2013-2014 Science Planning Summaries
United States Antarctic Program United States Antarctic Program Logo National Science Foundation Logo
NASA / McMurdo Ground Station (MG1)

Program Manager:
Mr. Pat Smith

Event Number: T-927-M
NSF / NASA Agreement

ASC POC/Implementer:
John Rand / August Stoten

Mr. Bruce Thoman (Principal Investigator)
Project LinkExternal U.S. Government Site

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, Maryland

Supporting Stations:  McMurdo Station
Research Locations:  Above McMurdo Station

Project Description:
NASA's McMurdo Ground Station (MG1) is a 10-meter antenna housed in a white radome visible on the hill above McMurdo Station. It is used primarily for data recovery from polar-orbiting science satellites. Missions planned for MG1 for FY19: Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP), Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate (COSMIC), Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat-2), Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS), Hinode Solar Mission, and Landsat-7. MG1 also provides launch and early operations phase (LEOP) support for launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base involving satellite missions that require downrange telemetry support; telemetry and command for satellite housekeeping, and recovery from satellite operational emergencies; and, in collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Environmental Satellite and Data Information Service, data recovery for the EUMETSAT MetOp polar weather satellite constellation. MG1 has a McMurdo Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) Relay System (MTRS) system for high-speed data transfers.

Field Season Overview:
Members of the field team will begin deploying to McMurdo Station in early October with additional members arriving in January and February. Technicians will track a variety of satellites, monitor launches, and collect and forward data. Two members of the team will work at McMurdo Station through the austral winter. Data will be recorded on site and shipped to NASA facilities for processing. Some data will be transmitted to NASA facilities over dedicated Internet links.

During critical launch support activities, e.g., countdown, liftoff, and the first several orbits of new spacecraft, the researchers will need voice and network communications with support personnel ready for quick response.

Deploying Team Members:

  • William Kambarn
  • Nickolas Sinkola
  • Edward Wendell

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