Recently, Seismic Mechatronics posted a message and a paper about using our electromechanical seismic sources to look ahead of a tunnel boring machine (TBM) using low frequency signals and FWI. In a large EU subsidized project, we showed it is possible to produce a seismic image of the subsurface in front of a TBM within one hour. As a result, the Tunnel boring team is capable of increasing safety, reducing downtime and minimizing costs.
The Boring Company
(also) Recently, Elon Musk started a company called The Boring Company. Particularly ,the Boring Company proposes to dig tunnels underneath cities to transport cars from A to B in a save and efficient way. This innovative concept has the potential to impact logistics enormously. The video below on the left shows the first concept of the Tunnel Boring Company. In the video on the left, Elon Musk discusses digging these tunnels under LA and the challenges it creates.
One of the challenges faced will be the Earth’s properties, composition and structure (ahead of a TBM). These should be mapped thoroughly for hazard assessment during excavation. Moreover, the images need to be available in near real time, without human interactions slowing down the imaging process. Since most conventional used seismic sources, such as hydraulic seismic sources, are incapable of producing the necessary low frequencies to generate real time images, understanding what's ahead of a TBM has been a major problem.
The innovation Seismic Mechatronics brought to the Seismic industry opens not only new possibilities for seismic companies in the oil & gas, mining and geotechnical industry but also opens major chances for boring companies. As a result of the capability to generate extreme low frequencies with electric seismic sources, while minimizing the distortion our designed seismic systems can offer a valuable capability to support decision-making during tunnel excavation.