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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: Staff Scientist/Software Engineer

Staff Scientist/Software Engineer

JOB DUTIES:

Develop and maintain software that is used on or to facilitate seismological experiments. IRIS PASSCAL software includes tools to: interface with seismic data loggers, test equipment, convert between data formats, analyze state-of-health information, manage inventory and maintenance, and schedule equipment. The software engineer will also be responsible for providing user support to both PASSCAL staff and the IRIS community. The software engineer will have opportunities to conduct training and do seismological fieldwork.

 

Staff Scientist/Polar Projects Engineer

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. This position's primary responsibility is to support Polar research both from the lab and in the field.  Duties include: developing specialized equipment for cold, dark environments; testing, preparing, and shipping equipment; supporting field installations, maintenance, and decommissions of stations in the Arctic and Antarctic; producing and maintaining documentation related to Polar support and systems; and training member of PASSCAL’s user community.

Required Qualifications:

Employment Opportunity at IRIS PASSCAL: Hardware Specialist

IRIS/PASSCAL at New Mexico Tech is seeking a Hardware Specialist to support facility activities. The Hardware Specialist's duties will include: Support of hardware engineering staff; Assist with testing and maintenance records for seismic and ancillary equipment; Work in warehouse packing, preparing and inspecting of equipment for shipping; Assist with testing of non-pool or in-house equipment; Assist with in-field experiments; and, Train new work study students.

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) System

The IRIS Education and Public Outreach program acquired a Sensors and Software Noggin GPR System with SmartCart configuration to enhance the IRIS PASSCAL equipment pool (see image at left). The system has onboard GPS, data acquisition programming, and preliminary data interpretation capabilities. The system has both line-scan or grid-scan data collection modes. The onboard software allows for quick survey setup, on-the-go viewing of the waveforms collected, and initial waveform depth estimates. Processed onboard data can be visualized as depth versus position along a line, or as a slice view of grid data. The PASSCAL Instrument Center offers additional software for more in-depth post acquisition processing and interpretation of the data.

Narod Intelligent Magnetotelluric Systems (NIMS) for MT investigations

Until October 1, 2020, the PIC has partnered with the National Geoelectromagnetic Facility (NGF) at Oregon State University (http://ngf.oregonstate.edu/) to offer 27 Narod Intelligent Magnetotelluric Systems (NIMS) for MT investigations. The NIMS is a 1 Hz sample rate long-period MT instrument. It includes a Triaxial ring-core magnetometer (left), OSU Pb-PbCl2 gel-type electrodes (top) and a receiver unit which contains its data acquisition system (bottom). The NIMS receivers have been recently updated to support continued usage. They contain new GNSS receivers to replace the original GPS receivers, providing a faster satellite lock and larger set of satellite constellations and improving the ability to acquire precise system timing under challenging conditions, such as extensive tree canopy.

GPS Rollover: Potential Data Logger Performance & Timing Issue

Late 2018 PASSCAL learned of a GPS week rollover event that can affect data logger performance and timing. PASSCAL has acquired a GNSS signal generator that can emulate GPS satellite signals. This satellite emulator allows us to test PASSCAL equipment that relies on GPS timing and to determine how equipment will handle the GPS rollover event. To date, we have determined that some models of GPS engines are affected by the rollover. How the rollover errors manifest is dependent on the data logger’s model and firmware version of the GPS engine.

PASSCAL Announces Software release: Nexus, a simple tool for creating SEED meta-data.

PASSCAL is pleased to announce the release of Nexus, a simple tool for creating SEED meta-data.

Nexus is a software tool with a graphical interface that allows users to quickly and easily create and modify SEED meta-data. It outputs StationXML, the recently adopted replacement format for Dataless SEED. Nexus greatly simplifies preparing data for archival at the DMC. 

Three-component Node Procurement Update

As a response to the seismological community's desire to deploy a larger number of 3-component nodal seismic systems, the IRIS PASSCAL standing committee has guided IRIS management to procure more nodes for the PASSCAL pool. IRIS already has 73 Magseis Fairfield ZLAND 3-component 5Hz nodes in the pool and these have been subscribed for more than 2 years out. We have now begun the procurement of another 460 Magseis Fairfield nodes for general PASSCAL pool use. We expect to receive these new nodes in the fall of 2018. The new nodes should be ready for general pool usage starting in February, 2019 after evaluation and acceptance is complete (bringing the general node pool to 533 units). Please feel free to include the new nodes in instrument requests for experiments with start dates after February 2019.

IRIS PASSCAL Data Policy Update

IRIS/PASSCAL has updated our Data Policy. The new Policy, which was published on November 1, 2017,  can be perused here. It details the archiving requirements for data collected with IRIS PASSCAL equipment through the PASSCAL Instrument Center (PIC)

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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