We have been awarded a National Geographic Explorer grant entitled “A tale of two glaciers: using web connected RTK GPS, drones and remote sensing to monitor rapid glacier retreat of two contrasting Icelandic glaciers”. This will be a two year project to examine the rapid retreat of two icelandic glaciers, using the innovative web connected dGPS system.
“At around 5 AM Pacific Time (1 PM GMT) today (March 7th) the GPS satellites started transmitting inconsistent health information causing Swift Navigation receivers to exclude measurements from any satellites supporting the L2C signal. This has resulted in degraded or unavailable position information and decreased ability to achieve an RTK Fixed solution.”
We kept an eye on the data coming in – as it is not easy to go to Iceland and update the firmware..
There is a nice write-up from Formula E on Ice drive: a lasting legacy:
Today we set up two dGPS units to measure the speed of some of Fjallsjökull glacier. We chose an area of ice which is clearly moving forward towards the lake.
The photo above shows a “quadpod” supporting the GPS units – which are an adaptation of those made by Matthew Roberts of the Icelandic met-office. The idea is to be strong enough to cope with winter and cast few shadows (which cause ice to grow). The system is currently measuring its position every 3hrs to an accuracy of about 2cm – using signals from the base station to help it.
These new dGPS units seem to be accurate to around 2cm as shown in our test. This is for a close baseline (and at the moment doesn’t use GLONASS).
We have been checking the iceberg tracker temperature as one way of telling if it is in the sea is a flatter daily variation in temperatures. Here you can see it did regularly read sub-zero at midnight then warmer an noon. Recently however it is showing mainly positive temperatures.
After spending weeks among the small islands in the centre of this map – it has moved south until reaching land again. This dramatic movement may be because the iceberg has broken up.
This is the scenic video of Lucas di Grassi driving a Formula E car on a Greenland glacier.
Together with the sustainability team of Formula E we were able to put a GPS tracker on an emerging Iceberg in order to see its movement in great detail. The box contains a tracker which sends the GPS location and temperature twice per day via satellite messages.