REF TEK Finds Success with New Broadband Seismometer

PRESS RELEASE – April 26, 2011

In 2008, REF TEK (REF TEK) entered a new market – selling Broadband Seismometers. REF TEK led the seismic market with its High Resolution Broadband Recorder, model 130-01, for over ten years, but was looking for a new way to provide the customers with a price competitive, reliable turn-key solution. With the introduction of REF TEK’s new 151 series broadband seismometer, “Observer”, REF TEK was able to provide a complete solution for a broadband station to customers worldwide.

Within two years time the three 151 models 151-120, 151-60, and 151-30 (with 120, 60, and 30 second response to 50 Hz) began creating a buzz and caught the attention of many in the seismic community. Due to the high quality, reliable seismometer and word-of-mouth, REF TEK has successfully sold over 200 sensors since mid 2008 to customers in such countries as Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, India, Jordan, Malawi, Panama, Russia, the United States, among other countries.

The “Observer” has proven to be a reliable seismometer for both temporary and permanent installation and has shown to have strong performance and reliability in the field. In fact, since being on the market, there has been 100% customer satisfaction with no mechanical or electrical failures after the initial customer installation.

The 151 series seismometers have a user-friendly design with outstanding performance and are suitable for both permanent and temporary deployment. Due to the excellent mechanical and temperature stability, it takes only minutes for the 151 “Observer” to stabilize and begin recording high quality data, while most other commercially available broadband sensors require hours, if not days, from the initial set-up to stabilize and begin recording.

In 2009, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) released a public tender to provide broadband seismometers for earthquake and volcano monitoring. REF TEK participated in the tender offering, per the tender specifications, both the 151-120 and 151-60 seismometers. After thorough review of, not only the specifications, but also testing the 151 “Observer” seismometers, USGS awarded REF TEK a one year contract, with a possible extension of the contract for up to four additional years. The contract G10PC00055 was awarded in March 2010. USGS has currently chosen to extend the contract with REF TEK through March 2012 due to the success of the sensors which USGS has purchased.

Throughout 2010, the seismometers continued to gain customer recognition and respect in the market, and it proved to be a strong year for REF TEK. Based on a method developed by The Albuquerque Seismic Laboratory, the ASL evaluated the seismometers that were currently in use with broadband applications, specifically evaluating the sensor noise levels. The results, which were published in the journal issue of Seismological Research Letters Volume 81, Number 6, November/December 2010, confirmed that the 151-120 has exceptional low self-noise performance among other commercially available seismometers that were also tested.

Each 151 series “Observer” sensor comes standard with a.) T-type Allen wrench key for leveling; b.) Aluminum carrying case with pre-cut foam; c) orientation pins. For customers who are concerned with air flow or short-term fluctuating temperatures inside the sensor vault, REF TEK has created a thermal cover insulation bag which is fabricated from Micro fleece material with primaloft insulation and will insure that the sensor always produces the highest quality data. Customers who are interested in protecting the sensor when shipping or transporting it over long distances may be interested in the ruggedized transport case. Both the thermal cover and the ruggedized transport case are optional items and can be quoted upon the customer’s request.

For more information regarding the self-noise test and results, please refer to the Seismological Research Letters Volume 81, Number 6, November/December 2010 or contact REF TEK for an electronic copy of the article.

See the 151 broadband seismometer page for detailed specifications.

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