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A High-Resolution Sensor Network for Monitoring Glacier Dynamics

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Ian Martin, Professor Stuart Edwards



This paper provides an overview of a wide area wireless sensor network that was deployed on the calving front of the Helheim Glacier in Greenland during the summer of 2013. The purpose of the network was to measure the flow rate of the glacier using accurate satellite positioning data. The challenge in this extreme environment was to collect data in real time at the calving edge of the glacier. This was achieved using a solar powered 2.4-GHz Zigbee wireless sensor network operated in a novel hybrid cellular/mesh access architecture consisting of ice nodes communicating with base stations placed on the rock adjacent to the glacier. This highly challenging transmission environment created substantial signal outage conditions, which were successfully mitigated by a radio network diversity scheme. The network development and measurement campaign were highly successful yielding significant results on glacial dynamics associated with climate change.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Martin I, O'Farrell T, Aspey R, Edwards S, James T, Loskot P, Murray T, Rutt I, Selmes N, Bauge T

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: IEEE Sensors Journal

Year: 2014

Volume: 14

Issue: 11

Pages: 3926-3931

Print publication date: 01/11/2014

Online publication date: 15/08/2014

Acceptance date: 29/07/2014

Date deposited: 26/06/2015

ISSN (print): 1530-437X

ISSN (electronic): 1558-1748

Publisher: IEEE


DOI: 10.1109/JSEN.2014.2348534


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Funder referenceFunder name
Climate Change Consortium of Wales (C3W)
NE/1007148/1U.K. Natural Environment Council through the Networks of Sensors Project, NERC