Wireless Seismic - Funding from Total
16 Aug

Wireless Seismic - Funding from Total

Reprint from Digital Energy Journal, Friday, August 16, 2013

Wireless Seismic, Inc. has completed a $12.5m funding round with existing shareholders, Chesapeake Energy and Energy Ventures, being joined by Total Energy Ventures, the corporate venture arm of Total.

"We hope that Total Energy Ventures will champion the use of our system within Total," says Wireless Seismic chairman, Gary Jones.

The company has seen a growth of interest in Wireless Seismic technology.  In May 2013, the company announced a sale of its RT System 2 seismic data acquisition system to West Bay Geophysical Inc., a subsidiary of West Bay Exploration, headquartered in Traverse City, Michigan.

West Bay Geophysical said that a key factor for selecting the system was its "environmental friendliness", with less equipment required to be deployed, which would lead to making acquiring licenses less complex.

In May, Wireless Seismic also announced the sale of a 7,500 channel RT System 2 to Asian Oilfield Services Ltd., based in Gurgaon, India, for 3D seismic acquisition projects in Kurdistan, starting June 2013.

Altogether, 10 systems have been sold, the largest being 7,500 channels.

"RT System 2 is the only scalable wireless seismic recording system that sends all of the data back to the central recording truck as it is being recorded," Mr. Jones stated.  "There are a number of other cable free systems on the market, but they all store the data locally for later retrieval or only transmit a portion of the data to local collection points."

"But by storing the data locally, there is a risk of data being lost (due to loss, damage, or theft of the equipment), and companies typically over design the recording by 5-10 percent to allow for data losses," Mr. Jones said.  "Further, the physical collection of data from other wireless systems is man-intensive and requires complex data transcription to be performed and additional inventory for when units are recharged and harvested."

"Sending the data back as it is being recorded means that you need the high wireless data rates that have been pioneered by Wireless Seismic, Inc.," continued Mr. Jones.  "Advanced battery technology has also been required.  The advantage of real-time data return is that you can check and work with the data immediately, rather than wait until later when the devices are gathered."

"RT System 2 is the only one that can return [the] data like a cabled system does without the cable," Mr. Jones said.

Mr. Jones believes that the North American land seismic recording industry is moving swiftly to wireless data.  "In the U.S., virtually all new equipment purchases are cable free," he said.  "But, the movement to wireless data is happening slower in other parts of the world because of an interest in having the data in real time, which not all cable free equipment recording companies provide."

RT System 2 transmits data in the 2.4 GHz radio band (the same frequency band as many computer wireless devices), which means that in most parts of the world, the system can be used without a radio license.

The company's RT System 2 technology can record 10,000+ channels simultaneously.

The RT System 2 Wireless Remote Unit (WRU) can be switched on simply by tilting the unit, and then placing the unit flat on the ground.  It then performs a series of self-tests, taking 30-45 seconds, while the crewman waits.

The WRU weighs 2.95kg with 2 batteries and the antenna.

Data is gathered in a central recording system with intermediate "Line Interface Units", which collect and transmit real-time seismic data and also manage the synchronization for the wireless units.

The data backhaul subsystem can be via 5.6-5.8 GHz radio data communications or fibre optic cable.

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