Participants: Adam Schultz, Jared Peacock, Ninfa Bennington, Ian Ferguson, Lindsay Worthington, Paul Bedrosian, David Alumbaugh, Bill Murtaugh
The EMAC held a 70 minute long web meeting on February 25th. The meeting began with an IRIS program update, reviewing the new mailing list and new/updated MT program webpages which serve as information portals to the PASSCAL MT facility. Next, the group examined the SAGE award MT Y2 (FY20) budget, discussing priorities under two potential budget scenarios (flat from FY19 vs. 2% increase) pending final guidance from NSF. The committee then finalized charters and memberships for the instrumentation and software working groups. These groups will meet every two weeks throughout the spring to establish implementation plans for the facility.
OSU provided an update on the refurbishment of the NIMS (ca. late 1990s technology long-period MT systems that are owned by NSF) following the completion of all EarthScope-funded fieldwork. This includes replacement of all Minerva (datalogger) and GPS receiver boards. The replacement OWL boards enable wifi access, telemetry, improved geomagnetic referencing, and reliable data storage. During this refurbishment, OSU discovered that the original boards used a static geomagnetic reference model, which thus became increasingly inaccurate over the span of EarthScope. Very small errors in the orientation of MT-TA observations in 2006 and grew to become ~2 degrees by 2018. OSU is currently investigating a plan to correct this issue in both the archived timeseries and transfer functions.
Finally, the group was briefed on the outlook for completing the unfinished “southern tier” of the MT-Transportable Array footprint in the conterminous U.S. As a result of broad and growing support in the Federal government, NASA had awarded IRIS (on 2/23) $400K to continue the MT-TA with >50 stations in California. Fieldwork will begin in late-spring and continue through 2019. In addition, there are indications that other Federal stakeholder agencies are interested in supplementing the MT-TA in FY19. IRIS and OSU are trying to determine the best paths to channel other supplemental funds. Finally, the group discussed the NSF-AGS “DASI” solicitation as a vehicle to make MT-TA observations in Alaska but needed to do significantly more research on potential ionospheric science applications.