Engineering for Autonomous Seismic Stations at the IRIS PASSCAL Instrument Center

Wednesday, 16 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Kent Randall Anderson, Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology - IRIS, Washington, DC, United States and PASSCAL Instrument Center Engineering Team
The NSF funded Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) through New Mexico Tech operates the PASSCAL Instrument Center (PIC) in Socorro New Mexico. The engineering effort at the PIC seeks to optimize seismic station operations for all portable experiments, include those in extremely remote and harsh polar environments. Recent advances have resulted in improved station design, allowing improved operational efficiencies, data quality return and reduction in station logistics associated with installation, maintenance and decommissioning of stations. These include:
  • Battery and power system designs. Incorporating primary Lithium Thionyl Chloride (LTC) technology with rechargeable Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries allows systems to operate in areas with long-term solar autonomy (high latitudes). Development includes charge controller systems to switch between primary and secondary technologies efficiently.
  • Enclosures: Engineered solutions to efficiently manage waste heat, maintain operational environment and provide light-weight and durable housing for seismic instrumentation.
  • Communications: In collaboration with Xeos Technologies Inc., we deliver Iridium-based SOH/Command and Control telemetry as well as full bandwidth seismic data communications in high latitude environments at low power requirements. 
  • Smaller-lighter-instrumentation: Through the GEOICE MRI, we are working with Nanometrics on next generation "all-in-one" seismic systems that can be deployed in polar environments - easing logistics, minimizing installation time and improving data quality return for these expensive deployments. 
All autonomous station designs are openly and freely available at the IRIS PASSCAL webpage (www.passcal.nmt.edu/polar/design-drawings). More information on GEOICE and data quality from various seismometer emplacements will be presented in other posters at this AGU meeting.