Plate Boundary Observatory GPS Network Status in California
Abstract:The EarthScope PBO GPS network, funded by the NSF and operated by UNAVCO, is comprised of 599 permanent GPS stations spanning three principal tectonic regimes and is administered by separate management regions (Subduction - Pacific Northwest [91 sites], Extension - East [41 sites], Transform - Southwest [467 sites]). Since the close of construction in September 2008 various enhancements have been implemented through additional funding by the NSF, NOAA, and NASA and in collaboration with stakeholders such as Caltrans, Scripps, and the USGS.
Initially, the majority of stations used first generation IP based cellular modems and radios capable of ~10KB/s data rates. The bandwidth limitation was a challenge for regional high-rate data downloads for GPS-seismology and airborne LiDAR surveys, and real-time data flow. Today, only 13 of the original cell modems remain with 297 upgraded cell modems providing 3G/4G/LTE data communications with transfer rates ranging from 80-400 KB/s. Ongoing radio network expansion and upgrades continue to harden communications. 32 VSAT and one manual download site remain. In CA, the network capabilities for 1Hz and 5Hz downloads or real-time streaming are ~95%, ~80% and ~65%, respectively.
During the past year, uptime ranged from 94-99% with data return for 15 s data exceeding 99%. Real-time (1 Hz) data from 204 sites are distributed in BINEX and RTCM 2.3/3.1 formats with an average latency of 0.5 s and completion of 86%. A variety of geophysical sensors are co-located with the GPS stations and include: 21 MEMS accelerometers, 31 strong motion and broadband seismometers, 9 borehole strainmeters and 1 long baseline strainmeter. Vaisala meteorological instruments are located at 60 sites of which 38 stream GPS/Met data.
In an effort to modernize the network, Trimble NetRS receivers are gradually being replaced with GNSS-capable/enabled receivers and antennas. Today, 11 stations are GLONASS enabled and 84 are GNSS capable.