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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

Senior Staff Scientist/Polar Service Manager

IRIS PASSCAL Instrument Center Seeks Senior Staff Scientist/Polar Service Manager

Job Duties:

The IRIS PASSCAL Instrument Center at New Mexico Tech is seeking applicants to fill the position of Senior Staff Scientist/Polar Service Manager. Primary responsibilities include:  Manage and supervise Polar group staff and resources; Coordination and planning support for polar seismic experiments; Scheduling, testing, logistics, experiment lead for equipment, POC to PI; Lead field engineer and T-299 NSF POC in Antarctica; Field support of seismological experiments; Oversee engineering projects; Design and fabrication of specialized polar equipment; Documentation and web content; and Training. 

Required Qualifications:

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:

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.

IRIS/PASSCAL Facility featured on KRQE News 13

The IRIS/PASSCAL Instrument Center was featured in a three-minute video aired on August 22nd, 2016 by Albuquerque, NM station KRQE-TV-13. The video, which included segments on other New Mexico Tech research facilities (EMRTC, Langmuir Lightning Lab, the Magdalena Ridge Observatory, and at Mt. Erebus in Antarctica) can be seen here.

 

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.

Important Update to rt2ms

Important update to rt2ms program for processing RT130 data

This is to inform you about an important software update needed for processing of Reftek RT130 data in PASSCAL experiments. We recently discovered an issue with running rt2ms on the second card installed in the RT130.  Sometimes insufficient header values are being written by the RT130 and then rt2ms passes over these packets potentially resulting in a gap on one or more channels (typically less than 1 hour on higher sample rate data, larger gaps on 1sps data).  The PASSCAL Software Group has patched rt2ms to handle the missing packet headers and write all of the data that are on the card.  We highly recommend that you download and install the updated rt2ms program if you are processing any RT130 data.

Bighorn Arch Seismic Experiment: Results

In 2010, a group of seismologists deployed several hundred sensors across Wyoming and Montana as part of EarthScope's Bighorn Project and the Bighorn Arch Seismic Experiment (BASE). IRIS/PASSCAL supplied instruments and expertise as part of this large effort, which included scientists from CIRES at University of Colorado Boulder(1), the Department of Geology at Colorado College(2), the Department of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Wyoming(3), and the Department of Geology and Geophysics at Texas A&M University(4). The Principal Investigators included Anne F. Sheehan(1), Megan L. Anderson(2), Eric A. Erslev(3), Kate C. Miller(4), and Christine S. Siddoway(2). William L. Yeck(1), the lead graduate student from UC Boulder, provided analysis and support included in this article. Additionally, numerous students contributed to the effort. The team's recent publication, "Structure of the Bighorn Mountain region, Wyoming, from teleseismic receiver function analysis: Implications for the kinematics of Laramide shortening," is available from AGU Publications (Full, PDF).

PASSCAL pre-AGU Workshop

PASSCAL Workshop: Data Archiving and More!

Sunday, December 13, 2015
San Francisco - Zelos Hotel

Presentations are now online!  All are PDFs and the PH5 posters are a .gif and a .pdf

Session 1 - SEED Data Archiving

Session 2 - Instrument Responses (given by Mary Templeton of the IRIS DMC)

Session 3 - PH5 tools and future plans

PH5 poster from AGU 2013

The GeoGirls Program in the News

The GeoGirls program is getting some great publicity, thanks to the efforts of the USGS, The Mt. St. Helens Institute, and even comedienne Amy Poehler.

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.

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