ITTC Project

High Resolution Ice Thickness and Plane Wave Mapping of Near-Surface Layers

Project Award Date: 07-15-2003


This project is a collaborative component to a planned continuation of the United States International Trans Antarctic Expedition (US IT ASE) between South Pole Station and Northern Victoria Land, Antarctica during the 2003-04 and 2004-05 field seasons.

We plan to build and operate two compact radar systems that require low power along the planned US IT ASE traverse route. The first radar is a step-frequency depth sounder operating over a wide frequency range of 50200 MHz to measure ice thickness, deep internal layers with high resolution, and basal conditions. The second radar is a wideband radar operating over a frequency range of 12 to 18 GHz to detect near-surface internal layers along the traverse route with better than 10 cm resolution to a depth of approximately 7 m.

These measurements will allow us to determine the spatially continuous snow accumulation rate along the traverse route, which is of critical importance to the validation of CryoSat and ICESAT satellite missions aimed at assessing the current state of mass balance of polar ice sheets. The antenna systems planned for each radar are relatively compact and will be located on the sledge carrying the radar systems.

The broad scientific focus of this project will be to investigate important glacial processes relevant to glacier dynamics and ice sheet mass balance. The scientific issues and objectives of this project are to:
Obtain high-resolution characterization of internal layering in deep ice to provide a history of past glacier deformation. Obtain ice thickness measurements to assess the driving stress of the major ice streams traversed. Use measurements to validate theoretical models.
Determine basal conditions, whether the bed is wet or frozen, and relate observed basal conditions with glacier flow fields.
Characterize with high depth resolution, the spatial variability of snow accumulation rate along the traverse route for use in validation of CryoSat and ICESAT missions.

These scientific objectives are enabled through the use of modern radar technology, and through the availability of the measurement platform provided by the continuation of US ITASE.

As part of this project, we will institute a strong outreach program involving K-12 education and a minority institution of higher education. We currently work closely with the Advanced Learning Technology Program (ALTec) at the University of Kansas to develop interactive, resource-based lessons for use online by students of all grade levels, and we will develop new resources related to this project. We currently have an active research and education collaboration with faculty and undergraduate students at neighboring Haskell Indian Nations University, in Lawrence, Kansas, and we will expand our collaboration to include this project.


Faculty Investigator(s): Pannirselvam Kanagaratnam (PI), David Braaten

Student Investigator(s): Timothy Rink, Harish Ramamoorthy

Project Sponsors

Primary Sponsor(s): NSF

Partner with ITTC

The Information and Telecommunication Technology Center at the University of Kansas has developed several assistance policies that enhance interactions between the Center and local, Kansas, or national companies. 

ITTC assistance includes initial free consulting (normally one to five hours). If additional support is needed, ITTC will offer one of the following approaches: 

Sponsored Research Agreement

Individuals and organizations can enter into agreements with KUCR/ITTC and provide funds for sponsored research to be performed at ITTC with the assistance of faculty, staff and students.

Licensing and Royalty/Equity Agreement

An ITTC goal is the development of investment-grade technologies for transfer to, and marketing by, local, Kansas, and national businesses. To enhance this process, the Center has developed flexible policies that allow for licensing, royalty, and equity arrangements to meet both the needs of ITTC and the company.

Commercialization Development

Companies with a technology need that can be satisfied with ITTC's resources can look to us for assistance. We can develop a relationship with interested partners that will provide for the development of a technology suited for commercialization.

ITTC Resource Access

ITTC resources, including computers and software systems, may be made available to Kansas companies in accordance with the Center's mission and applicable Regents and University policies.

ITTC Calendar
There are no upcoming events at this time.