August 10, 2009: US Sensor Systems says it has made the first advancement in sensors used in the oil industry in “almost 50 years” for oilfield seismic exploration and production.
The new device, an all-optical, fiber-optic omnidirectional geophone, requires no in-situ electronics, copper conductors, or electrical power. It incorporates a self-contained optical interrogation unit (using an optical time division multiplexing methodology) with integrated laser sources; all of the system electronics reside in the optical interrogator. Receiver electronics demodulate the optical signals from the geophones, translating them into digital electronic signals. A fiber optic telemetry cable provides the data path to and from the individual geophones. A single optical interrogator can address up to 128 individual geophones.
The sensor offers “a much clearer picture of untapped underground oil or gas” and meets requirements for “permanent 4D seismic monitoring,” says US Sensor Systems. It is currently being evaluated by a top global oil company for downhole monitoring. It also can be used for surface (land) or marine seismic applications, noted company CEO Jim Andersen, in a statement.