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 February 4, 2016 - 8:39 PM EST
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Patent Issued for System and Method for Towed Marine Geophysical Equipment (USPTO 9244185)

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Electronics Newsweekly -- From

Alexandria, Virginia
, VerticalNews journalists report that a patent by the inventor Harrick, Bruce William (
Cypress, TX
), filed on July 17, 2013, was published online on January 26, 2016.

The patent's assignee for patent number 9244185 is PGS Geophysical AS (

, NO).

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "This invention relates generally to the field of geophysical prospecting. More particularly, the invention relates to the field of marine geophysical surveys.

"In the oil and gas industry, geophysical prospecting is commonly used to aid in the search for and evaluation of subterranean formations. Geophysical prospecting techniques yield knowledge of the subsurface structure of the earth, which is useful for finding and extracting valuable mineral resources, particularly hydrocarbon deposits such as oil and natural gas. Well-known techniques of geophysical prospecting include seismic and electromagnet surveys. The resulting geophysical data are processed to yield information relating to the geologic structure and properties of the subterranean formations in the area being surveyed.

"In a marine seismic survey, seismic energy sources are used to generate a seismic signal which, after propagating into the earth, is at least partially reflected by subsurface seismic reflectors. Such seismic reflectors typically are interfaces between subterranean formations having different elastic properties, specifically sound wave velocity and rock density, which lead to differences in acoustic impedance at the interfaces. The reflected seismic energy is detected by seismic sensors (also called seismic receivers) and recorded.

"The appropriate seismic sources for generating the seismic signal in marine seismic surveys typically include a submerged seismic source towed by a ship and periodically activated to generate an acoustic wavefield. The seismic source generating the wavefield is typically an air gun or a spatially-distributed array of air guns.

"The appropriate types of seismic sensors typically include particle velocity sensors (typically, geophones) and water pressure sensors (typically, hydrophones) mounted within a towed seismic streamer (also know as a seismic cable). Seismic sensors are commonly deployed in sensor arrays within the streamer.

"Seismic sources, seismic streamers, and other attached equipment are towed behind survey vessels, attached by cables. The seismic sources and seismic streamers may be positioned in the water by attached equipment, such as deflectors and cable positioning devices (also known as 'birds').

"Another technique of geophysical prospecting is an electromagnetic survey. Electromagnetic sources and receivers include electric sources plus magnetic sources and receivers. The electric and magnetic receivers can include multi-component receivers to detect horizontal and vertical electric signal components and horizontal and vertical magnetic signal components. In some electromagnetic surveys, the sources and receivers are towed through the water, possibly along with other equipment. The electromagnetic sources and receivers are sometimes towed in streamers, as described above for the seismic receivers.

"Unfortunately, marine organisms adhere to nearly everything that moves through water for significant periods of time, including towed geophysical equipment. This adherence of marine organisms is known as 'bio-fouling'. Bio-fouling is conventionally conceived of in terms of barnacles, but also includes the growth of mussels, oysters, algae, tubeworms, slime, and other marine organisms.

"Thus, a need exists for a system and a method for protecting towed geophysical equipment in marine geophysical surveys, especially towed streamers and equipment attached thereto, from bio-fouling. A need also exists for a system and method for reducing drag resistance on the towed geophysical equipment."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "The invention is a system and a method for gathering marine geophysical data. In one embodiment, the invention is a system comprising marine geophysical equipment, adapted for towing through a body of water, and a surface covering, comprising a textural attribute of shark skin, attached to the marine geophysical equipment. In another embodiment, the invention is a method comprising towing marine geophysical equipment having a surface covering, comprising a textural attribute of shark skin, attached thereto."

For additional information on this patent, see: Harrick, Bruce William. System and Method for Towed Marine Geophysical Equipment.

Patent Number 9244185, filed July 17, 2013, and published online on January 26, 2016. Patent URL:

Keywords for this news article include: Electronics, Electromagnet, PGS Geophysical AS.

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Source: News (February 4, 2016 - 8:39 PM EST)

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