Monday, December 10, 2007

Concordia data acquisition systems

After last week's post on the RefTek digitizer that we shall use extensively for the CASE-IPY experiment, here is a short post on the digital acquisition systems used by the permanent station at Concordia (CCD).

The permanent station uses two digitizers made by Quanterra - Kinemetrics: the Q4120 (big orange box on the bottom shelf) and the Q330 HR (thin orange box on the left of the top shelf) with its external hard disk called a Baler (squat orange box on the right of the top shelf).

They are two very different generations of machines, the Q330HR is newer than the Q4120, but their purpose is the same:

  • to receive analog signals directly from the seismometers (voltage being proportional to the velocity of the ground),
  • to digitize them (turn voltages into bit-counts that can be recorded onto hard-disks or data tapes),
  • and to date them accurately using the time given by a GPS receiver.
The quality of a digitizer contributes greatly to the overall quality of a seismic station. These two are some of the best in their class.

We shall have work to do on both of these digitizers, to configure them to talk to the SeisComP system that is supposed to make it easier to retrieve and archive the data they record. We have prepared for this by setting up identical systems here in our lab in Strasbourg and going through the entire configuration procedure from A to Z. We suspect, though, that going through the procedure at Concordia will be a bit more difficult given both the cold and the lower oxygen level up there!

Keep up to date with the latest developments at

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