Scientific instruments

Greenland Guidance offers measurement systems specifically developed for operation in extreme polar conditions, yet easy to transport and install. We know what is needed from these instruments because we did science with them ourselves. We can ship them anywhere on the planet, or we can take care of field installations for you.

Instruments for monitoring on glaciers and ice sheets need to be extremely rugged. They have to be able to cope with very low temperatures, impacting sensor functionality and battery capacity. They should withstand the pressure of snow accumulating on top, and the static electricity that drifting snow generates. They need to survive countless freeze-thaw cycles, and remain operational in dark periods without solar charging. And they should stand stably in strong winds while positioned on ever-changing snow/ice surfaces. On top of all this, the instruments need to monitor exactly what you’d like them to.

The below instruments should do the job, and can be tailored to your needs. Feel free to get in touch for a quote.

Ice-flow tracker “Alberto”
Our ice-flow trackers are stand-alone GPS units for monitoring movement of the surface they stand on. Ideal for sea ice or fast-flowing outlet glaciers. The solar-charged ice-flow trackers can be left unattended for several years, and transmit their coordinates for you to receive in your email inbox. Not only does this provide real-time insights into ice dynamics, it also allows swift localization and recovery during the following field visit. The units are extremely rugged, easy to set up, and can be outfitted with additional sensors.

Ice-ablation tracker “DWIAT”
Designed for measuring ice ablation in inaccessible glaciated regions, our draw wire ice ablation trackers (DWIATs) are equipped with rugged tripods withstanding storms and winter snow accumulation, yet are easy to transport and assemble. The units can track up to 15 m of ablation until redrilling of the wire is required. As with the “Alberto”, the units are solar powered and use GPS for determining glacier flow rates. Data are stored locally in the datalogger, and transmitted to your email inbox daily. DWIATs can be outfitted with additional sensors for instance to measure air temperature, snow accumulation and subsurface temperatures.

Glacier weather station
Our glacier weather stations measure all meteorological variables relevant to your research at screen level. Based on the design of the “Alberto”, these solar-powered units can withstand large forces by wind and snow compaction, and transmit their location and measurements to you in near real time while storing a back-up locally. The weather stations can be outfitted to measure surface mass balance (ablation/accumulation), radiative components, subsurface temperatures, and whichever additional variables your research may benefit from.

Time-lapse camera
Our time-lapse camera systems are designed to remain operational in extreme cold and dark conditions for extended periods. The materials used are chosen for the unit to survive high wind stress, sand blasting, rodent attack, and other threats to instrumentation in polar and high-altitude regions. Ideal for monitoring glacier calving, glacier movement, meltwater flow, changes in snow cover, and other process too slow for conventional video to capture.

Thermistor string
Worth a special mention, we produce thermistor strings that allow you to measure subsurface temperatures with precision. Hand-made by our technicians and entirely constructed from their basic components, our thermistor strings will meet your requirements exactly. The strings can be used in snow, ice, water, soil, or rock.

Robotic observational platform
Through our partner Polar Research Equipment we offer robotic data collection services. These robots are exceptionally useful on glaciers and ice sheet, as their low ground pressure allows them to operate in snow-covered crevassed regions inaccessible to humans. Even on safe ground, robots can tow more instrumentation, for a longer period, and faster than a human can.