October 2007

Are wireless seismic systems the wave of the future? Or are they a niche system?

There’s been a not-so-quiet “revolution” going on in land-based seismic acquisition equipment over the past few years. It’s wireless acquisition. Actually, it’s been ongoing for about a decade in various ways. Fairfield’s “The Box” was one of the first to have some wireless aspects. Its primary use is for transition zones and it is still in use today. The term “wireless” can mean many things. As it implies, of course it means a reduction in wires. But power-supply methods and requirements, and data-transfer methods, speeds and protocols all vary considerably across the various technologies. A typical wireless unit has a battery pack, which may be of several types (e.g., alkaline, lithium ion, metal hydride), a non-volatile flash memory, a micro-processor, a GPS unit and a radio. A short wire connects the geophone sensor to the unit. Data transmission can occur at radio frequencies but often remains in storage within the field unit...

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