The Ground-based GPS program advances and supports GPS research in the Earth sciences. Its GPS Research Group, after pioneering GPS sensing of the atmosphere from the ground and space, is now advancing real time GPS sensing of tropospheric and ionospheric structure. Guided by a consortium of research institutions using GPS satellites for precise surveying and other applications, the program offers support to scientific investigators. This support includes providing equipment, training, logistics, field support, technical support, and data analysis and archiving. Portable GPS equipment and emerging worldwide GPS networks are being used by supported investigators for earthquake, volcano, polar ice dynamics, weather and climate research.
SuomiNet (http://www.suominet.ucar.edu/) is a university-based GPS network providing real-time atmospheric sensing of atmospheric water vapor for research and education. The project is funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and university cost-share, and is managed by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). We present examples of GPS sensed precipitable water (PW) and slant delay measurements that have been available from SuomiNet since 1999, and describe plans for future development and operation of the network, including integration with other ground-based GPS networks in the U.S. and globally.
Understanding the factors that control earthquake and hurricane hazards requires getting more real-time data along earthquake zones and data from the atmosphere over the Caribbean Ocean.
COCONet will help further this goal by adding 50 high-precision permanent GPS stations to 65 existing ones in Caribbean and Caribbean-border nations. These instruments are able to detect millimeter changes in the movement of Earth's crust.