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32nd Annual Arctic Workshop Abstracts
March 14-16, 2002
INSTAAR, University of Colorado at Boulder

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O'NEEL, SHAD . University NAVSTAR Consortium.
Johns, Bjorn . University NAVSTAR Consortium.

The University NAVSTAR Consortium (UNAVCO) is providing high-precision differential Global Positioning System (GPS) support to the Barrow Area Science Consortium (BASC) in Barrow, Alaska beginning May 2002. System installation, technical support, and training will be provided by UNAVCO, and the system will be available year-round to scientists hosted by BASC. By having a dedicated GPS system at BASC, visiting scientists will be able to collect quality GPS data without having to obtain their own GPS equipment. By adding real-time kinematic (RTK) functionality to the base and rover GPS receivers, the system will provide centimeter level precision in real-time in a 5-10 kilometer radius from the base station at BASC. Real-time stakeouts allow the user to return to an exact location without any markers left in the ground. This will require a base station transmitter at BASC and a repeater to cover the Barrow Environmental Observatory (BEO).

GPS users worldwide are increasingly able to rely upon access to local base station data collected continuously at a predetermined precise location. These base stations are the starting point when processing local GPS data, and allow the collected data to be referenced to precise real-world coordinates. A Trimble 5700 dual-frequency geodetic GPS base station will be located at BASC. Local users can operate this station as needed, and they will have full control over data collection settings such as sample rate.

UNAVCO is simultaneously collaborating with the University of Alaska, Fairbanks to install a SuomiNet (atmospheric and geodetic GPS network) permanent GPS station at the NOAA Climate Monitoring and Diagnostics Laboratory (CMDL) facility in Barrow. This permanent station may be installed as soon as May 2002, and will also provide local GPS base station data. Data from SuomiNet sites are archived at UNAVCO, and they are publicly available via the Internet. This site will be a good backup to the planned base station at BASC, as it will provide another source of geodetic GPS control.

Successful GPS results require properly trained GPS users, and technical support is critical to ensure effective use of the equipment provided. This support will be provided jointly by UNAVCO and BASC, where UNAVCO provides 1-2 training sessions per season at Barrow, and also provides on-demand training in Boulder to researchers on their way to Barrow. BASC will provide a local GPS contact for the GPS users. With time, local users will become more familiar with the equipment, and they are likely to provide some support to their colleagues who want to use the equipment for the first time. A dedicated section on the UNAVCO web page ( will also provide specific documentation for the GPS system at BASC.


Figure 1. GPS survey of Point Barrow coastline erosion.


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