19–23 Jun 2023
Hofburg Palace & Online
Europe/Vienna timezone

Decreasing Operational Costs by Enhancing Regional and Local Capabilities: A New Paradigm for Long Term Global Network Operations

21 Jun 2023, 09:00


Board: 54
E-poster T4.4 International Monitoring System Sustainment Lightning talks: P2.1, P2.3, P4.4


Mr Robert Mellors (University of California, San Diego)


The IDA/GSN seismic network consists of 40 broadband seismic stations around the globe. Fifteen stations serve as auxiliary seismic stations of the International Monitoring System (IMS). During the COVID-19 pandemic, travel was severely disrupted. However, after considerable adjustment, network data return remained good and operational costs decreased. This was due to several factors: 1) decreased international travel by US based field engineers, 2) increased reliance on local operators to perform more complex operations and maintenance tasks and 3) increased spare equipment on site. Repairs and sensor replacements were conducted by either local station operators, local contractors, or in-country seismic technicians. Advanced training of local operators was based on improved documentation, sometimes with on-site video streaming using cell phone based applications. Difficulties included a wide range of time zones for the US based engineers and cross-language communication combined with sometimes poor audio quality. These difficulties were addressed by developing more extensive step by step documentation and communication improved over time. Benefits consisted of less travel and associated costs by the US engineers and increased capabilities by station personnel. These benefits have continued even as COVID-19 related travel restrictions have been lifted. Recommendations for the future include increased remote training.

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New ways to decrease seismic network operational costs and enhance regional and local cooperation.

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Primary author

Mr Robert Mellors (University of California, San Diego)


Carl Ebeling (University of California, San Diego) Mr Chris Sites (University of California, San Diego) Mr Dan Auerbach (University of California, San Diego) Mr Don Elliott (University of California, San Diego) Mr Erik Klimczak (University of California, San Diego) Mr Heinz Wuhrmann (University of California, San Diego) J. Peter Davis (University of California, San Diego) Mr Jim Conley (University of California, San Diego) Mr Jon Berger (University of California, San Diego) Mr Scott Bargabus (University of California, San Diego) Ms Sonya Wilson (University of California, San Diego) Mr William Hatfield (University of California, San Diego)

Presentation materials