2016-2017 Science Planning Summaries
United States Antarctic Program United States Antarctic Program Logo National Science Foundation Logo
2016-2017 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

UNAVCO GPS survey support

no photo available


Event Number:
NSF/OPP Award 1261833

Program Manager:
Dr. Michael Jackson

ASC POC/Implementer:
Judy Shiple / Elizabeth Kauffman

Principal Investigator

Mr. Joseph R Pettit

Boulder, Colorado

Project Web Site:


Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
Research Locations: Crary Lab / field sites


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

This field season, UNAVCO staffers will provide technical and field engineering support and will manage the UNAVCO equipment pool. Field team members will occasionally travel to field locations as project support requirements dictate. Detailed logistical support is arranged directly between UNAVCO and the science project team. With the deployment of new satellites by the US and other nations, a new GPS antenna to provide full GNSS coverage needs to be installed in McMurdo. The UNAVCO staff will work with the Antarctic Support Contractor (ASC) surveyor to find the best location in McMurdo. The IT Communications department may also be called upon to assist with the antenna installation.

Deploying Team Members

  • Nicolas Bayou
  • Brendan Hodge
  • Spencer Niebuhr
  • Thomas Nylen
  • Joseph Pettit (PI)
  • Anne Zaino