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A discussion on seismic binary gain switching amplifiersNormal access

Authors: Lee Siems and Fred W. Hefer
Journal name: Geophysical Prospecting
Issue: Vol 15, No 1, March 1967 pp. 23 - 34
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2478.1967.tb01770.x
Organisations: Wiley
Language: English
Info: Article, PDF ( 697.14Kb )

Summary:
Geophysical field equipment has undergone rapid changes in the past decade; from simple AGC amplifiers and galvo cameras to binary gain switching amplifiers and digital recorders, all in an attempt to keep pace with the new geophysical interpretive methods developed, and the growing acceptance of the terminology, methods, and philosophy of communication theory.

The additional tools of the digital recorder and digital computer make it possible to utilize these new techniques in geophysical processing. Accomplishing these new techniques demands severe requirements on the digital field recording process in handling the decreasing energy return from the seismometer, and to fully realize the capabilities of digital techniques in reducing data. Simple automatic gain control may be used. However, in the more sophisticated interpretive methods, such as autoregression and deconvolution, it is necessary to reconstruct the actual energy levels in the computer. Recording the control signal used in master AGC or programmed gain control may prove satisfactory; however the accuracy of control versus gain is limited to I% for such analog instrumentation.

To utilize the computer to its fullest extent, and to accurately perform these new techniques, requires an accuracy of I% or better. This accuracy is obtainable by using a step gain control where the gain is increased by fixed steps in which each step represents a gain in amplification by a constant factor. The accuracy in this case can be made dependent only on the tolerance of resistors used as attenuators or feedback elements. Preferably the constant factor of gain steps should be a number easily handled by the computer. By using 6 db steps it becomes a simple matter to shift binary numbers, such as multiplying or dividing by 10 in the decimal system.

The requirements or parameters for such an amplifier system, and the elements of the amplifier necessary to achieve these requirements are presented.


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