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Down Conversion of Ambient Seismic Noise As A Tool To Detect Non-Linearity And

Estimate Instrument Noise Levels In A Gravity Meter

1 2 3 3 3 3
P. MacQueen* , A. Hugill , R. Billson , A. Constantino , J. MacQueen , T. Niebauer
1Colorado School of Mines 2Scintrex Ltd. 3Micro-g LaCoste, Inc. *

Introduction Detecting Non-Linearity Method: Table Mountain Tests

Many applications (e.g., solid earth tide) of continuously Break data into segments of varying start times and lengths Three gravity meters recording simultaneously at
recording spring gravimeters require low noise floor
seismically quiet Table Mountain Gravity Observatory
* For each data segment: calculate total power and average *

Force feedback systems in spring gravimeters can have power in quiet frequency band Confirmed absence of non-linearity, low noise floor
non-linearities that down convert seismic noise, raise Independent tests of PAT plot method
Plot total power vs. average power (Fig. 3)
noise level of meter *
Create PAT (Power Assessment Tool) plot (2-D histogram)
Correlation between power of total signal and power in No non-linearity, low
(Figs. 4 and 5)
seismically quiet frequency band indicates down noise floor
conversion of seismic noise, non-linearity Non-linearity -> down conversion -> trend/cloud Fig. 9 PAT plot for gPhone 142,

If no correlation, can obtain estimate of noise floor No non-linearity -> no down conversion -> flat band showing absence of non-linearity
and a noise floor of 0.2 µGal/√(Hz)
Fig. 3 Scatter plot of total segment power vs. quiet band flat band=noise floor
power for a meter with no non-linearity

Gravity Meter Design PAT plot, no non-linearity PAT plot, with non-linearity
Measure of gravity = force No non-linearity, low
Fixed Plate +E
required to keep moveable noise floor
Fig. 10 PAT plot for gPhone 146,
d Moveable Plate e plate centered showing absence of non-linearity
x *
and a noise floor of 0.2 µGal/√(Hz)
0 Capacitor plates allow more
d stable design, greater
Fixed Plate -E precision
Fig. 1 Schematic of capacitor plates in
* PAT plot method
force-feedback gravity meter If moveable plate is not suitable for different
centered, will be squared Fig. 4 PAT plot for a meter with no non-linearity and Fig. 5 PAT plot for a meter with non-linearity types of gravimeters
component to signal (Eq. 1) noise floor of 0.2 µGal/√(Hz)
Fig. 11 PAT plot for
superconducting gravity meter

Eq. 1 Force on central moveable

Potential to down Background Seismic Noise showing a noise floor of 0.15
capacitor plate, offsets from center will convert signal through Randomly changing phase
create a squared term
Total power varies with time PAT plot noise floor
estimate confirmed by
Amplitude ~20-100 µGal peak difference spectrum
Down Conversion of Seismic Noise
Seismic peak in periods of ~3-7s between meters
Squared component of noise:
Down converts seismic peak to create increase in Quiet frequency band at ~100s
Fig. 12 Difference spectrum for
gPhones 142 and 146, showing
***noise floor at low frequencies noise floor at 0.2 µGal/√(Hz)
Fig. 6 Total power over a 12 day period, amplitude of background
Creates artifical second seismic peak seismic noise varies with time

Non-linearities in sensor design can cause down
conversion of seismic noise

Non-linearities can be detected by evidence of down

conversion in PAT plot
PAT plot gives upper estimate of noise floor of gravimeter

Thank you to Derek van Westrum for his assistance with
Fig. 2 Synthetic noise spectrum (blue) and squared synthetic
Fig. 7 A two minute time slice of seismic noise Fig. 8 PAT plot for a case with no non-linearity and measurements at Table Mountain Gravity Observatory, and
recorded by gPhone #146 on November 17, 2014 noise floor of 0.2 µGal/sqrt(Hz)
noise spectrum (green) Pete Nelson for constructive feedback and advice.

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