Planning for an array of remote instrument installations to study the polar Earth system began over a decade ago under the auspices of SCAR (the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research).
Implementation plans and assembly of the consortium of nations crystallized during planning for the International Polar Year (IPY) 2007-08. The program is built on the success of predecessor projects like JPL-MBL and TAM, ANUBIS, TAMDEF, WAGN, and TAMSEIS. Experience from these projects, combined with technological advances, is allowing POLENET to greatly expand the scale of deployments and to ensure the legacy of these groundbreaking projects.
POLENET is a core project for the fourth International Polar Year (IPY).
The IPY, organized through the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), is actually the fourth polar year, following those in 1882-83, 1932-33, and 1957-58. The IPY involves over 200 projects, with thousands of scientists from over 60 nations examining a wide range of physical, biological and social research topics. During the IPY, POLENET launched sites spanning the polar regions, dramatically increasing the scale of polar GPS and seismic observations to unprecedented levels.