October 7, 2005  

GPS Collaboration Adds SLAC to Plate Boundary Observatory

By Brian Fuss

SLAC has joined the solid earth research community. After months of discussions and organization between Frederick Blume of the University NAVSTAR Consortium (UNAVCO), Catherine LeCocq (AEG), and Operations director John Cornuelle (COO), SLAC’s Global Positioning System (GPS) base-station was added as a significant contributor to the Plate Boundary Observatory (PBO) on September 26th.

This geodetic program is part of the EarthScope project funded by the National Science Foundation studying the three-dimensional strain field resulting from deformation across active plate boundaries in the Western United States. The Pacific and North American plates are observed using an array of GPS receivers and strainmeters deducing the strain field with varying timescales ranging from days to decades.

LeCocq looks at this cooperation as another example of SLAC’s expanding interest in new areas of scientific study. “We will have a fully maintained GPS base-station with limited cost to SLAC plus the satisfaction of contributing to UNAVCO’s high-precision geodetic network of GPS stations.” This station has been used for the past three years to map features of the SLAC campus for CEF and for various projects such as LCLS.

The real-time data generated by the base-station can be seen at http://slac-bard-cn2002.pbo-data.net/ and further information on UNAVCO can be found at http://www.unavco.org/.





The Stanford Linear Accelerator Center is managed by Stanford University for the US Department of Energy