Summit Station Science Summit


Arlington, VA, 28–29 March 2017

The Summit Station Science Summit (or the “Summit Summit”) was supported and hosted by the National Science Foundation.  At this meeting a multidisciplinary group of scientists reviewed Summit Station science, defined the leading research questions for Summit, and made community-based recommendations on future science goals and science-enabling future scenarios and governance for Summit.

Summit Station, in the center of the Greenland ice sheet is a vibrant interdisciplinary research hub that has served as a crucial component of the Arctic observing system for nearly three decades.  The scientific yields from this unique and important site are numerous and ongoing, but the operation of remote stations is resource intensive, requiring strategic planning and scientific vision to remain at the cutting edge of scientific research.

A report highlighting the findings and recommendations is available: Summit-Summit-Report.


Summit Users Group Meeting Fall AGU San Francisco

Dear Summit Station Research Community,

You are invited to a Summit Station users group meeting Weds, Dec. 16 in the ARCUS meeting room complex (Foothill D room) from 8:30-9:30am.

We will discuss updates for the Greenland telescope, the Greenland Inland Traverse (GrIT), and incorporation of Summit into INTERACT, a planned external review of logistical support for Greenland science, and logistical needs for science support for 5-10 years out. We are hoping to leave ample time for discussion and questions.


Thanks, Zoe Courville, Jack Dibb, John Burkhart and Bob Hawley (SCO)

Summit-Isi Station Vision

Design for the future of Summit-Isi. Artist’s rendering of the design for the Atmospheric Watch Observatory (AWO), for use at the Summit Observatory. The energy efficient, aerodynamic design maximizes flexibility to suit the ever-changing needs of scientific research. Features include hydraulic, jackable legs to minimizing snow drifting and accumulation, highly insulated glass fiber cladding and integrated photovoltaic arrays.

Design for the future of Summit-Isi. Artist’s rendering of the design for the Atmospheric Watch Observatory (AWO), for use at the Summit Observatory. The energy efficient, aerodynamic design maximizes flexibility to suit the ever-changing needs of scientific research. Features include hydraulic, jackable legs to minimizing snow drifting and accumulation, highly insulated glass fiber cladding and integrated photovoltaic arrays.

Over the coming decades, Summit-Isi Station provides a unique capability to measure, monitor, and understand global climate change. Summit-Isi is the only high altitude, high latitude, inland, year-round monitoring station in the Arctic. Summit-Isi is also a prime site for astronomy and astrophysics observations due to its high altitude, dry and stable atmosphere, and relative ease of access with respect to other polar locations. Summit-Isi provides access to northern hemisphere viewing angles for astonomy observations, as well as long baselines to other sub-millimeter telescope arrays across the globe, important for interferometry measurements. Summit-Isi offers immediate access to the free troposphere and is relatively free of local influences that could corrupt climate records. As such, it is ideally suited for studies aimed at identifying and understanding long-range, intercontinental transport and its influences on the ice sheet surface, boundary layer, and overlying atmosphere. The pristine and remote location in a year-round dry snow and ice region provides an optimal facility for radiation measurements and remote sensing validation studies.  Read More: Summit-Isi_Vision

Summit Users Meeting at Fall AGU in San Francisco

Dear Colleagues,

The Science Coordination Office for Summit Station will host an open
meeting of Summit Station users at the Fall AGU meeting in San

Date and Time: Thursday, December 18, 2014, 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM

Location: Foothill D on the 2nd floor of the San Francisco Marriott
Marquis (55 4th Street)

At the meeting, we will present a brief overview of recent Summit
Station long range planning developments and have an open discussion
and question session.

Hope to see many of you there.

Meeting information:

2 Oct SCO-CPS Call

Jack, Matt, Bob Paul, Jesse

Starting with an update on GLT from Paul. Waiting for a meeting between the main players. Pretty much no change since last meeting.

Paul on updates for LRP. Currently Kevin has been out, no news to report.

Hannah and Lance (incoming science techs) came to do training with UNAVCO, should be good to go with using the UNAVCO equipment for surveys. Matt is interested in getting them to train the other ops people to do the surveys that might need to be done.

Also going to NOAA for training, sounds like there are some issues with the met station, but there is a plan in place for when the new techs come in. Getting ready to do O3 sonde launches.

Matt’s looking at places to test a potential structure for the Neely LiDAR. Best to test it out stateside before bringing it to Summit. Some discussion of how much temperature fluctuation can be accepted in transit; can we assemble the optical table in the SOB and transport it 200m?

Matt’s been talking with Matt Shupe about a charter flight for parts, last flight opportunity according to Nordlandair is 10 November.

Station has recently been having some large power fluctuations- between 47 and 58 kW as a load. Not sure what is pulling all that load. Matt thinks its close to the mid 40s in the winter. 58 is higher than what Gen2 can handle. Some discussions about the general power consumption at Summit, and how we might be able to reduce that load.

Matt is headed up to Summit Thursday, for transition and should be back by Thursday of the next week.

We then discussed the question of any topics that are key in the discussion for next week when we talk about new projects being proposed for APP4. One key item is a railing for the GreenHouse roof. Jack asked if there was any motion on science traverse capability, the idea of the traverse module/mobile camp. Looks like CPS may have $2-4M less than last year..

Call ended at 10:37am.

01 Oct- SCO-NSF call

Zoe, Jack, John, Bob, Jen, Renee, Pat

We discussed who would be attending the Greenland Planning Conference from SCO, ALEX, and NSF, there are many conflicts with this meeting so achieving coverage may be a challenge. Current plan is to have Zoe present on the Tuesday of the meeting, and Jack will be there for the Wednesday session. Around 10 past, we started into our planned agenda for the call.

Jack asked for feedback on the idea of presenting plans for redevelopment at Summit/ISI at a meeting upcoming in Cambridge, coming up 13-15 Oct. Jen is building a slide deck for briefing of GEO leadership- this will be a slide set that is fully vetted by NSF for release. It’d be great if Jack could get these slides from NSF/ALEX. There was talk of getting this slide deck or something similar up on the SCO website.

Discussion of AGU. We’re still waiting to find out if ARCUS can give us a room, but they haven’t gotten back to us; mainly because they don’t have assurance that they even have a room… Sounds like we can use a variant of the above-mentioned slide deck to give people a jumping-off point for the discussion. Renee pointed out that we should continue to emphasize that this isn’t set in stone- this is the current plan and it can be changed.

Discussion of the call with Nature- mainly we (NSF and SCO) provided background on why researchers go to Summit, and how things have evolved in conjunction with the telescope. We really don’t know how Nature will spin what they write, its meant to be about redevelopment at Summit, with an angle to how things will go with the addition of the telescope.

Pat gave us the latest on SAO; Paul Ho from the telescope team is at NSF this week. We should be seeing a story soon. Current concern is that they may not have enough $$ to test assemble both a CRREL and at Thule. Some concern about import duty on the telescope- if the Government of Greenland charges import duty it could cause big trouble for the overall project budget.

Call ended at 10:33 am.

30 Sept SCO call

Jack, Zoe and Bob attending:

Started with a discussion of the meeting that Jay is calling to discuss support projects that will be included in APP4, the merit thereof. Zoe and Jack will be attending the Greenland Planning Conference in Scotia, in conflict with Jay’s telecon. Looking for an agenda for the 109th meeting in Scotia, so that we can determine if we need to be at both days of that trip. Determined that Bob can attend the telecon but not the 109th meeting (teaching responsibilities). Jack mentioned that we need to determine an agenda for our meeting with NSF on 1 Oct (wed).

Jack mentioned a meeting in Cambridge (AICI) and he’s been asked to talk at the meeting about Summit, and in particular about opportunities for Europeans to work there. This is a good thing to ask NSF on Wednesday’s call. Do we want to encourage a bigger campaign from the Europeans? Bob suggested a debrief from our previous call with Nature and Peter West.

Update on AGU, waiting to hear from ARCUS to see if the room is available. Bob mentioned that he may not be going to AGU- seems that there will be limited repercussions.

Bob updated the group on status and planning for the GIS data- there is a meeting today with a student and Dartmouth GIS specialist Jonathan Chipman to determine the next steps, and the student will be doing the work.

Discussion of updates to the website- looks like we are still waiting on a few things, including a summary of the 2014 season.

18 Sept SCO/CPS call

Paul, Matt, Jack, John, Bob attending

Update from telescope team. There is a meeting coming up, and hopefully more will be established about what is happening- sounds like the full budget is now known, and now the telescope (Smithsonian) folks need to find other partners to get the needed funding. Still planning to set up the telescope for initial work at CRREL in Hanover, then work to move it to Summit. Looking at the CRREL installation as a first step. Not looking at any definite schedule bump now, but some concerns were raised about the speed with which resources would need to be ramped up in order to keep to the schedule.

Matt gave updates from Kevin (ISI site planning) who’s not present. Discussing elevation and how to keep the drifting down. Initial schedule now calls for individual buildings to be elevated as they arrive onsite, rather than a single large platform on which buildings are erected. Hope to have a plan for circulation to SCO in the next week or so. Most buildings elevated, but a couple will be at surface level- notably the garage and a surface science facility for balloon launch. Still looking at the large platform concept, but probably a secondary plan.

Matt’s updates- NASA contacted SCO and CPS about a borehole proposal for 2017. This is one that SCO does know about, communications are sometimes tricky with different people cc’d in different places, and multiple project staff contacting CPS directly. Project wants to drill close to the GISP2 hole, we discussed the difficulties of placing them 50 meters from the hole- figured that 500 m would be easier and difficult to discern a solid science reason for being that close.

Meeting with FEMCO about Neely project, feasibility of sending up a structure to house the optics. Seems a challenge at the moment while we are setting up a new ISI station, to put another one-off structure up there, but things are moving forward with at least a quote. The project is moving forward with mock-ups in Boulder. Jack urged Matt to do his best to convince Ryan and Mike that they would be well served to request the space they truly need, resisting temptation for scope and space (cost) creep. There are several reasons that the new system won’t co-exist well in the MSF, including safety (eye-safety for the laser), climate control (new laser requires a significant temperature stability that will be a challenge to achieve), and simply space with the existing equipment in the MSF. There was also a discussion of the eye-safety of the laser, how it may affect flight operations.

Discussion from Jessy’s updates on the Vieregg project. Jack asks where exactly the installation wants to be. Needs to be away from RF interference, but still get power from Greenhouse or Bighouse. Data acquisition gear would be in the house as well. NSF has approved that if she finds non-NSF funding, she can work there and CPS will direct bill her for support.

Looking at a possible mid-November flight for critical parts for the TWTA- Twin Otter from Iceland.

Discussion of the SCO outbrief. Many of the aspects of the outbrief are actually not that applicable to our project, but we had some feedback for CPS.

Final point, the discussion of the amount of packaging that gets shipped to Greenland- there is a great deal of packaging relative to the amount of actual materials. Could there be some system of repackaging things that are going to Greenland so that the packaging materials can be recycled stateside?

Call concluded at 11:20 local.

16 Sept SCO call

John, Bob and Jack attending.

We discussed the CPS outbrief, which Matt wants to conduct during our call 18 Sept. He provided the standard template, Zoe and John each suggested responses to several of the questions. We agreed that Jack will insert draft responses for all remaining questions to share with SCO for input/refinement before the call with CPS.

Discussed the website, noting that the virtual tour and web-served GIS functions are great prototype versions, but that both probably need work. Also that we seem a bit behind on posting these notes and that we are probably overdue for the next newsletter. Jack mentioned that we need to scan the entire site and update all references to Katrine, replacing her with Matt and/or Jessy as appropriate.

Regarding the GIS, we all agreed that we need to focus on getting more historical information into the data base. Expectation is that having more data available will make the community more likely to contribute the location information about their past and future disturbances. Discovered a small communication breakdown between Bob and John: Bob has been waiting for historical data (2008-2013) that John has already sent. They are going to figure this out and hopefully get a bunch of processed data into the data base soon. John also noted that there are additional observations that need processing, he will work on those.

For the next newsletter we agreed to announce the availability of the tour and GIS, remind the community that the next GEOSummit meeting will be in Boulder in May, probably announce a forum at AGU (assuming we get time in the ARCUS community room), and summarize the science projects that were at Summit this past summer. John offered to make first draft of the latter, incorporating links to any blogs or websites the different groups set up.

We also agreed that Bob would take over the notes from these meetings from now until he goes to Antarctica in October, with John taking over then for about a month.