Journal cover Journal topic
Geoscientific Instrumentation, Methods and Data Systems An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
doi:10.5194/gi-2017-17
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
27 Mar 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is under review for the journal Geoscientific Instrumentation, Methods and Data Systems (GI).
Automated observatory in Antarctica: real-time data transfer on constrained networks in practice
Stephan Bracke, Alexandre Gonsette, Jean Rasson, Antoine Poncelet, and Olivier Hendrickx Institut Royal Météorologique (IRM), Centre de Physique du Globe, 5670 Viroinval (Dourbes), Belgium
Abstract. In 2013 the scientists from the geophysical centre at Dourbes started a project to install a fully automated magnetic observatory in Antarctica. This isolated place comes with specific requirements: unmanned station during six months, low temperatures with extreme values up to –50°, minimize power consumption, satellite bandwidth limited to 56 Kbit/sec. The ultimate aim is to collect real-time magnetic data every second in Belgium: vector data from a lemi-25, absolute F measurements from a gems proton magnetometer and absolute magnetic inclination and declination measurements (approximately 5 times a day) with an automated DI-flux. To achieve real-time data transfer with traditional file transfer protocols (for instance sftp, mail, rsync), you fight against their limitations in terms of real-time. After evaluation of pro and cons of the on that moment available real-time internet of things (IoT) protocols and seismic software solutions known to UGCS, we chose to use message queuing telemetry transport (MQTT) and receive the one second data with a negligible latency cost and no loss of data. Each individual instrument sends his data towards Belgium immediately after capturing it and arrives at approximately 300 milliseconds after sending which corresponds with the normal satellite latency.

Citation: Bracke, S., Gonsette, A., Rasson, J., Poncelet, A., and Hendrickx, O.: Automated observatory in Antarctica: real-time data transfer on constrained networks in practice, Geosci. Instrum. Method. Data Syst. Discuss., doi:10.5194/gi-2017-17, in review, 2017.
Stephan Bracke et al.
Stephan Bracke et al.
Stephan Bracke et al.

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Short summary
In 2013 the scientists from the geophysical center at Dourbes started a project to install a fully automated observatory in Antarctica. The ultimate aim is to have real-time data coming in every second at Dourbes. After evaluation of different data transfer protocols, we chose to use message queuing telemetry transport (MQTT) and receive the one second data with a negligible latency cost and no loss of data.
In 2013 the scientists from the geophysical center at Dourbes started a project to install a...
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