Speeding innovation for industry
Success | New industrial production processes
Leti innovation stories
FOR OIL AND GAS EXPLORATION
Sercel’s seismic acquisition systems help oil and gas companies pinpoint the best
locations for exploratory drilling.
During seismic exploration, thousands of vibration sensors—10,000 times more
sensitive than those inside your average smartphone—are positioned across
the area being explored. Acoustic waves created by vibrating trucks are then
propagated underground, where they are reflected back to the surface from depths
of several kilometers and measured at locations up to ten kilometers away. The
waves’ “travel times” are calculated, providing valuable insights into the geological
Seismic acquisition systems generally
use analog (a coil and magnet)
components. In 1996 Leti and Sercel
developed a radically different miniature
sensor on silicon. Since then, the system
has undergone constant improvements,
resulting in performance that remains
the best available worldwide.
A suspended mobile structure measuring
several square millimeters and integrating
a network of intercalated fingers between
fixed fingers is subjected to acceleration.
The resulting movement—just a few
millionths of a millimeter—is measured
by capacitive sensing and offset by a
feedback mechanism. This structure, so
sensitive that the impact of air molecules
would be visible, is sealed in a highvacuum
enclosure. The resulting device
offers a resolution of 15 nano g/√Hz and
dynamics of 130 dB.
Resources and skills
CEA Tech services for the oil & gas industry
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.