2018-2019 Science Planning Summaries
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2018-2019 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

UNAVCO GPS survey support

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T-295-M Research Location(s): Crary Lab / Minna Bluff / Fishtail Point / Lorne AWS


Event Number:
NSF/OPP Award 1261833

Program Manager:
Dr. Michael Jackson

ASC POC/Implementer:
John Rand / Elizabeth Kauffman

Principal Investigator(s)

Mr. Joseph R Pettit
Boulder, Colorado

Project Web Site:


Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
Research Locations: Crary Lab / Minna Bluff / Fishtail Point / Lorne AWS


University NAVSTAR Consortium (UNAVCO) provides support and equipment for geodetic observations. Survey-grade GPS, terrestrial laser scanners, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), power and communications systems for high-precision campaign surveying and continuous data collection are available. UNAVCO operates a network of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) stations around McMurdo Station, Mount Erebus, and the Dry Valleys. Support infrastructure includes a real-time kinematic (RTK) differential GPS broadcasting station covering McMurdo Sound, a Mount Erebus repeater for GPS data retrieval from the Transantarctic Mountains, and an Iridium satellite hub in Colorado. Support is also provided for Palmer Station’s GPS survey system. Operation and maintenance is provided for NASA's International GNSS Service (IGS) stations MCM4 and PALM, POLENET (ANET), West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide, and South Pole GPS stations.

Field Season Overview

Field team members will reside on station to provide technical and field engineering support and to manage the UNAVCO equipment pool. They will occasionally travel to the field as support requirements dictate. This season they are planning to install a radio repeater on Minna Bluff, which will be used to send telemetry data from the Minna Bluff GPS station and possibly Fishtail Point. The radio link will eliminate the need for Iridium communications from these two sites. Also, the team will convert the Ozone system to a GPS site at Lorne automatic weather station (AWS) for the Seefeldt (O-456-M) science group.

Deploying Team Members

  • Nicolas Bayou
  • Spencer Niebuhr
  • Thomas Nylen
  • Joseph Pettit (PI)
  • Jerome Wanatick
  • Anne Zaino