An Autonomous Wireless Instrumentation Network for Antarctic Research

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNG04CB10C
Agency Tracking Number: 020036
Amount: $499,858.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2004
Solitcitation Year: N/A
Solitcitation Topic Code: N/A
Solitcitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Vexcel Corp
1690 38th St., Boulder, CO, 80301
Duns: 147280127
Hubzone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Dennis Fatland
 Principal Investigator
 (303) 583-0219
 fatland@vexcel.com
Business Contact
 Paul Bodnar
Title: VP Finance and Administration
Phone: (303) 583-0225
Email: bodnar@vexcel.com
Research Institution
 Pennsylvania State University
 Sue Lavan
 442 Deike Bldg
University Park, PA, 16802
 (814) 863-8724
 Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
The innovation of this project is to bring the power and flexibility of a wireless computer network to harsh-environment fieldwork. By integrating a small computer with GPS and a multi-channel digitizer we have created a network node which is low cost, low power, adaptable to practically any electronic instrumentation, and capable of storing large volumes of data over long field deployments. The node's wireless capability permits data sharing (redundancy) and cost-saving data retrieval via telemetry. During Phase I we exceeded our research objectives by building and testing a working prototype and in consequence have enlisted the interest and enthusiasm of a host of Geophysicists for a variety of experiments. Our baseline test plan in Phase II is a seismic experiment on Whillans icestream, West Antarctica, now supplemented by additional potential research projects. These include ice dynamics surveys on coastal outlet glaciers in Greenland, seismic monitoring of Alaskan tidewater glacier calving, bat research in Southeast Alaska, and bistatic radar sounding experiments on Antarctic ice sheets. These wireless networks are built on the open source paradigm based in our cultural enthusiasm for what we can accomplish as explorers; they will facilitate the next generation of scientific fieldwork on earth and beyond.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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