2018-2019 USAP Field Season
88S traverse: GPS survey for calibration and validation of ICESat-2 altimetry data
Dr. Kelly M Brunt
Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station, South Pole Station
This project will conduct a high-precision GPS survey based out of South Pole Station, along the 88° S line of latitude. The goal is producing a large-scale dataset for the calibration of airborne and space-borne altimetry and to validate ICESat-2 elevation measurements. The traverse along the ICESat-2 ground track convergence zone represents the only large-scale, ice-based validation effort on a cold, relatively stable part of the ice-sheet interior.
Field Season Overview
This team will perform a second PistenBully traverse associated with a ground-based GPS survey for the validation of NASA's ICESat-2 elevation and elevation-change data products. The 750 km traverse route is along the 87.979° S line of latitude, approximately 224 km from South Pole. Each traverse will have two NASA participants, one support-contractor mountaineer, and one support-contractor mechanic. Participants will initially spend about one week at McMurdo Station to gather field gear. Once at South Pole, the team will acclimatize and prepare for the traverse. Each vehicle will have a roof-mounted GPS receiver operating at all times, and a third GPS antenna and receiver will be available for instrument redundancy. Each vehicle will also use two roof-mounted, downward-pointing ice-surface-roughness laser scanners. The traverse is estimated to again take about 15 days to complete.
Deploying Team Members