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We have developed a novel ice-penetrating radar system that can be carried on a backpack. Including batteries for a 3 hour continuous measurement, the total weight is 13 kg. In addition, it operates reliably down to –25°C, has a low power consumption of 24 W, and is semi-waterproof. The system has a built-in-one controller with a high-brightness display for reading data quickly, a receiver with 12-bit digitizing, and a 1 kV pulse transmitter in which the pulse amplitude varies by <0.2%. Optical communications between components provides low-noise data acquisition and allows synchronizing of the pulse transmission with sampling. Measurements with the system revealed the 300 m deep bed topography of a temperate valley glacier in the late ablation season.
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