2016-2017 Science Planning Summaries
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2016-2017 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

NASA / McMurdo Ground Station (MG1)

no photo available


Event Number:
NSF / NASA Agreement

Program Manager:
Mr. Pat Smith

ASC POC/Implementer:
Neal Scheibe / Bill Jirsa

Principal Investigator

Mr. Bruce Thoman

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

Project Web Site:


Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
Research Locations: On station


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

The MG1 activity is a year-round effort, for which two NASA technicians are deployed to McMurdo Station to operate and maintain the systems. During the austral summer, additional personnel deploy to support special projects, perform systems and infrastructure checks, and conduct crew turnovers.

Deploying Team Members

  • Rex Cotten
  • Jennifer Cox
  • Raymond Funk
  • William Kambarn
  • Nickolas Sinkola (Co-PI)
  • Bruce Thoman (PI)
  • Edward Wendell