Case Study

SmartSolo in Saudi Arabia

11th– 26th Feb 2018, DTCC were participant in a field test to compare candidate acquisition systems in Saudi Arabia. SmartSolo was selected by the hosting client as one of the more promising systems for experimentation in this desert environment. The field test was undertaken to assess operation and performance of the 10 Hz SmartSolo node acquisition system, and primarily compare this with a modern cable system equipped with 3×3 geophone configuration. On the same field test, results were also to be compared with those from three other node systems provided by well-known industry equipment providers.

The main objective was to compare data quality of the autonomous node acquisition systems, along with differences in relative sensitivity or each geophone type being used. Speed and ease of use of the systems was also being evaluated, including number of line crew required, and any new procedures and/or equipment that would need to be developed to maximise the efficiency of the system for desert conditions.

The western plateau of Saudi Arabia has a Mediterranean climate, while other regions in the locale are generally more tropical desert climate. It is hot and dry in summer when the temperature can reach 50°C, with mild weather during winter. The annual maximum average rainfall is around 200mm. The high temperatures in Saudi Arabia are challenging for all autonomous node acquisition systems. This field test was completed in February when the average daily temperature was around 35°C, and where nodes were required to operate continuously for several days. Despite the high external (and even higher internal) node temperature, SmartSolo showed no problems during this period of uninterrupted operation.


Due to the prevalence of soft sand deployment conditions throughout the area, a burial test was initially completed. SmartSolo showed stable GPS performance when tested at 20cm, 40cm and 80cm burial depth in the sand.

Following the burial test, all systems were then deployed on 5 test lines with 25m node interval, 300 co-located receiver stations, total 7475m line length

SmartSolo 10Hz IGU recording parameters were setup as follows
Sample rate: 2ms
ADC Gain: 12db
Anti-Alias Filter: Linear
Low Cut Filter Out
Rec Mode Continuous

From the field test, key observations for SmartSolo were as follows:

Having no connectors/cables reduced crew labour compared to traditional cable system.

Less troubleshooting, compared to many connection problems usually encountered.
Very efficient with 300 SmartSolo deployed in 3.5 hours using 2 personnel and 1 truck.
It was noted that the SmartSolo system recorded high quality seismic data that fully complied with local data requirements, showing excellent coupling in the desert conditions.
SmartSolo was still able to receive GPS for timing discipline when buried up to 1m in sand.

After correlation, the shot gather is continuous, even though source signal was a little weak.