Surveying Land and Sea


The performance of today’s leading edge towed seismic streamer systems and bottom mounted arrays are demanding more efficient, reliable and accurate cable navigatoil-gasion and positioning. In seismic system installations, these systems require high heading and attitude accuracy real-time and under extreme ocean conditions.

Precise and real-time measurements of heading, pitch, and roll angles along the array cables are valuable output data for accurate seismic streamer navigation, positioning and survey performance. The complex nature of dynamic seismic sub-bottom profiling and imaging systems presents significant technical challenges, requiring maximum sensor accuracy- reliably, quickly, and repeatedly. Seismic data collection is costly and time consuming. Oil & gas geophysical exploration customers are increasing demands for better survey data quality.

A complete system integrating MEMS inertial sensors, magnetometers, and algorithms to process and manage sensor data is required to overcome this challenging application. More accurate streamer positioning and navigation results in enhanced, higher resolution image processing from the ship’s survey. For seismic streamers and in-water ancillary equipment this must be accomplished cost effectively within a small, lightweight package with minimal power demands on the data acquisition system.

Key Benefits

Sparton understands the complexity, challenges, and requirements of seismic survey systems and ancillary in-water equipment. Our line of sensor systems offers a complete and integrated solution that not only outputs accurate magnetic azimuth/heading and attitude data, but much more:

  • State-of-the-art tri-axial magnetometers augmented with tri-axial MEMS accelerometers and gyros correct for streamer and array attitude and motion.

  • Tri-axial gyros also provide heading stability in the presence of transient magnetic disturbances; e.g., streamers passing in close proximity to large ferrous structures.

  • Calibrated sensor data can be streamed real-time, eliminating the need for an additional IMU product.

  • Our proprietary AdaptNav sensor fusion algorithm provides in-field magnetic calibration and real-time optimization of sensor performance in varying magnetic and dynamic operating environments.

  • AdaptNav also provides real-time platform “noise” characterizations used for drift compensation of heading, pitch and roll when in electrically and mechanically “noisy” environments.

  • Our one-of-a-kind NorthTek embedded programming platform provides virtually limitless output customization as well as additional processing capability that can be utilized to off-load data processing tasks from the host platform. Think of it as having the ability to write, download, and run custom apps for your streamer positioning and navigation system.

  • Sparton’s sensor systems can also be arbitrarily mounted on the platform and easily “tared” or “bore sighted” in the field to a true north heading or even a known heading and attitude.

  • Simple, fast, in-field calibration ensures rapid system availability and maximum accuracy.

  • Multiple data outputs for calculation of figure of merit (FOM) for heading accuracy and quality of calibration.

  • Optional “strap down” mounting configurations: ruggedized mount with USB cable or lightweight, precision mount with configurable ribbon cable allowing for flexibility and highly accurate mechanical positioning.

All this in a package that is less than 0.8 in3, weighs 16g, and consumes only 330 mW.  This is not a conventional magnetic compass! It is an affordable “state of the art”, integrated sub-system that provides heading, azimuth and inertial data outputs while minimizing size, weight, power and cost.

Elbit Systems of America

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