News Articles
Published in SEG 2017 DAILIES (Sept. 26, 2017) 

Wireless Seismic, Inc., the leading innovator of real-time and cable-free seismic data acquisition systems for the oil and gas industry, is introducing RT3--an ultra-high channel count, onshore, seismic recording system featuring Wireless Seismic's next-generation of radio technology--at this year's SEG Annual Conference and Exhibition in Booth 915.

RT3 addresses the growing market need to acquire much denser onshore seismic surveys.  RT3 is designed to provide better quality, high-density subsurface images, while lowering capital and operating expenses through automation, lower equipment costs, and reduced weight.  The smaller footprint and crew headcount will reduce cycle times and HSE exposure. 

Unlike the ever-growing list of blind nodal systems coming to market, RT3 features the ability to manage the entire RT3 spread of hundreds of thousands of channels in real time.  For example, the ability to put the spread to sleep, when needed to preserve battery life, requires only a single command from the control center--a critical capability that is impossible with the blind nodal systems.  Also, RT3 saves the seismic contractor from the laborious tasks of manual data collection and the time-consuming chore of manual data transcription, all required of blind nodal systems, by transmitting all of the seismic data back to a central recording system in real time via high-performance radios.

RT3 is designed with a new, two-tier radio telemetry architecture that allows the seismic data to be transmitted to the central recorder, in real time, up to seven times faster than with traditional cabled systems.  RT3 supports well over 250,000 cableless channels that can be laid out in the highly variable geometries that are common in today's high-density surveys.

A typical RT3 configuration consists of tens of thousands of ultra-lightweight and ultra-low power recording units (Motes) that communicate via radios to a grid of Ground Relay Units (GRUs) that transport the seismic data in real time to the fully interactive central recording system.  RT3 incorporates all of the relevant industry-proven RT2 features, including real-time data QC and Hybrid Radio Telemetry (where any Mote that becomes "stranded" from the radio network will temporarily become an autonomous node until radio connectivity is restored).  The RT3 radio network is completely self-organizing, requiring minimal resources during deployment.

The RT3 Mote weighs less than 1kg, further reducing the weight differential between a cabled system and a cable-free system.  The RT3 Mote is available in two models--one with an internal high-output geophone and the other with a standard connector for an external string of geophones.

The Ground Relay Unit (GRU) delivers significantly higher seismic data throughput than any cabled system on the market.  The GRU is a full duplex transceiver which significantly reduces line latency and increases the number of receivers supported in a line segment.  Sustained throughput is approximately 20+ Mbps with a "burst" rate of up to 55 Mbps.  Legacy cabled systems historically operate at 8 or 16 Mbps.

A newly designed central recording system included a spread manager that provides three independent views of the spread, including continuous seismic energy and ambient noise levels.  A parameter management systems simplifies operations, and the spread health dashboard provides the user with a quick and consolidated means of reviewing and fixing user-addressable system problems.  The system automatically engages the required receivers for production, while leaving other parts of the spread in a monitored low-power state.

"RT3 is a game-changing technology that will enable the great majority of seismic contractors, around the world, that currently enjoy the benefits of real-time seismic systems, to finally decommission their old  cabled systems and replace them with a real-time, cable-free system," states Mick Lambert, President and CEO of Wireless Seismic.  "The significantly reduced weight and cost of RT3 will make ultra-high channel count projects much more cost effective, especially for the rapidly emerging requirement for high-density seismic surveys."

EAGE Paris Edition, May 2017 

Wireless Seismic adds new RT System 2 clients — Hanshin Consultants Co., Ltd. (Osaka, Japan), JGI, Inc.,  (Tokyo, Japan), and the University of Stavanger (Norway) have all purchased RT System 2 for their geophysical, engineering, and research needs. 

Existing clients expand their RT System 2s — Geopartner Sp z o.o. (Krakow, Poland), West Bay Geophysical (Traverse City, Michigan, U.S.A.), and Gallego Technic Geophysics (Aurignac, France) have expanded their RT System 2 seismic data acquisition systems to accommodate the increasing demand to use environmentally friendly cableless systems, while simultaneously providing real-time QC for their varied and challenging seismic acquisition projects.

REDUCED Power Consumption — RT System 2 now features new hardware developed to significantly reduce WRU power consumption on seismic data acquisition projects worldwide.

Is Real Time really THAT important in cableless acquisitions systems? — Read the list comparing the features of RT System 2 and a "blind" nodal system.

Visit Wireless Seismic at EAGE Paris | June 12 to 15 | Stand 225 — Featuring our Next Generation Radio Technology.  Stop by for a visit to see what's new!

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Published in HARTENERGY E&P magazine, June 2016, John Flavell Smith, Wireless Seismic, Inc.

The low oil price has forced our industry to take a comprehensive top-to-bottom look at the cost of doing business.  The current commodity pricing levels have shown little sign of changing, so companies have had to quickly adjust to the "new normal."  However, "It's an ill wind that blows nobody any good," as exploration and production companies take advantage of significantly lower seismic data acquisition prices when compared to recent years.

Further down the food chain, the same situation applies with equipment suppliers sharpening their pencils to offer contractors the most competitive deals in a tight market.  An obvious and effective short-term way to ease cash outflows is to slash capital spending.  From a seismic contractor's perspective, the most logical steps might be to make do with the recording equipment already in their inventories or to buy the cheapest equipment available.  However, this approach might look like a good short-term decision, but to focus on the balance sheet at the expense of the profit and loss account could have the medium-term effect of further reducing already thin margins.  

It is important that contractors look beyond the purchase price of the system and consider the true cost of ownership.  In many cases, the purchase price of a new system could be fully recouped in just a few months through greatly improved operational efficiencies.

In the current industry downturn, seismic contractors have tens, if not hundreds of thousands of cable channels stacked in their warehouses.  Again, with an eye to the balance sheet, when the markets start to recover, contractors will understandably wish to bring these aging systems out of retirement.  There is the strong possibility that these systems have deteriorated in storage and will present a multitude of problems when deployed in the field, severely impacting the crew productivity and profitability.  Hence, there is a strong argument for contractors to upgrade their systems as the market recovers to avoid this potential pitfall.


Consider the purchase of a land seismic recording system.  In the interests of industry harmony, let's start by stating that there are no bad systems on the market and each system has it pros and cons, which may make them more suitable to a particular type of acquisition or terrain.

Cable systems can be bought relatively cheaply (the word "relatively" is used advisedly).  The systems work well in most situations, but the cables themselves are prone to leakage, especially in wet environments, resulting in considerable time spent at the beginning of each shooting day troubleshooting the cable network.  This shortened workday directly reduces crew productivity.

The cables are heavy and bulky, which add to the cost and complexity of logistics and crew headcount.  In populated or agricultural areas, where there may be local opposition to exploration, the cables are vulnerable to damage, which further impacts productivity and the operational expenses and costs of cable repairs (Image 1).

Autonomous nodal systems escape the problems of cables, giving optimal productivity, as the contractor can just acquire data almost regardless of environmental conditions.  These lower weight and volume systems ease logistics and transportation costs.  However, some of these gains are reversed by the need to harvest the data, either in situ or at the base camp--both instances requiring complex transcription and trained staff, and that is without the 10%-15% extra channels to replace those taken off-line for harvesting and re-charging.

As these nodal systems lack "command and control" capabilities, the operator does not know the status of the system, and expensive mistakes can be made, leading to the negative outcomes previously cited--sometimes shooting data that has to be re-acquired.  Data are stored for long periods in the field units, making the valuable dataset vulnerable to theft.


Wireless Seismic, Inc.'s cable-free RT System 2 has a scalable real-time radio network giving the observer complete control at all times.  RT System 2 is capable of recording many thousands of channels in real time, just like a traditional cable system.  As it is cable free, logistics are eased, and as it is a real-time system, there is no complex data harvesting and associated infrastructure or "last patch" effect.

The freedom from cables also gives flexibility in deployment.  Imagine a contractor using a blind nodal system to acquire a 3D survey with 10,000 active channels deployed in the field.  During the survey, the contractor will harvest the data from the nodes on a routine rolling basis, perhaps taking 10%-15% of the nodes offline at any one time to download the data and often to recharge the batteries before they are re-deployed on the line.  At the end of the survey, all of the nodes have to be collected from the field and moved to the base camp to download the massive amount of data.  Inevitably, this process takes time, and the client frequently has to wait for more than a month before having access to the complete dataset. 

RT System 2 transfers data in real time, so it does not require a harvesting function, and it avoids both the "last patch" delay in data availability and the requirement for extra capital expenditure on more nodes to compensate for the absence of nodes from the line during data harvesting.

During a recent 3D survey over varied terrain in the Kurdish Autonomous region of Iraq, a number of advantages of a real-time and cable-free system were demonstrated.  RT System 2 was deployed in an agricultural area when the fields were being plowed in preparation for sowing.  The seismic contractor worked with the farmers to ensure minimal disruption to the crew operations.  Because the RT System 2 Wireless Remote Units (WRUs) are free-standing, the farmers were able to plow around the WRUs with minimal inconvenience to their plowing schedule (Image 2).  Had the contractor been using a cabled system, the disruption to both the contractor and the farmers would have been significant in terms of both lost time and damaged equipment.

Areas of the prospect were steep and rocky, which proved to be a difficult medium in which to consistently plant geophones (Image 3).  The live spread comprised up to 11,000 channels with each string having 2 X 6 geophones, which meant that 132,000 individual geophones were required to be planted. With the RT System 2 real-time QC, poor geophone plants were detected instantly across the entire spread.  Poorly planted geophones were identified and re-planted properly, thus improving data quality.  Statistics can also be kept on planting quality for each layout crew.

An earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale occurred overnight close to the prospect during the survey, with its epicenter over the border in Iran.  Aftershocks persisted for 90 seconds every 5 minutes or so over several days and obliterated the data.  There was no physical evidence of the aftershocks at the recorder, but it could be seen clearly on the RT System 2 data displays.  Consequently, the crew was able to cease operations as the aftershocks occurred, avoiding acquiring data that otherwise would have been swamped by noise (Image 4).

At times, there was artillery fire from ISIS and/or Peshmerga forces at a distance of 25-30 km from the survey area.  As with the earthquake aftershocks, the bombardments could not be heard or physically sensed at the recorder or on the line, but could be seen distinctly on RT System 2 data displays.  Real-time QC enabled the noise to be monitored and the acquisition suspended and restarted as required (Image 5).

The lower weight and volume of cable-free systems reduces transportation costs and effort.  Contractors using RT System 2 consistently enjoy reduced headcount on the crew, with consequent reductions in camp size, the number of vehicles on the crew, and the number of vehicle movements, all of which leads to a significant decrease in the headline HSE exposure of the crew.  Since the equipment can be re-deployed more efficiently because of its high mobility, fewer channels are required on the crew, resulting in a reduction of capital costs.

In conclusion, the constant QC gives the observer the tools to know when to start and stop acquisition to optimize data quality and avoid the pitfalls of nodal systems.  RT System 2 crews have lower headcounts that reduce carbon and environmental footprints.  Most important of all, operational expenses are minimized, which is just what the industry needs in this "new normal" pricing climate.

EAGE Vienna Edition, May 2016 

Atlas Geophysics expands RT System 2 acquisition system — Atlas Geophysics, LLC, based in Newcastle, Texas, recently expanded their RT System 2 to facilitate the acquisition of large-channel-count 3D seismic surveys.  "At the close of two full years of operations using RT System 2, we have been able to consistently operate with almost 25% few personnel than were used with the previous system," states Griffin Phillips, Owner of Atlas Geophysics.

GALLEGO TECHNIC Geophysics purchases RT System 2 — GALLEGO TECHNIC Geophysics, based in Aurignac, France, purchased RT System 2 to use for 2D/3D seismic surveys for geothermal prospecting, oil and mineral resources exploration, and civil construction (tunnels, metro stations, etc.) throughout Western Europe.  "We work mainly in urban areas and wanted a wireless system with a highly developed infrastructure to allow us to quickly deploy and pick up the equipment with minimal manpower," states Pierre Gallego, Director of GALLEGO.

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New Year Edition, February 2016 

- Wireless Seismic remains optimistic despite industry slump 
- Yug-Neftegaz purchases RT System 2 
- Bay Geophysical expands acquisition system 
- West Bay Geophysical acquires additional channels 

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SEG 2015 New Orleans Edition, September 2015 

- Looking beyond capital costs to see true cost of ownership — Low oil prices have forced our industry to take a look at the cost of doing business and to adjust quickly to a "new normal." 
- SINOPEC purchases RT System 2
- Elnusa purchases RT System 2 
- Wireless Seismic and FairfieldNodal settle lawsuit 

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