German Antarctic Receiving Station (GARS) O'Higgins
GARS-O'Higgins, German Aerospace Center (DLR)
The German Antarctic Receiving Station GARS O'Higgins is located on Cape Legoupil, ca. 30 km southwest of the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula on Isabel Riquelme Islet, also known as Peninsula Schmidt. GARS O'Higgins is in the vicinity of the Chilean Base General Bernardo O'Higgins. At low tides, there exists a connection to the mainland.
The island is 150 m wide and 200 m long and is covered by rock and debris areas. The station was build on rock, which enables geodetic long-term observations.
GARS was opened in 1991 at this place, because of the good geological conditions and the good satellite visibility for receiving satellite data. The station's nearness to the South Pole means more frequent contacts with polar orbiting satellites. The most prominent feature is the 9-m full motion tracking antenna. The GARS O'Higgins station is comprised of a total of 35 20-feed ISO containers, subdivided into two separate units: a main building (15 containers) with living, sleeping and working facilities as well as the majority of the station technique. The second part is an infrastructure building (20 containers).
The GARS O’Higgins station is an unrivalled Antarctic station for acquiring earth observation data, satellite operations, geodetic measurements, researching change processes on the Antarctic Peninsula and enabling maritime services in this part of the world.
The station staff is performing the station operations, maintainance, upgrades etc. Usually no exploration activities in the surrounding area are performed.
GARS can be reached by ship and by aircraft. Ship landings in the summer months depend on the sea ice conditions. Via aircraft, the station can be reached year-round: from Punta Arenas, Chile, to King George Island with Hercules C-130 transport machines of the Chilean, Braziliean or Uruguayan air force (Fuerza Aérea de Chile (FACh), Forca Aérea Brasileria (FAB), Fuerza Aérea Uruguaya (FAU), respectively), from King George Island to O'Higgins with DHC-6 Twin Otters (FACh) or helicopters (FACh).
German Aerospace Center (DLR)
German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy (BKG)
63° 19' 0'' S
57° 54' 0'' W
A - Antarctic Peninsula northern geologic
3 North-west Antarctic Peninsula
01/01/1963 to 31/12/1999
January; February; December
Bird colonies; Coast; Fauna; Hill; Ice cap or glacier; Rock; Sea; Sea ice; Snow
Environmental sciences; Geodesy; Glaciology; Mapping
Remote Sensing, NRT Sea Ice Monitoring
Chilean station existing since 1948
9 m radio teleskope, GPS, tide gauges, corner reflectors, meteorological instruments
Near-real time (NRT) service for sea ice monitoring
VLBI measurements, determination of the earth orientation parameters, observation of crustal motions of the northern Antarctic peninsula, Long term time series of EO data over Antarctic Peninsula
1st aid equipment available
small transport vehicle available
Mechanical; Metal workshop
Computer; E-mail; Internet; Printer; Satellite phone; Telephone; VHF
Aircraft landing facilities
The airstrip used is belonging to the Chilean neighbour station Gen. Bernardo O'Higgins, located on the glacier above the stations.
Transport and freight
Airplane; Helicopter; Ship