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McCall Glacier Weather Stations

Dr. Matt Nolan
Water and Environmental Research Center
Institute of Northern Engineering
University of Alaska, Fairbanks
McCall Glacier instrumentation
http://www.uaf.edu/water/faculty/nolan/glaciers/McCall/index.htm http://www.uaf.edu/water/staff/irving/presentation/re-conf-jan04/
System Solar icon As of May 2005, there are four weather stations with Campbell CR10X dataloggers, requiring battery/solar systems for power, and eleven stations equipped with Onset Computer Corp dataloggers that run on small, non-rechargeable batteries (like AA or watch batteries) that must be changed every year or two. This document describes the power systems for the CR10X stations.
Location McCall Glacier is located in northeastern Alaska, within the Romanzov Mountains of the Brooks Range. These mountains are part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This region of the Brooks Range swings far to the North and is only 60 miles from the Arctic Coast.
Description The project maintains year-round autonomous weather stations on and around the glacier as part of an effort to document long-term change in important glacier variables on the McCall. This effort is part of a larger NSF grant looking at changes in the freshwater storage elements that comprise the Arctic hydrological cycle. The stations are designed to help understand the interactions between climate and glacier dynamics. There are no other weather stations within ANWR, which stretches for more than one hundred kilometers in all directions.

The original equipment installed for Station JJMC included:
  • CR10X: S/NX19139 1MB -55C cal 7/28/99
  • AM16/32 multiplexor (for thermistors): S/N2792 new in 2003
  • AT/RH at nominal 1m (Vaisala HMP45): 1.26m (note: not recorded in May; calculated based on SR50 and offsets)
  • AT/RH at nominal 3 m (Vaisala HMP45): 2.55m (note: not recorded in May; calculated based on SR50 and offsets)
  • Net rad: REBS Q98282; Sensitivity parameters: Top: 9.32 Bottom: 11.40
  • Sonic ranger (SR50): 0.58 m
  • Met One 034B wind set:
  • 13.5 m thermistor string with 25 thermistors
  • 40 W solar panel/ 90 AH battery
Comms The glacier stations are linked by omni-directional radio antennas to station AHAB, which has a line-of-sight radio telemetry link to a computer connected to the internet in Kaktovik, which proceeds by satellite link to somewhere to eventually reach fiber. In general we have had few problems with this telemetry system. In fact, nearly all of them were caused by factors well outside of our control. For example, a storm knocked out power for the village of Kaktovik for about a week; when it was restored, the telemetry came back on-line. Similarly, UAF networking made major changes to the network without telling us, and it took some time to reconfigure things. All of the radios are wired into a switched 12V port, such that we turn them off via the program except when we are using them, which is typically once per hour. The program is designed such that if power drops below 12V (or whatever we decide), telemetry is restricted to once per day, typically noon.