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A camera and multisensor automated station design for polar physical and biological systems monitoring: AMIGOS

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The Automated Meteorology–Ice/Indigenous species–Geophysics Observation System (AMIGOS) consists of a set of measurement instruments and camera(s) controlled by a single-board computer with a simplified Linux operating system and an Iridium satellite modem supporting two-way communication. Primary features of the system relevant to polar operations are low power requirements, daily data uploading, reprogramming, tolerance for low temperatures, and various approaches for automatic resets and recovery from low power or cold shutdown. Instruments include a compact weather station, single- or dual-frequency GPS, solar flux and reflectivity sensors, sonic snow gauges, simplified radio-echo sounder, and resistance thermometer string in the firn column. In the current state of development, there are two basic designs. One is intended for in situ observations of glacier conditions. The other supports a high-resolution camera for monitoring biological or geophysical systems from short distances (100 m to 20 km). The stations have been successfully used in several locations for operational support, monitoring rapid ice changes in response to climate change or iceberg drift, and monitoring penguin colony activity. As of August 2012, there are nine AMIGOS systems installed, all on the Antarctic continent or in the surrounding ocean.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: April 1, 2013

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Glaciology is published six times per year. It accepts submissions from any discipline related to the study of snow and ice. All articles are peer reviewed. The Journal is included in the ISI Science Citation Index.
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