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DIGITIZING AND ANALYZING LEGACY SEISMO-ACOUSTIC DATA

Description:

5.     DIGITIZing AND ANALYZING Legacy Seismo-acoustic Data

Maximum Phase I Award Amount: $200,000

Maximum Phase II Award Amount: $1,100,000

Accepting SBIR Phase I Applications: YES

Accepting STTR Phase I Applications: NO

 

Legacy recordings of seismic or infrasonic/acoustic events, including past nuclear tests, are of interest to the community, but many are hard to analyze because they exist only as paper records of analog waveforms, analog media (e.g., Ampex tapes), or digitized data on obsolete storage media (e.g., Digital Audio Tape (DAT), 9-track, or removable discs) that no longer have readily available readers.  There is an analogous need to digitize similar types of analog data in satellite telemetry (also with Ampex tapes) and medical records (e.g., electrocardiograms), as part of acquiring a broader base of information for historical recordkeeping and research purposes.

 

Threats to the loss of information in legacy analog and digital recordings include the degradation of the physical media and the large physical space required to store the records.  Cataloging and scanning the analog data are a way to triage and preserve the data, but this is only the first step of a path toward a scientifically useful product. Grant applications are sought in the following areas:

 

a.      Digitization of Legacy Seismo-acoustic Waveform Data

Research is needed to improve the robustness and automation of techniques to rapidly and accurately digitize analog records of legacy seismo-acoustic waveform data.  Scanning records has limitations in the tradeoff between scanning time vs. resolution.  A variety of original recording technologies (e.g., paper helicorders, film develocorders), each with associated idiosyncrasies, generated data that must be recovered [1, 2, 3, 4].  Of interest are methods that streamline the scanning and digitization process, ideally allowing for treatment of a variety of original data types and correcting for complications such as overlapping signals, rotating drum distortions, and time marks.  The resulting techniques would enhance legacy data digitization by enabling automated translation of historical data into a useable form.  Digitizations of interest include signal and noise spectra at frequencies from approximately 0.02 to 20 Hz and timing precision that can be quantified.

 

Questions – Contact: Thomas Kiess, thomas.kiess@nnsa.doe.gov

 

b.      Methods to Readily Read, Recover, and Organize Legacy Digital Storage Media

Research is needed to develop methods to readily read, recover, and organize data from legacy digital storage media (e.g., DAT, 9-track, etc.) before these media degrade and become unreadable [1, 2].  Information of interest includes file formats, as well as sensor and catalog metadata.  Metadata includes operational time period and site information, as well as full digital data recovery.  Particular attention is needed for reading aging media (physically and magnetically weak), including the possibility that media may break and degrade beyond usability after a few read cycles [3, 4].

 

Questions – Contact: Thomas Kiess, thomas.kiess@nnsa.doe.gov

 

c.       Analysis Methods to Identify the Instrument Response Function (IRF) for De-convolution

The recorded trace on a seismometer is the incident ground motion convolved with the response function of the sensor and data acquisition system.  It is necessary to remove the response function from the data in order to obtain the true measured time history of ground motion.  Methods of removing the response function exist if it is known [1, 2].  However, for a signal recorded from a legacy instrument, the amplitude and phase response of the instrument may not have been preserved.  Many of these legacy instruments no longer exist and records of calibrations performed during their lifetime may be missing or incomplete.

 

The challenge is to conduct research to devise methods of analyzing the waveform time series represented in the legacy data to estimate the sensor and data acquisition instrument response function (IRF).  The frequency passband required for seismic waveform analysis is primarily over the operational monitoring band of 0.02 to 20 Hz, but also of interest are methods applicable at lower frequencies down to 0.0083 Hz (120-second periods).  Possible approaches can include, but not limited to, analysis of the microseism and other background noise [3], analysis of recorded events in the historical archive with known signal characteristics (such as large magnitude earthquakes), and comparison of the legacy IRF to other nearby seismometers with known response functions that may have been operating during overlapping time periods.

 

A potential approach is to develop a signal analysis algorithm to identify the amplitude of the first and subsequent peaks, and to derive the uncertainty in these values, given an IRF and a noise spectrum model, or in a self-consistent analysis in which the full trace constrains how significant the IRF and noise are in modifying the size of the largest peaks and features. An outcome of interest is to generate such a self-consistent analysis from a legacy recording trace, and deduce limits on how much influence the IRF or noise would have on the amplitude of the major peaks (primarily the first one), to produce the “true amplitude” and its uncertainty.  There might be analogous applications in medical record analyses (e.g., elucidating relative size of s- vs. t- waves vs. other elements of electrocardiogram traces) [4].

 

Questions – Contact: Thomas Kiess, thomas.kiess@nnsa.doe.gov

 

 

 

d.      Other

In addition to the specific subtopics listed above, grant applications in other areas relevant to this topic are invited.

 

Questions – Contact: Thomas Kiess, thomas.kiess@nnsa.doe.gov

 

References: Subtopic a:

1.      Gomes e Silva, A. R., Oliveira, H.M., and Lins, R.D. “Converting EEG, ECG and other paper legated biomedical maps into digital signals.” presented at XXV Simpósio Brasileiro de Telecomunicações, Recife —PE, Brasil, September 3-6, 2003, http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.604.9477&rep=rep1&type=pdf

 

2.      Hwang, L., Ahern, T., Ebinger, C., Ellsworth, W., Euler, G., Okal, E., Okubo, P., and Walter, W. “Workshop Report: Securing legacy seismic data to enable future discoveries.” National Science Foundation, 58 pp, doi:10.31223/osf.io/dre8m, 2019,https://geodynamics.org/cig/events/calendar/2019-seismic-legacy/

 

3.      Sopher, D. “Converting scanned images of seismic reflection data into SEG-Y format.” Earth Science Informatics 11, 241-255, doi:10.1007/s12145-017-0329-z, 2017, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/321057467_Converting_scanned_images_of_seismic_reflection_data_into_SEG-Y_format/fulltext/5a0afae40f7e9b0cc024f897/Converting-scanned-images-of-seismic-reflection-data-into-SEG-Y-format.pdf?origin=publication_detail

 

4.      Young, B., and Abbott, R. “Recovery and Calibration of Legacy Underground Nuclear Test Seismic Data from the Leo Brady Seismic Network,” Seismological Research Letters, 91, 1488–1499, doi: 10.1785/0220190341, 2020, https://pubs.geoscienceworld.org/ssa/srl/article-abstract/91/3/1488/583454/Recovery-and-Calibration-of-Legacy-Underground

 

References: Subtopic b:

1.      Hwang, L., Ahern, T., Ebinger, C., Ellsworth, W., Euler, G., Okal, E., Okubo, P., and Walter, W. “Workshop Report: Securing legacy seismic data to enable future discoveries.” National Science Foundation, 58 pp, doi:10.31223/osf.io/dre8m, 2019, https://geodynamics.org/cig/events/calendar/2019-seismic-legacy/

 

2.      Sopher, D. “Converting scanned images of seismic reflection data into SEG-Y format.” Earth Science Informatics 11, 241-255, doi:10.1007/s12145-017-0329-z, 2017, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/321057467_Converting_scanned_images_of_seismic_reflection_data_into_SEG-Y_format/fulltext/5a0afae40f7e9b0cc024f897/Converting-scanned-images-of-seismic-reflection-data-into-SEG-Y-format.pdf?origin=publication_detail

 

3.      National Recording Preservation Board. “Capturing Analog Sound for Digital Preservation: Report of a Roundtable Discussion of Best Practices for Transferring Analog Discs and Tapes.” March 2006 publication of the National Recording Preservation Board, a report of the Council on Library and Information Resources and the Library of Congress, ISBN 1-932326-25-1, 2006, https://www.clir.org/pubs/reports/pub137/

 

4.      Hess, R. “Tape Degradation Factors and Challenges in Predicting Tape Life” Association for Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC) Journal XXXIV/ii 2008, pp 240-274, 2008, http://www.richardhess.com/tape/history/HESS_Tape_Degradation_ARSC_Journal_39-2.pdf

 

 

References: Subtopic c:

1.      Scherbaum, F. “Of Poles and Zeros: Fundamentals of Digital Seismology.” Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2001, https://www.amazon.com/Poles-Zeros-Fundamentals-Seismology-Approaches/dp/0792368355

 

2.      Havskov, J., Gerardo, A. “Instrumentation in Earthquake Seismology.” Springer, 2016, https://www.amazon.com/Instrumentation-Earthquake-Seismology-Jens-Havskov/dp/331921313X

 

3.      Ringler, A.T., Storm, T., Gee, L.S. et al. “Uncertainty estimates in broadband seismometer sensitivities using microseisms.” SpringerLink, 19, 317–327, doi:10.1007/s10950-014-9467-7, 2015, https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10950-014-9467-7

 

4.      Gomes e Silva, A. R., Oliveira, H.M. and Lins, R. D. “Converting EEG, ECG and other paper legated biomedical maps into digital signals.” presented at XXV Simpósio Brasileiro de Telecomunicações, Recife —PE, Brasil, September 3-6, 2003, http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.604.9477&rep=rep1&type=pdf

 

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