Polar travelling in Antarctica may become significantly safer thanks to the DemoGRAPE instrumentation recently deployed at the South African Antarctic base, SANAE IV. In January 2016 these instruments recorded ionospheric scintillations for the first time along signal paths from the European Galileo GNSS network. The aim of this international initiative is to improve the accuracy of satellite navigation in the Polar Regions and develop new scientific and technological applications in Antarctica.
SANSA manages ionospheric scintillation receivers and GPS receivers at SANAE and has been a key collaborator in the DemoGRAPE project. During December 2015, our team at SANAE assisted the Italian National Institute for Geophysical and Vulcanological Research (INGV) and the DemoGRAPE team to install two new technology GNSS receivers and a new-concept data acquisition system to exploit GNSS software receivers to access ionospheric delay from the GPS (US) system of navigation satellites, as well as the Russian GLONASS and European Galileo satellites.
The data from the receivers feed into a Cloud-based (Internetbased) computing system to create a superior platform for data sharing among partner organisations and the scientific community. Three Cloud nodes have been setup, one each at SANSA in Hermanus, INPE in Brazil and INGV in Italy. The Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (JRC) supports the deployment of the new-concept of GNSS data acquisition.