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Geophysical instruments such as GNSS/GPS (Global Navigation Satellite Systems) receivers, strainmeters, seismometers, tiltmeters, SAR, and LiDAR are essential to data collection and analysis performed by UNAVCO community members. The GAGE Facility provides expertise in design, construction, and installation of monumentation, power, communication, and other technical requirements for permanent stations. Following installation, the GAGE Facility tests and troubleshoots the instruments and the data collection, power and communications systems required to record and access data from continuously operating and often remote sites. The GAGE Facility also provides network monitoring for several networks from which the GAGE Facility downloads data. Get help with the Instrumentation section of our site.

Geophysical instruments measure the physical attributes of the Earth, and these measurements are collected for use by the UNAVCO science community.

  • GNSS/GPS Receivers & Antennas (for GPS, GLONASS, etc.) collect GNSS data which, after processing, is used to measure millimeter-level surface motion measurements at specific points over a period of time; the datasets include temporary, episodic campaign surveys and permanent installations.
  • Geodetic Imaging uses electromagnetic waves to quantify centimeter-scale motions at the Earth’s surface over several square meters to hundreds of square kilometers.
  • Laser Strainmeters are long-baseline (450-meter) measurements of deformation on the Earth's surface.
  • Borehole Instrumentation is buried 100 to 200 m below the ground to operate at the low noise levels required to capture small, short term transients. These include:
  • Meteorological Systems can be co-located with other geodetic instruments to provide near-surface atmospheric measurements.
  • Tide Gauge Systems can be co-located with other geodetic instruments to provide sea level measurements.

The GAGE Facility designs, engineers, installs, and advises on GNSS/GPS monumentation and associated ancillary hardware and equipment for permanent stations.

  • Monumentation Types support GNSS antennas and are chosen depending on the type of project, whether permanent, long-term, or campaign site occupations.
  • Power & Enclosures are optimized to provide continuous or cycled power through a variety of environmental conditions and include a combination of: solar, battery, AC, wind, fuel-cells and timing systems protecting key equipment from the weather.
  • Field Computers & Digitizers — to support borehole instrumentation and ready analog borehole sensor signals for digital transmission.

Communication technologies ensure that data collected in the field can be retrieved and reaches scientists and/or the UNAVCO data repository.

  • Cellular technologies are the most common method used to retrieve data from remote sites.
  • Land-based communications involve Internet connections, such as WISP, DSL, cable, dial-up modem and other analog systems.
  • Radio communications are used for line-of-sight communications over tens of miles in remote locations.
  • Satellite communications using VSAT, BGAN, or Iridium when sites are remote or where no cellular, land-based, or other radio methods are available.

Network monitoring allows GAGE Facility engineers and other users to find the operational status of instruments in several networks from which the GAGE Facility downloads data.


Last modified: 2020-01-17  19:12:21  America/Denver