THAT'S A FACT

The area where our little project took place was the Sandia National Laboratory's Facility for Acceptance, Calibration and Testing (FACT) site.

Our playground, below, had plenty of toys. This site has been in use for many years and over that time has collected many items. From what I could see it was used quite a bit for the testing of seismic, and geophysics-related equipment. The antenna in the background on the left and the two radomes (the spheres that look like golf balls), which also contained satellite dishes, were used to test the sending of seismic data over satellite links. I would imagine that a lot of the equipment used for verification of the nuclear test ban treaty was, and still is, also tested here since Sandia Lab is into those kinds of things.

The idea of this experiment was to lay out about 600 meters of cable with sensors every five meters, and cover the site area in three deployments (i.e. lay out the cables three times). The fenced-in portion of the FACT site was about 100 meters by 100 meters in size.

The site had one item of particular interest to this project. Below is the entry to an underground vault where sensors were placed for testing. Seismic equipment generally doesn't like people noise, so most serious installations usually have some type of underground vault or tunnel where the only vibrations the sensors will be shaken (but not stirred) by are for the most part vibrations from earthquakes.

The entry to the vault area in the picture below was about four meters deep. The blue door on the left lead to a small room with tools and equipment. The small vault where the sensors were actually placed was off of that room.

Why was this vault interesting? The experiment was designed to lay out some sensors, create some noise, record it, and then analyze the recorded data to see if the position of the vault could be seen in the data. You can make up your own theory as to how or why this might be useful to know in this day and age. Just be careful, though. If you come up with something secret you may have to shoot yourself.

DIRECT LINKS TO PAGES:
A QUICKIE IN KIRTLAND
THAT'S A FACT
SENSORS FROM HELL
THIS WASN'T A BAMBI MOVIE...
THUMP AND STACK
CAN'T WIN 'EM ALL
THE QUICK AND THE DONE

2014-08-03