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These days, you often hear that seismic is a commodity, that all traces are created equal. Price is all that matters. Of course, price does matter, certainly more than most contractors and equipment providers would like. But, in reality, there remains a formidable challenge for data providers: increase the quality of seismic data through intensive research and development while consistently lowering costs.
Considerable disagreement exists on how to meet this challenge. For example, at a recent conference, one speaker commented that he doubted if there would ever be a worthwhile fiber optic sensor developed. While many would disagree, including this writer and the US Navy, it exemplifies the range of opinions. Other issues include: achieving the lowest possible power requirements for certain applications; meeting high temperature and pressure requirements for wellbore installations; ensuring long lifetimes for permanent installations, whether on the seafloor or in the wellbore; ruggedness with less weight; ease of orienting multicomponent systems; improving vector fidelity; and eliminating noise.
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