Wednesday, November 28, 2012

ULX1 installed

Installing the antenna on the ULX1 mast.
On Tuesday 27 November, the geodetic continuous GPS system was successfully installed on Seal Nunatak, a small rock outcrop next to the former Japanese Asuka station, approximately 60 km from PEA. The area is particularly known to be windy, which is very nice from the point of view of energy supply via our wind turbines, but less interesting if one needs to install the GPS mast and the power supply box at the top of the nunatak. Fortunately for us (Alain, Raphy, Nicolas and Frank), the conditions were quite balmy, with only a 20cm high wind drift around the rock (while at PEA there was no wind at all!). The reason why it is so windy is that the site is further to the east, hence less protected by the mountains from catabatic winds. (Catabatic winds are gravitationally driven winds coming from the polar plateau and picking up speed while making there descent towards the coast)

The fixing and drilling of the mast and the battery box was done by Alain and Raphy, while Nicolas and Frank installed the solar panels, wind turbines and powered up the whole system. Luckily it was all tested at PEA before, because the windy conditions do not leave much room for quiet analysis of what to do next and reading the manual at ease. All systems seem to work, the solar panels produce the bulk energy and wind power is only used during absence of sunshine. However, the latter could not be checked completely, unless we decoupled the solar panels from the system.

Instalation on Seal Nunatak of the GPS mast ULX1, the battery box and receiver, solar panels and wind turbines.
The system will now run continuously for several years. The consumption of energy is rather low, and the batteries are charged via solar panels (summer) and wind (winter). Once they are charged above 13V, they will charge the internal battery of the receiver, which in view of the low consumption should be sufficient to get us through this whole period without major maintenance.

The cGPS is meant to measure tiny horizontal and vertical motions of the Earth's crust due to tectonics as well as uplift due to changes in ice mass (in response to a bigger ice sheet during the Last Glacial period). This information will be extremely useful to constrain GIA models (see the IceCon project page for more information on the subject).

Fixing the monument into rock

No comments:

Post a Comment