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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

Staff Scientist/Polar Projects Engineer

  IRIS PASSCAL Instrument Center Seeks Staff Scientist/Polar Projects Field Engineer


 

Job Duties:

The IRIS PASSCAL Instrument Center at New Mexico Tech is seeking applicants to fill the position of Staff Scientist/Polar Projects Field Engineer. Primary responsibility is to support Polar research both in the field and in the lab. Duties include: scheduling, preparing, and shipping equipment; field support in the Arctic and Antarctic; development of specialized equipment for cold, dark environments; produce and maintain documentation and web content related to Polar support; and user training. Hardware and wireless communications testing, repair, Maintenance, and troubleshooting.

Required Qualifications:

Pre-AGU PASSCAL Users PH5 Workshop 2017

Late-stage graduate students! Postdocs! Researchers and faculty!

IRIS PASSCAL Instrument Center would like to invite you to register for our PASSCAL Users Workshop to be held on Sunday December 10th, 2017 (the day before the beginning of the AGU Fall meeting). 

This year's workshop will be a hands-on training session covering the complete process to build a PH5 archive, starting from 'raw' data and moving to a complete archive ready to be shipped to the PIC. We will provide a standard data set for the hands-on exercise so that participants can familiarize themselves with procedures for building and verifying a PH5 archive from raw data.

TA Installation in Alaska Now Complete

After covering the lower 48 United States from coast to coast with a grid of nearly 1700 sites, the last seismic station of the EarthScope Transportable Array has finally been installed in Alaska. IRIS has commemorated the event with a post titled "EarthScope’s Transportable Array Spans Alaska, the Last Frontier." The IRIS article includes a detailed map of the Alaska TA stations, highlighting the location of the final station A19K. 

"White Wanderer" Exhibit in Chicago joins Seismology and Art

An exhibit sponsored by the Natural Resources Defense Council has combined the work of University of Chicago seismological scientist Doug MacAyeal of with the art of Luftwerk, to produce an artistic rendition of the seismic "sounds" produced by climate change in the Antarctic. The exhibit opened with a live demonstration of seismic data acquisition, using instruments provided by IRIS/PASSCAL. The project was a collaboration with NRDC, with additional help from the University of Chicago, and was on display at Two Riverside Plaza, Chicago IL from Sept 7th – Oct 1st. 

Transportable Array demonstrates its new drilling rig and sensor emplacement routine for PASSCAL.

March 7th, 2017

With the expansion of TA Alaska into even more remote regions of Alaska and Canada it was necessary to develop and construct an extremely lightweight, high performance helicopter portable air rotary drill weighing less than 1700 lbs and capable of installing a 6” steel casing 2.7m deep in any type of ground including solid rock, frost shattered overburden, cobbles and frozen soils.  Based on these parameters, a custom drill rig system was commissioned and tested by IRIS for specific use on the project.  At PASSCAL we had the opportunity to be among the first testing locations for the newly constructed third generation Purple Drill.  Ryan Bierma, and Max Enders along with Bob Busby from IRIS and Mike Lundgren  from Lundgren Systems (rig developer) operated the rig, and then Ryan and Max demonstrated a mock installation of an STS-5A seismic sensor at the test site behind PASSCAL in Socorro, NM.

 

December 31 2016 Leap Second

Leap Second's effect on PASSCAL RT-130 and Q330

Summary:

Q330:

Data time starting at 2017:001:00:00:00 is +1 second from truth for 1-2 minutes (seen in controlled tests) until a clock correction, followed by a gap of 2-40 seconds per channel depending on sample rate.

RT-130:

Data time starting at 2017:001:00:00:00 is +1 second from truth for 15min - 9:42hrs (seen in controlled tests) until a clock correction. Some data (~6secs in tests) around the time correction is mistimed, sometimes 11 years in the future, or missing.

Tutorial on PASSCAL's New Instrument Request Form and PI Home Page

In June 2016, PASSCAL implemented a new version of the Instrument Scheduling Database.

This tutorial shows Principal Investigators how to request an account, how to log in, how to use the PI Home Page, and how to submit a new and/or modify an existing Instrument Request.

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