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About PASSCAL

PASSCAL Facility

The Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) Portable Array Seismic Studies of the Continental Lithosphere (PASSCAL) Instrument Center and EarthScope USArray Array Operations Facility (AOF) at New Mexico Tech support cutting-edge seismological research into Earth’s fundamental geological structure and processes. The facility provides instrumentation for National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, and otherwise funded seismological experiments around the world. PASSCAL experiment support includes seismic instrumentation, equipment maintenance, software, data archiving, training, logistics, and field installation.

Continued expansion of IRIS activities at New Mexico Tech via the EarthScope and other initiatives has spurred a major facility expansion, the EarthScope USArray Array Operations Facility. The AOF was officially dedicated on April 6, 2005 by the New Mexico Tech administration and the IRIS Board of Directors. The combined PASSCAL Instrument Center and AOF currently support a total of 33 professional New Mexico Tech staff, as well as a contingent of student workers.

PASSCAL and USArray Flexible Array equipment is available to any research or educational institution to use for research purposes within the guidelines of established policies. These policies provide that data collected with PASSCAL and/or USArray equipment be archived at the IRIS Data Management Center and that the data are openly available to the community. Instruments can be requested online using the PASSCAL Instrument Request Forms.

Recent News

Employment Opportunity at IRIS PASSCAL: Administrative Secretary

The IRIS PASSCAL Instrument Center at New Mexico Tech solicits applications for an Administrative Secretary for seismology support operations. 

Core Responsibilities Include:

Provide Administrative support to the department staff and students. Greet visitors and callers, handle their inquiries  and  direct  them  to  the  appropriate  person  according  to  their  needs. Answer  telephones  and  give information  to  callers  and  take  messages.  Maintain  scheduling  and  event  calendar. Compose,  type,  and distribute meeting notes, routine correspondence, and reports. Learn to operate new office technologies as they  are  developed  and  implemented.  Assist  with  and  process  employee  and  student  employee  time cards/request  for  leave.  Work  with  other  campus  units  on  management  of  personnel,  payroll,  travel,  and other  issues  for  staff  and  visitors.  Operate  office  equipment  such  as  fax  machines,  copiers,  and  phone systems, and   use   computers   for   spreadsheet,   word   processing,   database   management,   and   other applications.

Ensemble Cast Supports Socorro Magma Body Experiment

During February 2015, PASSCAL staff assisted Principal Investigators Sue Bilek, Rick Aster, Brandon Schmandt, and Lindsay Worthington with the installation of numerous single-channel nodes in conjunction with seven PASSCAL broadband stations (data) to image the Socorro Magma Body (SMB) beneath the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge in central New Mexico. 

RT130 ALERT - Issue when using two 4GB CF cards

Jan. 5, 2015

PASSCAL recently received reports of RT130’s failing when using two RefTek 4G CF cards at moderately low temperatures during an Antarctic experiment. We have duplicated the failure in our lab and in our testing the failure was associated with a specific version of RefTek well board (RT526D). Although we have not had failures in our testing with earlier or later versions of the board, our sample set is small and we cannot rule out problems with these boards when using two 4G CF cards. We have communicated with RefTek about the issue and at this time they are in agreement with these findings.

Conviction of Italian Seismologists Overturned in Appeal

Angus Mackinnon of phys.org reported on November 10th, 2014 that

"Seven Italian scientists who faced jail for failing to predict a deadly 2009 earthquake were cleared Monday of manslaughter convictions that had sparked international outrage.

The seven men were sentenced to six years in jail in October 2012 after a court in the medieval town of L'Aquila found them guilty of causing multiple deaths by having negligently downplayed the risk of the town being hit by a major earthquake just days before the killer tremor struck in April 2009."

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