UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Ultra high frequency radio echo sounding of glaciers Narod, B. Barry


For determining the thickness of ice, radio echo sounding of glaciers is well established as a technique for rapid gathering of data. However it has become evident that radio echo sounder parameters must be tailored to meet specific requirements in order to achieve best results. In particular rapid sounding of temperate, alpine glaciers and larger polar valley glaciers could be surveyed by a radio echo sounder having a very short pulse, very wide land response and narrow beam antenna. Such requirements can be fulfilled by Ultra High Frequency (300 MHz - 3 GHz) radio echo sounders, improved performance being achieved at the expense of decreased maximum range. This thesis, after considering previous attempts at radio echo sounding of glaciers, with respect to surveying valley and temperate glaciers, proposes and details a UHF radio echo sounder operating at 840 MHz. Conventional performance is predicted, and some new experiments, possible because of the short wavelength, are proposed. Appended to the thesis is a review and discussion of problems associated with the use of thermistors as thermometers in snow or ice. A procedure is described for optimizing the techniques of thermistor selection and use.

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