Case Study

SmartSolo in Alaska

March 2017, DTCC completed a SmartSolo verification in the freezing climate of north Alaska. Around this time of year, the project location was very cold and dry, with temperatures regularly dropping below -15°C to -30°C, averaging around -20°C. In this region, snow-covered ground has a layer of cryoconite, a powdery windblown dust made of small rock particles, soot and microbes. A total 500 SmartSolo IGUs were deployed to evaluate the hardware performance in this very harsh low temperature environment, and also to assess overall system usability and software functionality.


The IGUs were setup to continuous record (24 hours), and were then deployed on 2 receiver lines. For this test, the IGUs would continue recording until their batteries were fully exhausted, and all IGU finally shut down. All the units were then retrieved, and the data was harvested for analysis. Aside from recording and outputting some high quality vibro-seis data from both a 2D and 3D layout, the temperature and battery voltage data were also extracted from the units. The results show that the IGU can work 24 hours for more than 25 days in these very low temperature conditions.

Test Parameter
Line distance 100m
Receiver interval 20m/ 50m
Sample rate 2ms
Gain 18dB
Recording Length 5s
Recording mode Continuous

The frigid Alaskan environment provided an excellent opportunity to verify SmartSolo performance and operability in these difficult conditions. During the 30-days of field test, there was 0% data lost from the 500 IGUs being used. Both the coupling and GPS signal quality of the IGU worked really well in the snow field, while the battery duration performed better than the quoted specification. The field trial results greatly enhanced the operator’ confidence in SmartSolo, and proved that the system was tough enough, easily deployed and retrieved, and capable of recording high quality data.