For many people looking at SmartSolo for the first time, the first question is: “Why does it separate into 2 halves??”.  This is a very valid question, to which this article will provide the answer.

What is the Modular Design?

The components of SmartSolo Intelligent Geophone Unit (IGU-16) are in 2 separate sealed modules.  The upper part contains the sensor and the electronic circuitry, and the lower part contains the battery. Before deployment, the two modules are assembled together with the Automatic Assembly/disassembly Machine (AAM).  After retrieval, the two modules are separated with the AAM.  The top (sensor) module goes to the Data Harvesting Rack (DHR) for offload, and the lower (battery) module goes to the Battery Charging Rack (BCR) for charging.

The Advantages of this Modular Design

  1. The TECHNICAL Advantage: you can “have your cake and eat it” …!
    a. By having electrical contacts (as opposed to wireless data transfer or wireless charging) the offload and charging processes are fast, and use mature, reliable, cost-effective technology. Yet…
    b. the electrical contacts that allow this advantage are all sealed inside the unit and are never exposed when the unit is in the field. This eliminates all the costly unreliability that is normally caused by exposed contacts.
  1. The LOGISTIC Advantage: more data from fewer sensors…Offloaded sensor units can be reassembled on to pre-charged battery packs and returned to the field immediately (in many cases on the same vehicle that brought them in). There is no need to wait for the batteries to be charged. This efficiency directly leads to more recorded data from any particular inventory of sensors.
  1. The ECONOMIC Advantage: only replace what you need to…When, after a few years, the battery capacity eventually deteriorates, the customer will only need to replace the battery.  There is never a need to open the sensor module.

The AAM is impressively efficient. Each AAM can assemble/dissemble 720 IGUs per hour (one every 5 seconds). From the point of view of the sensor module, the time for disassembly and reassembly is negligible compared with the time saved through not having to wait for a battery to be charged.

Benefits brought to the Customer by the Modular Design

Seismic Contractors must provide high quality data, and do so safely and profitably.  For this to happen it is essential to:

  • Minimize the labour
  • Minimize the equipment idle time
  • Minimize the equipment maintenance and replacement costs
  • Maximize the equipment reliability

The Modular Design helps the customer achieve all of the above.