This award, jointly funded by NSF and the USGS, will permit the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory of the University of California at Berkeley (BSL), in collaboration with its commercial partner, Metrozet, LLC (Torrance, CA), to develop and test new mechanical sensors for the Streckeisen STS-1 Very Broad-Band (VBB) seismometer. The STS-1, widely viewed as the finest VBB sensor in the world, is currently the principal seismometer used by the Global Seismographic Network (GSN) and several other global or regional seismic networks. Its continued operation is critical to future, fundamental research in a number of important disciplines within seismology. These include studies of the earth's deep interior, the determination of source processes of very large earthquakes, and tsunami warning. However, the STS-1 is no longer manufactured commercially. The ultimate goal of the team is to develop a design that allows an integrated, triaxial STS-1 sensor to be manufactured, sold, and supported at a cost that is competitive with current (lower performance) sensors. Of equal importance is that the new sensor be available with shorter leadtimes than is typical with many past and current sensors. This work will also provide significant educational and training opportunities for seismic instrumentation engineers, postdoctoral researchers, and graduate students at UC Berkeley.

Project Report

This program successfully developed a new seismic sensor to replace the original Streckeisen STS-1VBB seismometer. This is an electromechanical sensor that consists of a mechanical transducer and an electronics module. The exsiting sensors were no longer sold or supported by the original manufacturer (Streckeisen GmBH, Switzerland). This instrumentation is the primary seismic sensor in a number of global seismic networks. These include National Science Foundation(NSF)-funded networks, such as the Global Seismographic Network (GSN). This sensor is the highest performance very broadband (VBB) sensor in the world, capturing high fidleity ground motion data over a frequency range of 0.1 milli-Hz to 10 Hz. The lack of modern, commercially-available options for sensors of this class has been a longstanding concern to the seismological research community. Viable options for its replacement have been the subject of numerous academic workshops and meetings. Within a unique private-public partnership (between Metrozet, LLC and University of California Berkeley), a modern version of this sensor has been developed and qualified. The development program was funded by the NSF Earth Sciences Directorate (EAR/IF). It is a follow-on program to a successfully-completed development that resulted in a commercially-available replacement electronics product that can be used with the original mechanical sensor elements. This follow-on program concentrated on the development of new mechanical sensors. The complete instrument has demonstrated performance comparable to the original instruments, in independently verified tests. It is now ready to be placed into service worldwide.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Earth Sciences (EAR)
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David Lambert
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Metrozet, LLC
United States
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