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Recent News

Here is a listing of PASSCAL News items from the last 6 months. If you want to look up something older, you should check the News Archive.

2020 Polar Technology Conference coming in March

The 2020 Polar Technology Conference is planned for 10–12 March 2020 in Boulder, Colorado. This activity is a cooperative effort among the National Science Foundation’s Office of Polar Programs, the Arctic Research Consortium of the United States, and the polar research community.

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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.

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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 ( 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.

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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.

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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. 

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