The Atom-1C and Atom-3C passive seismographs are nodal, containing their own battery, A/D chip, WiFi, and GPS. They do not require the use of spread cables or other cumbersome seismic equipment, and can be used to record ambient microtremors for passive-seismic applications. Atom Seismographs can also be used to perform active seismic surveys as well without any modifications. As a demonstration of their key advantages over more common and bulky seismographs, the visual field guide below walks you through the deployment of 10 Atom Seismographs in the remote and rugged terrain of the California Redwoods.

Packed snug inside this backpack are 7x Atom-1C seismographs, 3x Atom-3C seismographs, 7x vertical 2Hz geophones, 3x 3-component 2Hz geophones, 50m survey tape, iPad (for connection to the Atoms), WiFi access point (Atom to iPad bridge), notebook, geology hammer, stakes, and miscellaneous tools. Weighing in at 60 lbs (27 kg), the pack is heavy but comfortably hiked with due to it’s rugged design and efficient loading system.
Trek to remote and inaccessible terrain with the Atom Seismograph, and because of its rapid setup and breakdown time, collect multiple datasets in one day. Small surveys <50 meters can be setup in less than 15 minutes, and larger surveys >50 meters can be setup in as little as 30 minutes by a well-trained operator.
Before the first survey of the day, a huddle test is recommended to ensure all the Atoms are fully operational and functioning normally. Huddle the Atoms together, turn them on (2 second power button hold, single beep upon release) and collect 1-2 minutes of data. Power off all Atoms and afterwards (press and release power button once), switch the Atoms to data download mode (press power button for six seconds, instrument will double beep upon release). Connect to them using the Atom Downloader App (Atom Downloader Training Video) and perform the QC check.
The Atom-1C uses a simple and waterproof LCK connector. The Atom-3C uses a proprietary waterproof connector. Before connecting a geophone ensure that the Atom is off.
The orange Atom-3C has 3 built-in channels compared to the yellow Atom-1C which collects data over a single channel. The Atom-3C is the ideal nodal seismograph for HVSR and Love wave surveys. Here the Atoms are being deployed 2 meters apart from one another, measured using the survey tape. Each Atom can be carried using its carrying loop, or they can be carried using the strong geophone lead cables. If you choose to carry the seismographs this way, be careful not to pinch the lead cables too tightly, or you may cause damage and limit their lifespan. GPS accuracy for the Atom is between 2-5 meters, so ensure the Atom is close to the geophone for the highest accuracy. For the best data quality, couple each geophone strongly into the soil and with less than a 5-degree deviation from vertical. Test the geophone’s coupling to ensure that it has a snug grip on the ground and that it doesn’t move at all when touched.
Once the GPS light is rapidly blinking, data is being recorded at the chosen sample rate. It is best to take field notes recording the start/stop time of the survey, survey geometry, location of each Atom, any problems encountered, and the timestamp of any significant seismic events that occurred (car driving by, close foot traffic, etc). The Atom records data continuously and until turned off. The Atom-1C has a battery life of 70 hours, and the Atom-3C has a battery life of 50 hours.
After the survey is complete, the Atoms can be turned off via a simple press of the power button (Press and release Power button once) and grouped together again. Activate the WiFi access point, connect to the WiFi access point using the phone, tablet, or laptop system settings, open the Atom Downloader app (mobile or windows), and then power each Atom to data download mode (hold Power button for 6-seconds). All the datasets stored on the Atom can be viewed, and once the complete chosen dataset is downloaded, the data can be processed using the SeisImager/SW, either with the mobile or windows application.

for in-depth training on the Atom Seismograph, both for field operations and data processing using SeisImager/SW, please watch the training videos below: