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Ernest Lötter From Institute of Mine Seismology Visits NetBeans Team In Prague

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Ernest Lötter From Institute of Mine Seismology Visits NetBeans Team In Prague

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On 13 October, Ernest Lötter from the Institute of Mine Seismology (IMS) in Stellenbosch, South Africa, visited the NetBeans office in Prague, Czech Republic.

IMS is the world leader in micro-seismology services. Micro-seismology is the measurement of earthquakes under 3 on the Richter scale. Micro-seismology is of major concern to mining companies, for obvious reasons.

IMS runs the following devices:

  • Sensors, usually installed in underground boreholes, recording seismograms of velocity or acceleration of ground.

  • NetADCs (analog to digital convertors), digitizing analog signals from sensors

  • NetSPs (Seismic Processors), embedded Linux, similar in power to many smartphones, performing:

    • triggering (detect when significant ground motion is recorded),

    • buffering and

    • prioritization of data.

  • Synapse Server, (Glassfish-based RESTful web application), which communicates with NetSPs, and coordinates centralised acquisition of seismogram data.

IMS (then ISSI) developed a number of in-house software products for managing these devices. Over time, this software became very monolithic and difficult to update.

IMS went through a major restructuring in 2010, which gave them the opportunity to reimagine and rewrite their software products. IMS looked for a more modular architecture than they had been using. They had already been using some of NetBeans Platform's components, such as Lookup and the Nodes API, in an ad hoc fashion. In the end, they decided to base their software completely on the NetBeans Platform.

IMS has developed the following software products based on the NetBeans Platform:

  • IMS Synapse Tools. This software is for monitoring and control of the seismic system (communicates RESTfully with Synapse Server). Here you see a tree view of the devices controlled by the Synapse Server and a warning that a site is not defined for one of the managed sensors. The Synapse Tools include a Site Creation Wizard for fixing this issue.

  • IMS Ticker3D. This software provides a live view of seismic systems and current seismicity. Here you see a closeup, rotated view of a series of seismic events (spheres) interposed on the mine works and geological features (green and blue lines) and the sensors that detected the events (red dashed lines). The color and size of the events can be set to reflect different quantities (intensity, duration, etc).

  • IMS Trace. This provides seismological processing and analysis of seismograms (calculates location and magnitude of seismic events).

  • IMS Insight4D. This provides 3D visualisation and analysis of long term trends in seismicity.

It was a very interesting visit. Thanks for dropping by, Ernest!


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