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Antarctica


Antarctica has many research stations and field stations used for scientific research. Each country has their own communications resources to maintain contact between their research stations, field stations, and home countries.

Stations and camps at higher latitudes cannot access communication satellites and will use HF radio communications to supplement polar orbiting satellites. VHF and UHF radios are used for communications closer to the stations.

Contents

United States Research Facilities

U.S. HF Circuits

US-4 - Ship/Shore

  • Assigned frequency: 12354.4 kHz
  • Available frequencies: 2026.4 (2025.0), 2717.4 (2716), 3248.4 (3237), 8298.4 (8297), 12345.4 (12353), 12357.4 (12356) kHz

US-5 - Long Range Air/Ground

Circuit for long-range air-to-ground communications for official aircraft traffic or emergency traffic.

  • Available frequencies: 4719.5 (4718), 5727.5 (5736), 6709.5 (6708), 9034 (9033), 11257.5 (11255), 13252.5 (13251) kHz

US-6 - Air/Ground Weather

Circuit for transferring weather information between South Pole Station and Mac Weather.

  • Available frequencies: 10641 (10639), 12221 (12220), 14700 (14698) kHz

US-9 Air/Ship

  • Available frequencies: 3103.5 (3120), 5697.5 (5696) kHz

US-14 - Antarctic Broadcast

Half-duplex data circuit used by Mac Ops to send traffic to outlying stations.

  • Assigned frequency: 8090 kHz (window)
  • Available frequencies: 2650 (2648.0), 4872 (4870.0), 5810 (5808.0), 6397 (6395.0), 8092 (8088.0), 11004 (11002), 16321.5 (16320) kHz

US-15 Antarctic Ship/Shore

  • Assigned frequency: 4242 (4240), 8420 (8418), 12630 (12628) kHz

US-16 - Antarctic Ratt Working

Half-duplex data circuit used by outlying stations and ships to pass traffic to Mac Relay.

  • Assigned frequency: 8090 kHz (window)
  • Available frequencies: 2650 (2648.0), 4872 (4870.0), 5810 (5808.0), 6397 (6395.0), 8092 (8088.0), 11004 (11002), 16321.5 (16320) kHz

US-17 - Antarctic Common

Circuit used for general administrative information passed between outlying stations and McMurdo Station. Used for daily field camp check-ins.

  • Available frequencies: 4771.5 (4770.0), 7996.5 (7995.0), 9007.5 (9005), 11554.5 (11553) kHz

AA-1 Distress and Calling SAR

  • Available frequencies: 2183.4 (2182), 3023.5 (3022), 4127 (4125), 8364 (8362) kHz

USB 2

  • Available frequency: 2717.4 (2716) kHz

Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station (NPX)

Air Route Traffic Control

  • 118.2 MHz and 360.2 MHz
  • 9032, 11256, 5726 kHz
  • Alt 4770, 7995, 11553 kHz

LMR Trunking

South Pole Station reportedly uses a LMR trunked radio system in the UHF spectrum for station operations.

Talkgroups
  • 900 - All Call
  • 901 - Operations
  • 902 - Flight Ops
  • 903 - Facilities, Engineering, Maintenance, and Construction (FEMC)
  • 904 - Medical
  • 905 - Heavy Equipment
  • 906 - (Future growth)
  • 907 - Fuels
  • 908 - Cargo
  • 909 - UT - Maintenance technicians
  • 910 - IT
  • 911 - Emergency Response
  • 912 - IceCube All
  • 913 - IceCube Drillers
  • 914 - SP Telescope Construction
  • 915 - Science Support
  • 916 - Vehicle Maintenance Facility
  • 917 - IceCube Lab
  • 918 - IceCube Top
  • 920 - Fire Team 2

Field Radios

Very High Frequency (VHF)
CH  Transmit(MHz) Receive(MHz)
1   143.0000      143.0000
2   143.2000      143.2000
3   143.6000      143.6000
4   142.6000      142.6000
5   142.8000      142.8000
6   143.4000      143.4000
7   143.8000      143.8000

High Frequency Station

South Pole Station maintains communications with McMurdo Station, and other locations, using the South Pole HF (SPHF) system.

(This information is from 2007-02-15 and may be outdated.)

Group 1: McMurdo Directional

Using a directional TCI-548 log periodic antenna, three simultaneous frequencies may be received and a single frequency may be selected for transmitting.

Group 2: Omnidirectional

Provides backup to Group 1 communications and provides omni-directional HF access to other resources.

Group 3: Switched Coverage

Provides three receivers, providing coverage to Palmer, West Antarctica, and short range (using omni-directional NVIS)

McMurdo Station (NGD)

LMR Trunking

McMurdo Station reportedly uses a LMR trunked radio system in the UHF spectrum for station operations. Frequencies and talkgroups are unknown at this time.

McMurdo Frequency Plan

CH  Net Name                 Transmit(MHz) Receive(MHz)
1   I-Net                    143.0000      143.0000
2   Fire                     139.6000      139.6000
3   Mac Ops                  139.0000      142.6000
4   Science                  139.5000      139.5000
5   MCC/Fleet Ops            139.8000      143.7250
6   Airfield/Tower           139.2000      139.2000
7   Helo Ops                 143.4000      143.4000
8   Utility                  143.2000      143.2000
9   Fuels                    143.6000      143.6000
10  Mt Terror (Ross Island)  138.6000      143.2250
11  Mt Aurora (Black Island) 138.6000      143.2250
12  Wright Valley (Mt Newall)138.6000      143.2250
13  Taylor Valley (Mt Coates)138.6000      143.2250*
14  Mt Brooke                138.6000      143.2250*
15  Helo Flight Following    138.5000      143.9750*^
16  Marine Channel 16        156.8000      156.8000*
* 16-Channel Frequency Plan
^ Receive Only

SAR Frequency Plan

CH  Net Name                 Transmit(MHz) Receive(MHz)
1   I-Net                    143.0000      143.0000
2   Fire                     139.6000      139.6000
3   Mac Ops                  139.0000      142.6000
4   NZ Crater Hill           139.3000      143.8000
5   MCC/Fleet Ops            139.8000      143.7250
6   Helo Flight Following    138.5000      143.9750
7   Helo Ops                 143.4000      143.4000
8   Taylor Valley (Mt Coates)138.6000      143.2250
9   Mt Brooke                138.6000      143.2250
10  Mt Terror (Ross Island)  138.6000      143.2250
11  Mt Aurora (Black Island) 138.6000      143.2250
12  Wright Valley (Mt Newall)138.6000      143.2250

Field Party Radios

Very High Frequency (VHF)
CH  Net Name                 Transmit(MHz) Receive(MHz)
1   I-Net                    143.0000      143.0000
2   Fire                     139.6000      139.6000
3   Mac Ops                  139.0000      142.6000
4   Science                  139.5000      139.5000
5   MCC/Fleet Ops            139.8000      143.7250
6   Helo Flight Following    138.5000      143.9750^
7   Helo Ops                 143.4000      143.4000
8   Taylor Valley (Mt Coates)138.6000      143.2250
9   Mt Brooke                138.6000      143.2250
10  Mt Terror (Ross Island)  138.6000      143.2250
11  Mt Aurora (Black Island) 138.6000      143.2250
12  Wright Valley (Mt Newall)138.6000      143.2250

^ Receive Only

High Frequency (HF)
4770 kHz - Ross Island and Dry Valley Field Parties
5100 kHz - Air-to-Ground
5400 kHz - Scott Base Field Parties
7995 kHz - Remote/South Pole
9032 kHz - Air-to-Ground
11553 kHz - Remote Field Parties

Palmer Station (NHG)

Ship/Shore

CH  Net Name                 Ship TX(MHz)  Shore TX(MHz)
16  Distress/Calling         156.8000      156.8000
27  Shore Working            157.3500      161.9500

Field Radios

High Frequency (HF)
4125 kHz - Secondary USAP Field Parties
11553 kHz - Primary USAP Field Parties

References

Citations

Field Manual for the U.S. Antarctic Program, Chapter 9, Field Radios

Communications Support Overview, South Pole Station, 2007-02-16


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