ZLS Gravimeter

Today Grant O’Brien assembled the ZLS gravimeter.

I merely set up the GPS.

The gravity meters use a gimbal to stabilize motion of the platform in three axes: roll, which refers to the longitudinal axis of the plane; pitch, the lateral axis; and yaw, the vertical axis. The gimbal is a fundamental component of airborne and marine gravimeters, as acceleration of the aircraft will affect gravity values. The zero-length spring (ZLS) gravimeter receives its name from the concept that given the tension of the spring is proportional to the length of spring, spring length would contract to zero in the absence of external forces. Primarily used for marine surveys, the accelerometers were not designed to account for intense accelerations that occur on an aircraft, such as taking off, turning sharply to switch lines, or landing. Flight line data collection begins after effects of aircraft acceleration are moderated and the plane aligns with the survey line.

We were shuttled back to Mactown after work on a Delta. Our top speed — maybe 15 mph?




Author: Alec Lockett

Alec grew up in Belmont, MA and graduated with a degree in Geology in May 2017 from Colorado College. His senior thesis used gravity and magnetic data from the ROSETTA-Ice 2015-2016 field season to interpret and characterize the bedrock beneath the Ross Ice Shelf, West Antarctica. The project is an interdisciplinary effort with the aim of understanding the systems interaction between the Ross Ice Shelf, underlying water and bedrock through an airborne geophysical survey. Geophysics, along with remote sensing (of the cryosphere) and structural geology, are some of Alec’s overarching interests, which grew while working in Antarctica with members of the ROSETTA-Ice group during the 2016-2017 season. Alec is participating in field data collection once more this fall/winter (Antarctic summer). Interests outside of geology include reading, hiking, skiing and biking.

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