MRI-R2: Acquisition of GPS Equipment for Africa Array

Project: Research project

Project Details




This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5).

This Major Research Instrumentation Recovery and Reinvestment (MRI-R2) Program grant supports acquisition of 20 dual-frequency GPS receivers and automatic weather stations (Met stations) that measure wind speed and direction, liquid precipitation, barometric pressure, temperature, and relative humidity. The new GPS/met stations will be installed by employees of the U.S. non-profit corporation UNAVCO, Inc. at selected sites across the African continent, with 15 to be collocated with existing seismic recorders that are a part of a previously NSF-funded seismic network on the African continent (AfricaArray; EAR - 0446647). All GPS and met data will ultimately be archived within the UNAVCO data management system and openly distributed via the Web. Operations and management responsibilities and costs will be distributed amongst AfricaArray station operators in host countries, plus the Council for Geoscience (South Africa), The University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa) and Penn State, following the model currently used to operate and maintain AfricaArray seismic stations. The AfricaArray geodetic network will enable unprecedented observations of African continent crustal deformation for research in tectonics with a particular interest in understanding the structure and mechanical properties and evolution of the continental rift basin in East Africa. Meteorological observations will dramatically expand current environmental observational capabilities across the continent and would support climatological and hydrological models. The PIs will engage underrepresented groups through existing university collaborations with African educational institutions and through opportunities for U.S. students at minority-serving institutions opportunities to do research in Africa. A broader goal of AfricaArray has been to couple training and research programs for building and maintaining a geoscientific workforce for Africa.


Effective start/end date3/15/102/28/13


  • National Science Foundation: $323,814.00


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