I/O Unveils FireFly - Revolutionary Land Seismic Acquisition System

Input/Output announced its planned introduction of a next-generation solution for cableless land seismic acquisition. Known as FireFly(TM), this latest innovation from I/O combines proven wireless communication, data storage, and power technologies in a seismic acquisition system architecture that is capable of supporting cost-effective, high station-count surveys. FireFly is designed to enable fully sampled, full-wave data acquisition, while simultaneously increasing operational productivity and reducing health, safety, and environmental (HSE) risks. FireFly is scheduled for commercial release in late 2006, at which time it will join System Four® and VectorSeis® Ocean in the company's portfolio of full-wave acquisition platforms.

Bob Peebler, I/O President and CEO, commented on the announcement, "To take seismic imaging to the next level onshore, our industry needs a land recording system capable of cost-effectively acquiring fully sampled, full-wave seismic data. The vast majority of existing land acquisition systems rely on cable-based architectures. FireFly overcomes the constraints cables impose on seismic survey design and the resulting adverse effects on image quality. By utilizing FireFly, our customers will have the ability to customize seismic surveys and deploy more sensors to fully sample specific subsurface targets at any depth. Since FireFly will utilize I/O's VectorSeis sensors, geophysicists will now have a platform for acquiring full-wave, broadband seismic data in a cost-effective manner."

Along with delivering enhanced image quality, FireFly has been designed as a scalable system that improves the productivity of land acquisition and minimizes HSE risks during field operations irrespective of the number of stations deployed. FireFly's total system weight, including associated ground electronics and power supplies, is reduced by up to 80% compared to conventional, cable-based systems. In addition, the downtime and cost to troubleshoot, repair, and maintain a cableless system should be significantly less than for a cable-based architecture. Reductions in weight and troubleshooting time translate into less manpower intensity in the field and improved crew safety performance. The smaller footprint of FireFly also reduces the risk of environmental disturbance compared to cable-based seismic systems.

Peebler concluded, "We have been working on the detailed design of FireFly since early 2004 and have recently conducted successful field tests of key system components. Throughout our development cycle, I/O has engaged thought-leaders from prominent seismic contractors and oil & gas companies. As a group, we share a common vision for the revolution that FireFly can make possible in land seismic imaging. Our collective efforts have identified areas throughout the seismic workflow - including survey design approaches, hardware, command and control software, and processing and interpretation techniques - that are obstacles to the ideal land imaging program.

FireFly incorporates technologies from throughout I/O, including our Concept Systems and GX Technology groups, to overcome these obstacles. We look forward to our continued collaboration with the seismic contracting community and oil & gas companies as we work together to accelerate the adoption of FireFly and full-wave as the new seismic imaging standards."

FireFly incorporates several unique features to support high productivity acquisition of broadband, fully sampled, full-wave seismic data:

  • VectorSeis compatibility - single-point, 3C recording using digital MEMS accelerometers, with backwards compatibility to System Four VectorSeis modules
  • Storage mode architecture - autonomous, self-contained Field Station Units (FSUs) that store tens of thousands of 3C shot records in non-volatile memory
  • Wireless telemetry - eliminating interconnecting cables between stations
  • Self-contained power supply - individual, rechargeable batteries in each FSU
  • Intelligent QC - independent communications links to the central system with user-configurable QC parameters and thresholds
  • Embedded global positioning system (GPS) - to provide accurate location data
  • Concept Systems operational control & data management software - an integrated suite of field management applications designed to ensure rapid station deployment, support streamlined and safety-conscious execution of the acquisition workflow, and deliver auto-collated data that is processing ready.