No assignee for this patent application has been made.
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Spectral Induced Polarization (SIP) is an electrical method used to map variations in the electrical properties of the earth. SIP is based on the fact that when an electric field is applied to the ground, electric current flows through the earth and charge separation takes place at mineral-fluid interfaces. In other words, the mineral-fluid interface becomes electrically polarized.
"SIP systems are used in exploration, water resources and environmental industries to investigate the physicochemical properties of the earth. SIP systems use electrical measurements of earth materials to also estimate geochemical and biogeochemical processes in the subsurface; field applications of the SIP method are based on successful laboratory experiments.
"Spectral Induced Polarization (SIP) is an accepted method for measuring the low frequency electrical properties of earth materials. The prior patent by Vinegar and
"SIP borehole systems, like the ones described in the V&W patents, have numerous shortcomings. For instance, such systems have limited functionality because they require external connections for power, stimulus generation, data acquisition, data processing, data storage, and control. Additionally, the V&W systems electronics are dependent on the number of electrodes, geometrical electrode spatial configuration, excitation and sensing methods, and focusing techniques. Additionally, existing systems are incapable of conducting closed loop control of excitation and focusing based on real time data collection, data processing or data storage entirely within a sonde for borehole analysis or as part of a system that is placed at the surface for near surface analysis. Additionally, V&W focusing electrode arrangements require that the electrodes are located a great distance from each other with several electrodes located outside the sonde. Additionally, existing focusing techniques and systems in general are not optimized for low power operation."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "The present invention is an intelligent SIP measurement module that can be integrated into a sonde and used for borehole SIP analysis, or a system that is placed at the surface for near surface SIP analysis. Additionally the module has the flexibility to perform other types of near surface and borehole analysis, such as time domain induced polarization, resistivity and spontaneous or self potential measurements. The present invention provides the ability to perform such measurements without the need for some or all of the following external connections for i) power, ii) stimulus generation, iii) data acquisition, iv) data processing, v) data storage and vi) control. Additionally, the present invention provides the flexibility to support configurations varying in i) the number of electrodes, ii) the types of electrodes, iii) the geometrical electrode spatial layout, iv) excitation methods, v) sensing methods and vi) focusing techniques. Additionally, the present invention is capable of autonomously conducting a closed loop experiment by controlling excitation and focusing based on real time data collection, processing and storage entirely within the sonde or system that is placed at the surface. Additionally, the signal generation, the signal processing and data analysis algorithms can be adapted in software to suit the application. Additionally, the present invention can be arranged as a system of inter-connected modules to provide i) fault tolerance, ii) a greater range of geometrical electrode spatial layouts, iii) improved accuracy and resolution, iv) improved formation penetration and iv) improved speed and throughput. Additionally, the present invention includes low power focusing.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
"The foregoing summary and the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments of the present invention will be best understood when read in conjunction with the appended drawings, in which:
"FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic view of a system for SIP measurement of subsurface materials.
"FIG. 2 is a block diagram of circuitry of an SIP measurement tool of the system illustrated in FIG. 1.
"FIG. 3 is a diagrammatic view of an SIP measurement tool of the system illustrated in FIG. 1.
"FIG. 4 is a diagrammatic view of an alternate embodiment of an SIP measurement tool of the system illustrated in FIG. 1.
"FIG. 5 is a block diagram of an SIP measurement tool of the system illustrated in FIG. 1, illustrating the drive and guarding/focusing currents in the borehole and in the surrounding formation.
"FIG. 6 is a diagrammatic view of an arrangement of multiple interconnected SIP measurement modules.
"FIG. 7 is a diagrammatic view of an alternate arrangement of a multiple interconnected SIP measurement modules and host systems."
For additional information on this patent application, see: Slater,
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