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A ground-based, multi-frequency ice-penetrating radar system

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Tobetter understand how ice sheets respond to climate, we designed a new multi-frequency ice-penetrating radar system to investigate subsurface structures of ice sheets. The system is mounted on a single platform and handled by a single operator. Three radio frequencies, 30, 60 and 179 MHz, were used. An underlying principle of these multi-frequency observations is that the lower frequencies are more sensitive to electrical conductivity changes, whereas the higher frequencies are more sensitive to dielectric permittivity fluctuations in the ice. The system is composed of three single-frequency pulse radars, a trigger-controller unit and a data-acquisition unit. The trigger controller is the key component of this system. It switches transmitters on at different timings to prevent mixing of signals among the three radars. The timing difference was set as 50 ยตs, which is equivalent to the two-way travel time for radio waves reflecting from 4250 m below the surface. A field test was done along a 2000 km long traverse line in east Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica. The multi-frequency system successfully acquired data that are equivalent in quality to our earlier single-frequency measurements along the same traverse line. The details of the system and preliminary data are described.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2002-01-01

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  • The Annals of Glaciology is a peer-reviewed, thematic journal published 2 to 4 times a year by the International Glaciological Society (IGS). Publication frequency is determined and volume/issue numbers assigned by the IGS Council on a year-to-year basis and with a lead time of 3 to 4 years. The Annals of Glaciology is included in the ISI Science Citation Index from volume 50, number 50 onwards.

    Themes can be on any aspect of the study of snow and ice. Individual members can make a suggestion for a theme for an Annals issue to the Secretary General, who will forward it to the IGS Publications Committee. The IGS Publication Committee will make a recommendation for an individual themed Annals issue, together with a potential Annals Chief Editor for that issue, to IGS Council. The IGS Council will make the decision whether to proceed, taking into account the spread of topics and the overall capacity for publication of pages in Annals.

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