Standing Committee Meeting Report Instrumentation Services
October 2016

October 12-13 2016, PASSCAL Instrument Center, Socorro, NM

Action Items

  • Send vault sensor specification “approval” to COCOM.
  • Collect nominations for chair of PH5 working group.
  • Understand application of HDF5 implementation for full waveform inversion community. Find guest to speak on this at next meeting.
  • Draft charge and nominations for members of one or more working groups to develop next generation PASSCAL instrument specifications and request BoD liaison.
  • Inform BoD of CCArray/EarthsCAN developments.
  • Inform BoD of potential for long-term CEUSN operation under USGS contract. The ISSC supports this option.


  • PASC follow similar process to GSNSC for developing the design goals, then having specialist panel to work out functional specs, in the same manner that the GSNSC used.
  • Endorse the concept that the CEUSN WG is preparing a whitepaper that works to bring in regional network operator opinions and advise the USGS as to how they should move forward.
  • ISSC endorses the GSN policy on wind farms and forwards this to the BoD for Consortium endorsement.
  • Vet SZO Collaboratory RCN proposal concept with the BoD.
  • Ensure we synch D2D with the Research Ready Datasets initiative within Data Services.

Short Meeting Summary

Introductory discussion – Action items and other issues since Spring meeting are reviewed. Group notes the importance of technical interchange meetings and the seismic instrumentation technology symposium to IS activities.

NGEO proposal – Red team review and board guidance and review IS-related content –

The committee was briefed on the outcome of the Red Team review and resulting board guidance for final revisions, discussing a variety of proposal elements to clarify questions and to explore how they fit with OBSIP, UNAVCO, and other stakeholders.

Instrumentation needs and specifications – GSN vault sensor functional specifications have been developed to inform potential technical specifications needed for a procurement.

Instrument sustainability & recapitalization strategies across IS – The current IRIS pool is estimated to require at least $4M/year investment through 2023 to maintain. The main driver is the large number of DAS hardware aging-out. Design goals and functional specs are key elements, needed to guide instrument developers and potentially minimize costs.

Quality principles and tools – MUSTANG output can be complex and require substantial post-processing to create actionable reports, like for the GSN. There is a need for furnishing end-users with cleaned data, such as DMC’s plan for Research Ready Data. User clients like LASSO require the long-term support by their developers.

PH5 working group needs to be formally instituted, as over 60 experiments now archived in this format. Marine community being engaged for their participation.

TA-Alaska update – Station communications are still being optimized across the TA. There is potential to improve Yukon footprint with extra station and radio telemetry in 2017. The State of Alaska, USGS, and NWS will hold a stakeholder meeting in DC to discuss potential adoption.

MT Y4 & Y5 – Space Weather initiative will result in NSF-AGS funding completion of New England stations. Y4 will be SW extension and northern Great Plains at half spacing.

CCArray/EarthsCAN – GeoPRISMS workshop Sunday pre-AGU will explore specific ideas for a Canadian-style MREFC, with potential in-kind U.S. support via NSF partnership.

CEUSN update and strategy – USGS interested in long-term support of CEUSN. IRIS expecting to be funded for the O&M of the CEUSN in 2018.

Update on Pan-Instrumentation Services Calibration Effort – A calibrated set of TA instruments are being issued to OBSIP IICs as reliable reference sensors, followed by technical exchange visits to demonstrate calibration procedures. Octans could be used to verify north on piers if visits happen before April.

Policy on wind farms – Seismometers need to be at least 10-15 km away from turbines to avoid adverse effects at short periods.

SRL Data Mine Articles – In general, journal publication committees should be encouraged to include DOIs in their articles. FDSN webpage is missing DOIs in many cases and lists PASSCAL as PI for individual experiments.

Uses of Carryover from FY16 – Any carryover will likely be smaller than years past. Items with cross-program impact would be prioritized.

OBSIP renewal proposal – Proposal would cover OMO and 3 IICs. Red Team review concept is seen as useful. 35% of experiments use the Langseth, fate TBD, and would affect short period data collection. Proposal must account for that.

Subduction Zone Observatory workshop – Lots of enthusiasm for high-res geophysics, volcanoes and other systems to complement other disciplines. Group discusses International Subduction Zone Collaboratory concept, fitting under NSF RCN funding program. Idea would be to extend IRIS goals (facilitate, collaborate, educate) to different groups.

Administrative Items – Spring meetings will be virtual, likely to entail multiple sessions to cover all topics.

Remainder of meeting is a joint session of  ISSC and PASC

Dirt to Desktop – Datalogger extraction tools will automate collecting station parameters, PIC developing prototype for the RT130. There is also a field tool for writing stationXML. Vendors are being pushed to have instruments retain their nominal response and provide better state-of-health information. Lots of metadata issues may have better solutions e.g. orientations can do better than a compass but an Octans is too expensive. GSN calibration procedures have some crossover potential for Portable. There is use in an app that automatically compiles station information, both metadata and logistical/operational/practical. The data extraction issue is still significant, obtaining and using individual responses instead of just nominal. Having metadata properly guiding analyses should be the goal (Desktop to Figure). Automated batch file creation would be a useful practical product. Proper metadata solution should be software independent. Research Ready Datasets at DMC should help move this discussion along, and it’s important to stay synced with Data Services.

GEOICE – MRI w/CWU. Next-gen polar seismic station being developed over the last 3 years, aims to be logistically efficient and easy to deploy. CWU will own the instruments, but they will be stewarded by the PIC and available to community.