O’Hig­gins Antarc­tic sta­tion

The nine-metre antenna of DLR's GARS O'Higgins Antarctic Station
The nine-me­tre an­ten­na of DLR's GARS O'Hig­gins Antarc­tic Sta­tion
Image 1/2, Credit: DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

The nine-metre antenna of DLR's GARS O'Higgins Antarctic Station

The nine-me­tre an­ten­na of DLR's GARS O'Hig­gins Antarc­tic Sta­tion of DLR re­ceives a vast amount of satel­lite da­ta. In ad­di­tion to re­ceiv­ing da­ta, com­mands are trans­mit­ted to satel­lites and, in some cas­es, pro­cess­ing of the da­ta al­so takes place on site.
German Antarctic Receiving Station GARS O’Higgins
Ger­man Antarc­tic Re­ceiv­ing Sta­tion GARS O’Hig­gins
Image 2/2, Credit: DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

German Antarctic Receiving Station GARS O’Higgins

Since 1991 the Ger­man Antarc­tic Sta­tion GARS O’Hig­gins has been op­er­at­ed by the Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter in co­op­er­a­tion with the Fed­er­al Agen­cy for Car­tog­ra­phy and Geodesy (BKG). The DLR sta­tion is lo­cat­ed about 30 km west of the north­ern tip of the Antarc­tic Penin­su­la in the di­rect vicin­i­ty of the Chilean Antarc­tic Base Gen­er­al Bernar­do O'Hig­gins.

Outside the O’Higgins German Antarctic Receiving Station (GARS O’Higgins), penguins are nesting and using the big satellite antenna and its pedestal as a windbreak. Inside, German Aerospace Center (DLR) employees monitor the reception of satellite data.

Pulling shifts in Antarctica – working on the White Continent

The Station has been resisting the icy storms of the White Continent ever since it was founded in 1991. Since its inception in 2010, DLR’s German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD) has operated all year round, with a team of four employees.

The Station was originally set up 20 years ago to address the lack of storage space available for satellite data. The European ERS-1 Earth observation satellite did not have enough capacity to store the recorded radar data on board, so GARS O’Higgins was set up on the rocky Schmidt Peninsula at Antarctica’s northern tip.

Since then, the DLR station is primarily responsible for receiving satellite data (at present, TerraSAR-X, TanDEM-X, TET-1, Cassiope, Terra/Aqua MODIS), and is being used for the command of satellites. In addition, it also measures tectonic shifts in the Antarctic Peninsula. DLR’s cooperation partner, the Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy (BKG), is responsible for the surveying.

  • Volker Speelmann
    Head of Cen­tral Ex­pen­di­ture Man­age­ment
    Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter (DLR)
    Telephone: +49 2203 601-4103
    Fax: +49 2203 601 4115
    Linder Höhe
    51147 Cologne
  • Erhard Diedrich
    Head of De­part­ment
    Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter (DLR)
    Ger­man Re­mote Sens­ing Da­ta Cen­ter (DFD)
    In­ter­na­tion­al Ground Seg­ment
    Münchener Straße 20
    82234 Weßling

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