2022-2023 Science Planning Summary
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2022-2023 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

NASA / McMurdo Ground Station (MG1)

Photo by Mike Lucibella. Image courtesy of NSF/USAP Photo Library.
T-927-M Research Location(s): McMurdo Station


Event Number:
NSF / NASA Agreement

Program Manager:
Mr. Pat Smith

ASC POC/Implementer:
John Rand / Carrie Piesen

Principal Investigator(s)

Mr. Mark Harris
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Wallops Flight Facility

Project Web Site:


Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
Research Locations: McMurdo Station


The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) McMurdo Ground Station (MG1) is a 10-meter antenna housed in a white radome, which is visible on the hill above McMurdo Station. It is used primarily for data recovery from polar-orbiting science satellites. MG1 also provides launch and early operations phase (LEOP) support for launches from Vandenberg Space Force Base involving satellite missions that require downrange telemetry (example from September 2021 – Landsat 9 satellite); telemetry and command for satellite housekeeping; recovery from satellite operational emergencies; and, in collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Environmental Satellite and Data Information Service, recovery of data for the EUMETSAT MetOp polar weather satellites. NASA also has a McMurdo Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) Relay System (MTRS) ground terminal at Crater Hill for high-speed data transfers of MG1 data. MTRS uses high-inclination TDRS satellites visible above the local horizon.

Field Season Overview

Annual, ongoing maintenance and support of McMurdo Ground Station antennas, radomes, and associated devices and equipment. Support for two year-round personnel, and two crew turnover intervals of around one week. Support requested includes: • Comms, telco and network communications • Facilities maintenance • Heavy equipment (for maintaining access to radomes) • Vehicle support (dedicated van preferred) • Rigger support (for antenna dome inspection and repair) • Occasional support required from various trades (electricians, machine shop, etc.) • Equipment calibration • Cargo staging and storage space

Deploying Team Members

  • Rex Cotten
  • Dylan Donnelly
  • Kenneth Kloppenborg Jr.
  • Victoria Landgraf
  • Nikolas Sinkola