Portable broadband seismology
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Portable Broadband Seismology. Part 3: Data Acquisition System Overview. Jakarta, Indonesia May 11-13, 2006 Bruce Beaudoin Marcos Alvarez Additional thanks to Joseph Steim for use of his slides. Modern Seismic Technology. Inter-networked Digital Communications

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Portable Broadband Seismology

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Portable Broadband Seismology

Part 3: Data Acquisition System Overview

Jakarta, Indonesia

May 11-13, 2006

Bruce Beaudoin

Marcos Alvarez

Additional thanks to Joseph Steim for use of his slides

Modern Seismic Technology

  • Inter-networked Digital Communications

  • Robust Multiple Telemetry Paths

  • Central Administration and Data Collection

  • Rapid, Reliable Reporting of Information for Disaster Mitigation.

  • High Dynamic Range

  • Portable, Lightweight, Easy to Use



Q330 Data Engine

Overview of Q330 features

  • 24-bit A/D

  • 3 or 6 channels (sensor ports A&B)

  • Average power requirement of about 1W, including a power-cycled recorder

  • Internal GPS engine with external antenna

  • VCO is frequency-adjusted to GPS phase lock loop

  • Samples & sends multiplexed, time-stamped UDP packets to a Data Processor (DP) through one of 4 logical data ports:

    • 1,2 - serial or Ethernet telemetry

    • 3 - SOH check by local operator

    • 4 - Baler

  • Also 1 control port for programming/commands (Willard)

  • Communicates by UDP/IP

  • Web server (provides links to DP webserver)

  • Digitizes sensor and SOH streams

Q330 Hardware Block Diagram

Q330 Design Philosophy

“Old Fashioned” Hub-and-Spoke


Quanterra Multiple Connectivity

Data Port Concept

  • Four ports are available

  • Each Data Port is an independent collection of channels and sample rates

  • Each Data Port can use its own SEED channel names or even Station Code

  • Connection to a Data Port is by IP socket, multiple Data Ports can use the same interface, e.g. ethernet or Serial.

Q330 - Network friendly

  • Friendly to Automated Processing. Pure IP

  • Friendly to Remote Maintenance, Configuration, and Network Management

  • Intra and Internet-Ready Security

  • Simple Field and Data Center Management and Setup Procedures, analogous to IP itself

  • Based on modern IP model, not a “dumb” device, e.g. connected through a serial link



Baler 14

Overview of Baler14

  • Power cycled DP & data storage unit (19GB)

  • Demultiplexes Q330 packets and writes 4096Kb miniSEED files


  • Web server

  • File transfer by http (10baseT)

  • Q330 manages Baler:

    • Assigns IP address

    • Passes recording parameters

    • Manages most power cycling

  • Runs in acquisition (power cycled) or vacuum (download/continuously powered) modes

Q330 Timing: Clocks

  • Internal Clocks

    • Time of day clock - keeps rough time when Q330 power is off. Runs on an internal battery.

    • Temperature Compensated Voltage Controled Crystal Oscillator (TCVCXO)

      • Nominal drift of 0.1ppm (<1ms/day)

Q330 Timing: Clocks

  • External Clock

    • Q330 has a Motorola M12 GPS engine on-board

    • Default is to power up every 3 hours

    • Adjusts TCVCXO oscillation rate to reduce phase error between GPS 1Hz pulse and TCVCXO 1Hz

    • Stays powered up until phase difference of <5µsec is maintained for 1 minute before powering off the GPS

    • The Q330 retains the last measured phase error before turning off the GPS and applies this constant time correction to all records acquired will GPS is off/unlocked.

Q330 Timing: Time Stamps

  • Data is packaged into 1 second data records that are sent to a data processor (DP)

  • Each record includes a time stamp consisting of:

    • Sequence number ≈ seconds since last power-up

    • Seconds of offset since January 1, 2000 of last power-up

    • µsec offset from the current second

  • Q330 also sends

    • A clock status bitmap

    • Minutes since GPS lock was lost

    • Clock phase loop status

  • The baler (DP) queries the Q330 for FIR filter delays and construct the time stamp for the data records using:

Baler and miniseed

  • Once the baler has calculated the time stamp for the data packets it creates 4096 byte miniseed files.

  • The baler uses the best timed 1sec data packet to extrapolate the time for the first sample in a miniseed record

  • The baler also determines a clock quality parameter and writes it to the miniseed header

    • 100% = clock is LOCKED

    • 90% = clock is TRACKING, 3D fix and adjusting TCVCXO

    • 80% = GPS just powered up

    • 10-60% = HOLD, GPS is off. Quality decreases by 1% every 10 minutes

    • 0% - GPS clock has not locked since Q330 power up

Typical Timing CycleLCE & LCQ channels

SOH Channels

  • ACEVCO quality expressed as SEED Timing blockettes (500)

  • LCE Absolute clock phase error (1 sec / count)

  • LCQ Clock quality times series (1 % / count)

  • LOGState of health, status and timing messages

  • OCFQ330 configuration expressed as SEED opaque data blockettes

  • VCOVCO control voltage (150 mV / count)

  • VEAGPS antenna current (1 mA / count)

  • VECSystem current (1 mA / count)

  • VEPInput voltage (150 mV / count)

  • VKISystem temperature (1 C / count)

  • VMUBoom position of Z or U component (100 mV / count)

  • VMVBoom position of N or V component (100 mV / count)

  • VMWBoom position of N or W component (100 mV / count)

  • VPBBuffer usage (0.1% / count)

Overview of Application deployments

Stand Alone: QNET-QNET-80

Stand Alone + Telemetry

Types of Telemetry


Ethernet Bridge to LAN

IP VSAT (Hughes, Spacenet)

GSM or CDMA Cellular

Serial Q330 to Baler & Ethernet Telemetry: cabling & configuration

Ethernet Q330 to Baler & Serial Telemetry: cabling & configuration

Configuring, Accessing, and Monitoring

Typical Portable DeploymentAnd ~ 1W Power Consumption (not including sensors)

IP Telemetry Deployment



USArray TA Standard Site

USArray TA Standard Site

GSN II Proposed Configuration



KMI tech team


reference materials


Inter-Program, Quanterra Users Group


BRTT - Antelope (commercial)

ISTI - Mountainaire (open source)

PASSCAL - hocus (open source)

User Documentation

PASSCAL - www.passcal.nmt.edu

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