2020-2021 Science Planning Summaries
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2020-2021 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

UNAVCO high-precision GPS and ground-based light detection and ranging (LiDAR) support

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T-295-M Research Location(s): McMurdo Station


Event Number:
NSF / EAR Award 1724794

Program Manager:
Dr. Michael Jackson

ASC POC/Implementer:
John Rand / Elizabeth Kauffman

Principal Investigator(s)

Mr. Joseph R Pettit
Longmont, Colorado


Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
Research Locations: McMurdo Station


UNAVCO provides geodetic observations support and equipment. Surveygrade GPS, terrestrial laser scanners, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and 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 on Ross Island and in the Dry Valleys. Support infrastructure includes a real-time kinematic 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 GNSS service stations MCM4 and PALM, POLENET (ANET), West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide, South Pole GPS stations, and as-yet-unplanned support, as feasible.

Field Season Overview

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic impacts, only one participant will deploy in FY21 to provide support of Thwaites project instrumentation and equipment recovery and sustainment activities.