Broadband Seismometer Workshop

Lake Tahoe, CA, United States

March 24, 2004 — March 26, 2004

Background Information

The goal of this workshop is to formulate a plan to revitalize research and development of techniques in seismometry and related seismographic instrumentation in the USA.

Few fundamental advances have been made in seismometers since the introduction of the broadband feedback systems nearly 1/4 century ago. In the intervening period, academic (and to a lesser extent industrial) research and developments on seismographic instrumentation has declined. Today, adequate sensors to meet the scientific requirements are in short supply. Further, the pool of trained scientists working on seismographic instrumentation in the USA has dwindled to near zero.

Through this workshop, the geoscience community interacted with research and development groups involved in sensor technology, material sciences and nanotechnology to assess emerging technologies that have applications in inertial sensors. One goal of this workshop was to consider whether and how such advances might be applied to the design and manufacture of a new-generation, ultra-quiet, mHz – 20 Hz seismic sensor.

The workshop included 66 participants from the sensor engineering, seismological and industry communities.

The workshop will generate a strategic plan to develop the next generation of broadband seismic sensors. Expected release date is Summer, 2004. All breakout groups, presentations and posters can be found by following the links above. A CD-ROM containing all this material will be sent to all participants in Spring, 2004.





Time Description
March 23
18.30 – 20.00 Dinner
March 24
7.00 – 8.30 Buffet breakfast
8.30 – 8.45 Welcome and Introduction (Ingate)
8.45 – 9.15 The Seismic Spectrum: signal and noise (Berger)
9.15 – 9:30 Capturing the “hum” of the Earth on low frequency seismic arrays (Romanowicz)
9.30 – 10.30 History of broadband seismometry and analysis of classical designs (Wielandt)
10.30 – 10:45 Break
10:45 – 11:15 US Sponsored R&D (Farrell)
11.15 – 12.00 Seismological requirements
  • 11.15 – 11.45 Low Frequencies (Laske)
  • 11.45 – 12.00 Don’t Forget the High Frequencies – Science and Instrumental Needs (Stump)
12.00 – 13.00 The Manufacturing Issues
  • 12.00 – 12:30 The Business Challenge – Ian Standley
  • 12:30 – 13.00 The Manufacturing Challenge – Cansun Guralp
13.00 – 14.00 Lunch
14.00 – 14.30 Foreign (France, Japan, Russia,…) Programs
14.30 – 15.00 Agency perspective (NSF; DOE; DOD, JPL/NASA)
15.00 – 15.15 Break
15.15- 16.00 Roundtable overview of new technologies. Who is doing what?
16.00 – 17.00 Posters, with brief introductions by authors
17.30 – 18.00 Roundtable overview of new technologies and future directions
18.00 – 19.00 Hosted Hospitality Hour
19.00 – 20.30 Dinner
March 25
7.30 – 8.30 Buffet breakfast
8.30 – 9.30 Plenary – organize and provide direction to breakout groups
9.30 – 12.30 Breakouts
  • Requirements, Needs, and Wants
  • New Ideas, Concepts, and Designs
  • Testing and Testing Facilities
  • Academic/Industrial Partnerships
  • Educational Perspectives and Funding strategies (new University programs)
12.30 – 13.30 Lunch
13.30 – 14.30 Plenary: Summary of breakouts
14.30 – 18.00 Free (hiking, use of Granlibakken activities)
18.30 Dinner
20.00 – 22.00 Breakouts (continued)
March 26
7.30 – 8.30 Buffet breakfast
8.30 – 10.30 Wrap-up
  • Prepare executive summary of breakouts
  • Next steps and timetable
  • Close of workshop
10.30 – 12.30 Writing Assignments for Organizing Committee
12.30 – 13.30 Lunch

Breakout Group Charges

Attendees broke into 5 breakout groups, to address the following, and other, issues. View the presentations to download the results of each breakout group.

Requirements, Needs, and Wants (Leaders: Romanowicz/Davis)

  • Seismological science-driven requirements – terrestrial and oceans
  • Do we need a single-band sensor, or complimentary sensors?
  • Shorter-period transportable of longer-period observatories>
  • Geographical distribution: How many will be needed? By whom (e.g., GSN/FDSN, regional networks, Universities, Feds., etc)?
  • What should be the life-cycle of sensors?
  • Data quality control

New Ideas, Concepts, and Designs (Leaders: Zumberge/Collins)

  • Gather a summary of new ideas
  • What are the promising new concepts?
  • What is the effort of development?
  • Other factors such as reliability, OBS use, O&M costs?
  • Do they need to be complimented with other sensors?
  • Acceptable cost to manufacture?

Testing and Testing Facilities (Leaders: Followill/Hutt)

  • Who/where are current testing facilities? Do we need more?
  • Facility design – minimum requirements
  • How to test new designs (e.g. SCG, laser designs, etc)?
  • What is required to upgrade test facilities to support new designs?
  • Policies for test facility use and data access
  • Support for test facilities

Academic/Industrial Partnerships (Leaders: Farrell/Stump)

  • What is an appropriate relationship?
  • Intellectual property issues?
  • Student involvement
  • Cross-market utilization? Other programs such as NEES, LIGO, SLA?

Educational Perspectives and Funding Strategies (Leaders: Sacks/Laske+Langston)

  • How to revitalize long-term university R&D
  • Should IRIS be involved? If so, how?
  • Which funding agencies to target?
  • If NSF, how to engage ENG/GEO/OCE? Use of matched funding?
  • Develop graduate program in sensor design. How to encourage industry to participate?
  • Scale of graduate program? Internships, fellowships, duration, number of students, cost? How many universities would be involved?
  • Can new designs be used in other educational programs? Schools?
  • Education and outreach opportunities

Workshop Organizers and Steering Committee Members

Workshop Organizers and Chair
Dr. Jon Berger (Chair)
Scripps Institution of Oceanography/IGPP0225
University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093 USA
Dr. Shane Ingate
1200 New York Ave NW
Washington, DC 20005 USA
Steering Committee
Dr. John Collins
Dept Of Geology & Geophysics
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
MS 24 Clark South, 360 Woods Hole Road
Woods Hole, MA 02543-1541 USA
Dr. Jim Fowler
IRIS/PASSCAL Instrument Center
Tech Industrial Park
100 East Road
Socorro, NM 87801 USA
Dr. Pres Herrington
Ground-Based Monitoring R&E Dept
Sandia National Laboratories
PO Box 5800
Albuquerque, NM 87185-0572 USA
Dr. William Farrell
Dr. Charles Hutt
Albuquerque Seismological Laboratory
US Geological Survey
P.O. Box 82010
Albuquerque, NM 87198-2010 USA
Dr. Barbara Romanowicz
Seismological Laboratory
University Of California, Berkeley
215 McCone Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720 USA
Dr. Selwyn Sacks
Dept Of Terrestrial Magnetism
Carnegie Institution Of Washington
5241 Broad Branch Road NW R-164
Washington, DC 20015 USA
Dr. Erhard Wielandt
Institut Für Geophysik
Universität Stuttgart
Richard-Wagner-Str 44
70184 Stuttgart
Dr. Frank Vernon
Scripps Inst Of Oceanography/IGPP
University Of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093 USA

Location Details


Technical Requirements



Currently no sponsors listed .

Important Dates and Venue

March 24, 2004 — March 26, 2004

Workshop will be held in Lake Tahoe, CA, United States.

Workshop Contacts

IRIS Contact(s)