A wireless subglacial probe for deep ice applications

C. J. P. P. Smeets, W. Boot, A. Hubbard, R. Pettersson, F. Wilhelms, M. R. Van Den Broeke, R. S. W. Van De Wal

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27 Citations (SciVal)


We present the design and first results from two experiments using a wireless subglacial sensor system (WiSe) that is able to transmit data through 2500m thick ice. Energy consumption of the probes is minimized, enabling the transmission of data for at least 10 years. In July 2010 the first prototype of the system was used to measure subglacial pressure at the base and a temperature profile consisting of 23 probes in two 600m deep holes at Russell Glacier, a land-terminating part of the West Greenland ice sheet near Kangerlussuaq. The time series of subglacial pressure show very good agreement between data from the WiSe system and the wired reference system. The wireless-measured temperature data were validated by comparison with the theoretical decrease of melting point with water pressure inside the water-filled hole directly after installation. To test the depth range of the WiSe system a second experiment using three different probe types and two different surface antennas was performed inside the 2537m deep hole at NEEM. It is demonstrated that, with the proper combination of transmission power and surface antenna type, theWiSe system transmits data through 2500m thick ice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)841-848
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Glaciology
Issue number211
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2012


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