Sensors, wireless systems and mapping energy fields

2 November 2012

RICHARDSON, Texas–The surge in U.S. oil and natural gas supplies is due partly to new extraction technologies but also mapping capability that helps that industry find promising spots for fossil fuels.

Enter Inova, a joint venture company owned 51% by BGP (Bureau of Geophysical Prospecting) and 49% by ION Geophysical, which supplies recording instruments to the seismic industry for oil and gas exploration.

BGP is the world’s largest land geophysical service contractor, while ION Geophysical Corp. is a leading provider of geophysical technology, services, and solutions for the global oil & gas industry.

Herb Blair and Harold Sackett are two longtime engineers (Blair’s been interested in electronics since he “was knee-high to a grasshopper”) who are working to bring wireless capability to field networks.

To oversimplify this part of the exploration world, big trucks roam across promising extraction tracts pounding pulses into the earth. Sensors capture the data and feed it back into nearby data centers, called “dog houses.” Until recently, that back channel was a cable.

That’s where Blair and Sackett and Inova come in, helping industry generate 3D maps of what lies beneath the ground:

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