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Collaborative Research: Development of a Power and Communication System for Remote Autonomous GPS and Seismic Stations in Antarctica - IRIS

Major advances in addressing many compelling questions in polar geoscience require continuous recording of GPS and seismic data. Logistic expenses require systems that can operate unattended for multiple years. We propose to develop a new system that will enable the polar science community to obtain critical new data sets to address many fundamental questions about the nature and behavior of the crust and mantle beneath Antarctica and its relationship to ice sheet dynamics and climate. While new technological achievements in GPS receivers and seismometers make it possible to use off-the- shelf units for autonomous recording in polar regions, there is still no companion power/communication system available to permit year-round autonomous station operation. Decreasing power needs of the GPS and seismic instrumentation, coupled with promising advances in power and communication technologies, have now put us on the threshold of building such a system. Consequently, a development effort is proposed in which IRIS and UNAVCO will team with the Antarctic GPS and seismology scientists to capitalize on these advances to design and build a reliable power/communication system for autonomous polar station operation. The power/communication units built will form the nucleus of a new IRIS/UNAVCO equipment pool, and will allow the science community to achieve the first long-duration deployment of continuously- recording GPS and seismic stations across the Antarctic continent proposed to commence during the International Polar Year (2007-2009).

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