The aims of Glacsweb are:
- Carry out Glaciology research – particularly subglacial
- Develop low power wireless sensor networks node capable of providing new data
- Gather the data autonomously and daily into a web database.
- Improve the design of real deployable environmental sensor networks.
An important challenge today is to understand climate change and its effect on sea level rise. Glaciers are a key element, but their behaviour is poorly understood. The melting of West Antarctica’s ice is not only controlled by snow fall and surface melting but also by processes under the ice. Our research aims to use technological advances to understand what happens beneath glaciers and how they are affected by climate.
A combination of technologies has made environmental sensor networks possible. These will eventually be spread around the world and will give us a clearer picture of how we are changing our environment. In order to make successful sensor webs issues such as: communications, low-power, robustness and adaptability have to be solved. A combination of mechanical engineering, electronics, computer science and environmental science are needed.
We use various technologies to gather data from glaciers and make new systems if they do not already exist. This includes ‘Subglacial Probes’ beneath the glacier, surface-stations, UAVs and remote sensing.