June 21, 1998

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Not all work is done in the field. Because of our limited funds, we often have to craft our own equipment. Here we see Michael in the lab, testing out one of the sensor coils for one of our seismic sensor models. When it has been calibrated, its characteristics will be written into an EPROM chip in one of our tele remote sensor packages, which will then be buried or mounted at one of our field sites. A pendulum will be suspended above the coil, which during an earthquake, will cause changes in the standing waves in the sensor coil. Those changes will be recorded as an energy vector over time and radio-relayed to one of our central computer banks.

Some field sites don't have a good access to electricity, enough sun to power a solar generator, or a location that gives good radio link feedback to one of our central computer banks. For those sites, we rely on analog sensors which we manually inspect and then we record the data into field manuals for later entry into the computer.

One of our cheaper analog sensors consists of a container of viscous fluid. We layer on top of that fluid an organic mixture called a "Silicon-Carbon Unified Mixture" (a.k.a. S.C.U.M.) - a precise mixture of organic and inorganic solids which have been ground to form a precise aggregate. This mixture leaves a ring on the inside of the container as the fluid is sloshed around during an earthquake. By looking at the density and angle of the ring left in the container, we can compute an approximation of the energy vector, though we lose the time information.

Here we see Michael injecting the precise amount of S.C.U.M into the container so that a month's worth of readings can be recorded.

Visible in the background is the motorized power base for one of our Quake Exploration Devices - the Q.E.D Mark 1.

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