OCEAN BOTTOM SEISMOMETERS (OBS)

Our range of OBS have been developed and enhanced over thirty years, with options for virtually every deployment scenario.

Tried and tested on successful deployments all around the globe, ours is the most comprehensive range of cabled and portable ocean bottom instruments available.

As well as housing truly broadband, triaxial sensors to capture the full seismic frequency range, a must for all seismic monitoring applications, we can also integrate additional sensors and gauges, vastly extending the application and capability of our OBS systems.

Aquarius

The revolutionary Aquarius is an evolution of our Liber ocean bottom seismometer, utilising acoustic telemetry capability to deliver near real-time seismic data from the ocean floor to the surface without cables.


Fully operational at +/- 90 degrees, the Aquarius OBS system is a compact, free-fall seismic underwater observatory, ideal for free-fall deployment onto the sea floor at depths of up to 6000 m. The low profile and compact design is optimised to minimise the noise generated by the current flow whilst reducing transportation and deployments costs.

The seismometer has a flat response between 120 s and 100 Hz, with a user-selectable long-period corner from 120 s to 1 s, so you can tailor the response to the environment. Additional sensors including an APG and a Hydrophone are also incorporated into the system.

The acoustic telemetry is used, following deployment, to transfer state-of-health parameters and noise performance plots from the seabed, select the desired response of the sensor and to measure the time offset of the digitiser housed in the OBS pressure vessel. If desired, there are options to utilise the acoustic telemetry to transmit triggered event data to a receiver located at the surface on a buoy or rig in near-real-time for alert applications.

Once on the seabed, the Aquarius can be accurately located using integrated location and ranging software. It is also compatible with Sonardyne USBL systems.

The Aquarius recovery system is initialised either via the acoustic link, through a pre-programmed time-out, or with the optional critical level battery trigger. Once activated, a burn-wire system releases the ballast for recovery of the instrument and a satellite tracking system tracks the instrument on the sea surface.

Key features:

  • The advanced triaxial, broadband seismometer is fully operational at ±90 °, making it ideal for free-fall deployment onto the sea floor at depths of up to 6000 m
  • A three-axis magnetometer and a MEMS accelerometer record the seismometer’s 3D position on the seabed for data rotation during post-processing
  • The seismometer has a flat response between 120 s and 100 Hz, with a user-selectable long-period corner from 120 s to 1 s, so you can tailor the response to the environment
  • Battery is sized to record seismic data for up to 18 months, with options to extend this if required
  • Using acoustic telemetry, transfer state-of-health parameters and noise performance plots from the seabed; select the desired response of the sensor and; measure the time offset of the digitiser housed in the OBS pressure vessel
  • Options to utilise acoustic telemetry to transmit triggered event data to a receiver located at the surface on a buoy or rig in near-real-time for alert applications
  • Data transmission between the surface and the Aquarius on the seafloor at up to 9000 bps using the direct acoustic communication
  • Aquarius is fitted with an absolute pressure gauge (APG) and a hydrophone. with options to upgrade these if desired e.g. for tsunami detection
  • Data are stored locally in a dual redundant 128 GB Micro-SD card and can be downloaded using a Gigabit Ethernet after recovery
  • A single cable connecting the Aquarius to the Güralp deck unit powers the system for data retrieval and system configuration. This allows for separate and concurrent charging of the batteries via a dedicated connector to an external charger, so that the system can be re-deployed as rapidly as possible
  • The system is equipped with rechargeable lithium-ion batteries for fast and easy re-deployments, equating to approximately one hour to re-charge, for each month deployment

Applications

  • Local and regional seismic research
  • Energy exploration
  • Carbon storage
  • Noise surveys
  • Aftershock monitoring
  • Earthquake/Tsunami Early Warning

Orcus

A real-time cabled OBS that sits fully or partially buried on the seafloor for depths of up to to 6000 m/19,685 ft

Depending on the deployment depth, housing is either duplex stainless steel or titanium to protect against corrosion. The unique spherical shape of the casing protects the instrument at high pressures, and an underlying metal plate ensures optimum ground coupling. An optional concrete dome hood can be employed to reduce noise and protect against trawling in shallower waters.

An integrated state of the art Güralp Affinity digitizer delivers data in real-time to the cable system. The frequency range of the sensor can be engineered to suit the requirements of the project. If more than one response range is required, additional sensors or hydrophones can be incorporated. Non seismic sensors, such as absolute pressure sensors for tsunami early warning can also be integrated.

Key features:

  • Suitable for depths of up to 6000 m (19,685 ft)
  • Cable-to-shore or cable-to-buoy system
  • Optional add-on sensors include absolute pressure sensor, hydrophone, current meter and thermometer
  • Aluminium or titanium housing for corrosion resistance and waterproofing
  • Optional concrete dome to reduce noise and protect against fishing trawlers
  • Data digitised at site with real-time streaming to onshore data centre
  • Digitizer timing synchronised with NTP or PTP protocols.
  • External sensors with Ethernet can use the same timing protocols
  • Flexibility to connect with a wide range of cable systems e.g. Ethernet or optic fibre
  • Constant power supply plus back-up battery
  • Deployment via winch with ROV support required for deeper installations
  • Robust self-levelling system

Applications

  • Cable to shore or cable to buoy systems
  • Real-time data streaming
  • Local, regional and teleseismic monitoring
  • Earthquake/Tsunami Early Warning

Maris

A real-time cabled OBS, pushed or cored into the seafloor, suitable for depths up to to 3000 m / 9,854 ft*

Housed in titanium, the Maris houses a broadband sensor that is fully operational at any angle to support versatile installations. Insertion into the seafloor minimises ambient noise to produce exceptional data quality and increase trawl resistance in shallower deployments. An internal magnetometer and MEMS accelerometer work together to automatically compensate for tilt and horizontal orientation to deliver high-quality waveforms.

The Maris system can be a single instrument or a string of up to eight instruments and includes the Minimus digitiser, housed in a seperate vessel, to deliver data over Ethernet direct to the cabling system. The Minimus also offers a low-latency mode running causal filters alongside traditional acausal filters for earthquake early warning applications. The frequency range of the broadband sensor can be engineered to suit the requirements of the project.

*Deeper options are available.

Key features:

  • Suitable for depths of up to 3000 m (9,854 ft)
  • Subsurface burial for improved data quality and trawl resistance
  • Easily strung together for daisy chain arrays 
  • Titanium grade 5 casing
  • The Minimus interface unit digitises data at site with real-time streaming over Ethernet to the onshore data centre
  • Optional low-latency mode running causal filters
  • Power and Ethernet stream via wet-mateable connector
  • Synchronised absolute time with onshore GPS
  • Flexibility to connect with a wide range of cable systems e.g. optic fibre
  • Deployment and cable installation via ROV

Applications

  • Pushed or cored into seafloor for improved coupling
  • ROV deployment
  • Cable to shore or cable to buoy systems
  • Real-time data streaming
  • Local, regional and teleseismic monitoring
  • Volcanic monitoring
  • Earthquake/Tsunami Early Warning

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