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APOS Report Now Available Online

The report of the Autonomous Polar Observing Systems Workshop (APOS) has been posted online at IRIS, and can be downloaded (2 MB PDF, 32 pages).  Several IRIS and PASSCAL staff participated in this workshop and contributed to the report.

From the introduction:

The NSF-supported Autonomous Polar Observing Systems (APOS) workshop, held at the Bolger Center in Potomac, Maryland on September 30- October 1, 2010, brought together 78 polar investigators, engineers, and technical and logistical experts to review the scientific motivations and discuss measurement requirements for instrument deployment and data collection at high latitudes.  A particular focus of this workshop was the need for measurements in remote regions devoid of the infrastructure to support traditional instrumentation programs.

Polar landmasses, ice sheets, and sea ice provide unique observing platforms for research in many fields, including geodesy, meteorology, seismology, glaciology, and space physics. Areas of high interest include ice sheet stability and its effects on sea level rise, ice shelf melt and breakup, sea ice variability, glacial/oceanic interactions, the evolution and geophysical state of the mantle and crust, solar wind energy, mass and momentum coupling in Earth’s magnetosphere and upper atmosphere, postglacial and tectonic deformation, and the fundamental processes and evolution of the core and terrestrial magnetic field.

Polar regions play a crucial role in these and other fields, but continued scientific advances will require coordinated data collection at increasing numbers of locations in order to probe key dynamical processes at the required spatial and temporal scales.  Understanding some of these processes requires data-collection systems that can function unattended for several years or longer.

PASSCAL's Guy Tytgat connects a solar panel to an autonomous recording system.

The full report discusses several international strategies for collaborations on cost-effective autonomous instrumentation, including "Supersites" with shared logistics, earlier planning and coordination, establishment of a database of past, present, and future deployments, prompt publication of "Best Practices" findings for power and communications, development of interdisciplinary groups with a focus on common goals, continued support for conferences and symposia, and establishment of opportunities for student interns and others.

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