Arctic Field Projects

Project Title: GROVER: Greenland Rover for Cryospheric Research (Award# NASAGROVER)

PI: Koenig, Lora Suzanne (
Phone: (303) 735.5408 
Institute/Department: U of Colorado, Boulder, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences 
IPY Project?
Funding Agency: US\Federal\NASA
Program Manager: Dr. Thomas Wagner (
Discipline(s): | Cryosphere |

Project Web Site(s):

Science Summary:
The Greenland Rover for Cryospheric Research (GROVER) robot has been designed and developed over a three year period as an over snow autonomous robot for radar measurements in the polar regions. The robot is controlled via a satellite modem remotely, and receives instructions for travel direction and speed, control of the radar. It performs onboard processing of the radar data, and transmits back diagnostic information about the status of the robot and summary data from the radar. It has been tested over snow in Idaho; this project will perform proof of concept measurements at Summit Station, Greenland, in which the robot will be deployed to the IceSAT line, and controlled remotely from Summit. If all goes well, the robot will only be visited at the beginning and end of the campaign. If problems arise, the robot might need to be visited during the campaign to fix problems.

Logistics Summary:
This project supports the testing of Greenland Rover for Cryospheric Research (GROVER), an autonomous robot designed to map accumulation over the ice sheet at Summit Station, Greenland. GROVER is solar powered and carries a payload of an ultra-high frequency, frequency modulated continuous wave (FMCW) radar. The radar is capable of resolving near-surface snow layering with a vertical resolution of centimeters. During the 2013 season a field team of three will spend approximately five weeks at Summit Station in May/June. The effort will have two major objectives: (1) to map accumulation rates around the Summit region while simultaneously imaging and mapping the 2012 melt layer; and (2) to fully test GROVER’s engineering and communication links. Researchers will determine GROVER’s range, power consumption and duty cycle in an ice sheet setting to understand how they can task the robot for future missions. During 2014 a short site visit is planned for one participant during late April. The site visit will not include deployment of the robot. Researchers will continue work on the robot through 2015 with no personnel deployment under this grant.

CPS will provide Air National Guard (ANG) airlift for passengers and cargo, KISS user days, Summit user days, minimal use of a snowmachine at Summit to deploy and retrieve the GROVER (in 2013), and basic communication/safety gear. NSF will recoup costs associated with this support via an interagency funds transfer NASA to NSF. All other logistics will be organized by the researcher and paid through the grant.
SeasonField SiteDate InDate Out#People
2013Greenland - Kangerlussuaq05 / 04 / 2013 06 / 08 / 20134
2013Greenland - Summit05 / 06 / 2013 06 / 07 / 20134
2014Greenland - Kangerlussuaq04 / 28 / 2014 05 / 02 / 20141
2014Greenland - Summit04 / 28 / 2014 04 / 30 / 20141

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