Start date:
Mid October
End date:
Early February
Dry Valleys
Principle Investigator:
Mr. Joseph R Pettit
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.
T-295 will have 3-7 personnel on the Ice throughout the 2017-2018 field season to provide technical and field engineering support and to manage the UNAVCO equipment pool. Field team members will occasionally travel to field locations as support requirements dictate. Detailed logistical support is arranged directly between UNAVCO and the science project team.
This season, UNAVCO staff are planning to visit the GPS sites on Mount Erebus by helicopter from McMurdo, and by helicopter from Lower Erebus Hut, if there is another group staying at the hut and if there is room for two UNAVCO engineers. They also plan to upgrade the local GPS base station in McMurdo to full Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) coverage. This site is also a part of the IGS global network, which puts data online in near real time to meet the objectives of a wide range of scientific and engineering applications and studies. With the deployment of new satellites by the US and other global nations, a new antenna needs to be installed, preferably at a location free of obstructions and traffic, but with power, ethernet access and easy access for maintenance. It is possible that the best option will be to leave it in its current location (north of Building 71) or relocate it to Arrival Heights. To install the new antennae if relocation is deemed necessary, the team will drill a hole roughly two meters into the soil/permafrost. They will install a steel pole in the drilled hole and will secure it with water. This will leave about one meter of pipe above ground, to which the GPS antenna will be attached. They will run cable along the ground to the US building through the primary access point on the northwest side of the building. The GNSS receivers only receive and store the satellite signals; they do not broadcast any sort of signal and will not, therefore, interfere with other experiments at Arrival Heights.