering Support for Remote Polar GPS Stations:

Development, system engineering, and testing are ongoing activities to meet the specific technical challenges of providing standardized, robust telemetry and power systems at remote high-latitude locations.

New for 2003

Influx of new receivers to OPP pool:

The NSF-OPP contributed Trimble 5700 receivers in the GAGE pool now total 21, reflecting the increasing demand for long-term, continuous data collections.

New for 2002

DGPS System in Barrow, Alaska:

GAGE and the Barrow Arctic Science Consortium operate a differential GPS system in Barrow. The Trimble 5700 base and rover system provides centimeter-level precision.

New for 2001

Trimble 5700 Receivers:

New addition to GAGE receiver pool. Low power (<3W), high-memory (128Mb) geodetic receiver for extended campaign and semi-permanent applications.

New for 2000

SA Turned Off:

Meter level accuracy from GPS without differential correction.

Garmin eTrex Summit Receivers:

Easy to use hand-held GPS receivers
with barometric altimeter and electronic compass.

GPS Data Products:

Geo-referenced coordinate files of physical features that are useful for GIS applications.

New for 1999

Trimble 4700 Receiver:

  • New addition to GAGE receiver pool.
  • Lighter, lower power consumption than the "core" pool Trimble 4000 SSi receivers.
  • Comes with ergonomic backpack and handheld controller for kinematic survey applications.
  • Same dual-frequency geodetic data quality and fully compatible with 4000 SSi receivers.
  • RTK equipped for cm level real-time surveys using McMurdo DGPS base.
  • Trimble 4800 Receiver:

  • One piece dual frequency geodetic receiver and antenna.
  • Simple on/off operation for data collection.
  • DGPS:

  • 3 DGPS equipped Garmin 12XL handheld receivers are available for McMurdo Sound and Taylor Valley users (in addition to the two Trimble GeoExplorers).
  • Peak 1882 repeater will be upgraded to year round autonomous operation (it will remain solar powered September through April).
  • DGPS integrity monitoring will be installed in the Crary Lab to monitor DGPS system health.

    Last modified: 2024-07-08  14:50:58  America/Denver