Monday, 14 January 2002
SuomiNet and IronNet: GPS at Millersville University
SuomiNet is a university-based, real-time, national Global Positioning System (GPS) network being developed for atmospheric research and education with funding from the National Science Foundation and cost-sharing from collaborating universities. Millersville University of Pennsylvania was one of the first universities to establish a SuomiNet site for the purpose of high resolution atmospheric sensing of tropospheric integrated water vapor (IWV) and ionospheric total electron content (TEC). SuomiNet is using Unidata's well-established Internet Data Distribution (IDD) software and protocols to coordinate network sensors and distribute data in real time via the IDD system. A description of the instrumentation, installation, operation, raw data collection, and the processing of integrated water vapor and TEC products is presented in order to demonstrate the concept of a national geophysical instrument and its potential for interdisciplinary research and education. With over 100 universities participating in SuomiNet, the strategies and procedures employed by Millersville University can serve as guidance for others. Once additional universities come online, Millersville students will begin to use the SuomiNet data to construct 3-D products of IWV and TEC as a component of the course "Earth System Data Visualization and Modeling (IDL)," and for student research projects. These products will be made available to GPS and atmospheric sciences community via the Millersville Web site, or via the IDD system.
IRONetTM is a state-wide, real-time, geodetic quality, GPS spatial reference station network framework serving the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The initial pilot project has been established through a public/private partnership/team effort consisting of Leica Geosystems, Inc. (manufacturer and distributor), the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Adams County Conservation District, Millersville University, GTS Technologies (a Harrisburg-based engineering consultant), PPL Corporation, and a Consortium of mid-state industry and professionals. If the 120 day pilot project is successful, several end users, including but not limited to Pennsylvania Emergency Managers (PEMA), Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA-DEP), stand to benefit from IRONet.TM A description of the capabilities and end uses of IRONet, as well as the perceived benefits to students, will be presented.