October 2003 Meeting Report

Action Items from PASSCAL Standing Committee Meeting

PASSCAL Instrument Center, Socorro, New Mexico
October 27-28, 2003

PSC Members Present: David James (Chair), Steve Roecker (Minutes), Anne Sheehan (Minutes), Joan Gomberg, John Hole, Colin Zelt, John Louie, and Bill Walter.

Others Present: Mark Alvarez, Rick Aster, Jim Fowler, Steve Harder, and David Simpson. Frank Vernon absent due to home being destroyed previous day by southern California wildfires.

Status of Redesign for Texan Dataloggers: Redesign of Texans is proceeding according to USArray design specifications.   No new PASSCAL funds have been allocated for this redesign, this remains a sticking point as the design will not be finalized until instruments are ordered. This may be taken care of by the order for the USArray instruments.

Recycling Old Data Loggers (Jim Fowler): The pool of old data loggers remains heavily used, primarily on a "loan" basis, but to date instrument mortality has not been high. A three-stage process to establish guidelines to surplus old recording equipment is being prepared for submittal to ExeCom for approval: (1) cataloging of equipment (if any) that PASSCAL wishes to surplus at this time; (2) seeking permission from NSF for the donation of surplus equipment; and (3) issuing an RFP for use of the instruments.

New Initiatives: UT Austin has acquired 3 large Vibroseis vehicles as part of the NEES program, but has little seismic equipment for active source experiments apart from the vibrators. Many active source PASSCAL experiments would benefit greatly from the availability of vibrators. The SC recommends funding a workshop and a pilot experiment, at a total cost of approximately $50K, to lay the groundwork for greater cooperation between NEES and the PASSCAL community. This is seen as a win-win situation for all involved.

SC Communications: Given the very large increase in information traffic due to USArray startup, the SC requested of the Program Manager that a password protected website be established on the IRIS website for the posting of reports or other documents directly relevant to the deliberations of the PASSCAL Standing Committee. Members would be notified by email of new postings.

USArray Status (Jim Fowler): Jim Fowler and Tim Ahern are in process of drafting a project execution plan that will be delivered to IRIS on November 15, for submission to NSF December 1. To summarize the status of various activities as of this date:

  • The T.A. Manager position was offered to Bob Busby and he has accepted. His tentative start date is 1/1/2004.
  • The ANF panel has received and reviewed four ANF proposals. An initial decision has been made, but remains confidential.
  • RFQs for both broadband sensors and dataloggers have gone out and the quotes received are in review process by the Instrumentation Committee.
  • Fowler is actively pursuing the concept of utilizing existing California and other western state stations for T.A. sites. Sites are being reviewed, selected, and upgraded as necessary. It is anticipated that some 30 sites will be used as part of the Transportable Array.
  • Correspondence has been exchanged with Dr. Stephen Park of UC Riverside concerning guidelines for installation of MT stations at USArray Sites. At present, it is assumed by the PASSCAL SC that permitting for the Transportable Array will be on the basis of a seismic site: enhanced site permitting for MT will be the responsibility of the MT program.

Use Policy on Mixed PASSCAL/Earthscope Instrumentation: The SC recognizes there will be an eventual need for guidelines from NSF on (1) use of Earthscope Flexible component equipment in PASSCAL experiments within the U.S. - i.e., those funded by other NSF programs or by other federal agencies, and (2) use of PASSCAL instrumentation in Earthscope experiments either to supplement the number of Flex component instruments or to enlarge the pool to allow an increased number of experiments, particularly active source experiments. Priority issues must also be addressed, and these are to be spelled out in detail in a report now in preparation for the Executive Committee .

Proprietary Flexible Component Data: It is the unanimous consensus of the PASSCAL Standing Committee that all data collected from flexible component Earthscope experiments (i.e. those initiated and carried out by individual PIs) should be subject to the same 2 year proprietary use restrictions as are now in place for PASSCAL experiments.   These proprietary restrictions would apply to broadband telemetered as well as broadband stand-alone and short period data. The Committee also recommends that guidelines be drafted to facilitate communication between PIs and potential collaborators for data sharing in research areas that do not interfere with the PIs research objectives.

USArray Contingency Funds: The largest cost uncertainties for USArray remain those related to permitting, including environmental impact statements and archeological surveys. A SC subcommittee of Anne Sheehan, John Louie, and John Hole has been appointed to prepare a white paper on permitting strategies.

Earthscope Products: The SC reviewed a range of Earthscope products in light of potential ANF responsibilities. Those products that could reasonable be considered part of the ANF operation included: Calibration data; noise measurements; travel time picks, including cross-correlation to obtain delay times; delay time maps; surface wave group velocities; event locations; moment tensor determinations; site response; and polarization measurements. The understanding of the SC in terms of event locations and moment tensor determinations is that these ANF will not constitute the definite catalogs, which will presumably be published by the same groups now responsible for those tasks.