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Every year the USSR installs 20 to 25 Drifting Automatic Radio-Meteorological Stations (DARMS) on drifting Arctic ice, from which they transmit positional, temperature, and wind-speed data automatically four to eight times daily and also reply to interrogations from ship, plane, and shore, and--in the future--from satellites. By tracking them, researchers can follow the direction of ice drifts. The complete station weighs about 230 kg, covers 40 sq ft, and is routinely installed by four men in two hours overall, including landing and takeoff; one plane can install five DARMS in one flight. DARMS broadcast at fixed frequency, usually with 40 w, a wavelength of 430 to 630 m, and a range up to 1500 km. Since 1956, their operating lives have averaged 105 days; autumn installations last 40 percent longer than spring installations because of melting ice. This paper reports the sensor accuracies and development of an improved model. (See also RM-5624.) 19 pp. Bibliog.

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