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Ph.D. Student

Thomas Teisberg

Ph.D. Student in Electrical Engineering, admitted Autumn 2019

TomKat Graduate Fellow for Translational Research

Research Lab: Dustin M. Schroeder

Year Awarded: 2022

Thomas is a PhD Candidate in Electrical Engineering advised by Dustin Schroeder. His research focuses on the development of instruments and algorithms to efficiently and inexpensively measure the thickness and internal properties of Earth's ice sheets (Antarctica and Greenland). Prior to returning for graduate school, Thomas worked on sensing systems for a commercial UAV-based medical supply delivery startup. As an undergraduate, he did research on automotive radar systems. His current work combines these interests, leveraging advances in autonomy and UAV systems to enable high spatial and temporal resolution collection of ice-penetrating radar data.

Google Scholar Page


UAV-based ice-penetrating radar system research
UAV in Iceland during technology testing. Image credit: Stephan Mantler

Reducing uncertainty in sea level rise predictions with UAV-based temporal ice shelf monitoring

The impacts of sea level rise and associated storm surge are expected to reach about $1 trillion USD by 2100 in the United States alone. Minimizing these costs, mitigating the impacts on vulnerable communities, and making smart policy choices all rely upon having high-quality predictions of sea level rise. Antarctica is the largest single potential source of sea level rise and also by far the greatest source of uncertainty, according to the most recent IPCC estimates. Unfortunately, the logistical complexity and massive scale of Antarctica makes it an especially difficult and expensive place to collect data. Our belief is that creating the tools to collect new data in an efficient and inexpensive way can transform our understanding of the continent and eventually contribute to improved models of Antarctica's future contributions to sea level rise.

This project focuses on developing a UAV-based ice-penetrating radar system to provide some of these much-needed new observations. Our objective is to dramatically reduce the cost and complexity of collecting this crucial data, allowing for temporal monitoring of some of the fastest-changing areas of Antarctica. In order to make this possible, we are both developing hardware to carry out these measurements and developing algorithms to optimize the value of the collected data. Our initial focus is on Antarctica's ice shelves, which are the gateways to much of the continent's current mass loss and are among the most dynamic parts of the ice sheet.


Mail Code
Mail Code 9505