Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) Research Coordination Network (RCN)

Subscribe to the DAS mailing list through the IRIS Message Center at: https://ds.iris.edu/message-center/topic/das/.


Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) has attributes that make it a potentially transformative technology in geosciences and engineering. DAS records ground motion along fiber-optic cables that are comparable to those obtained by single-component accelerometers or geophones. The transformative potential arises from the fiber itself being the sensor and allowing for a spatially continuous measurement. The fiber can be tens of kilometers in length and it can be located in shallowly buried trenches, in boreholes, or in some combination. The fiber geometry can encompass a large volume that can be tens of cubic kilometers in size. DAS inherently possesses properties of a large-N seismic array. The rapidly increasing interest in DAS arises from its potential to be used in continuous arrays that are kilometers in length while providing spatial resolution of meters and frequency response from millihertz to kilohertz.

DAS applications in geosciences and engineering are numerous and growing including transformative opportunities for deploying early warning systems for earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, continental and marine landslides, and avalanches, and for monitoring reservoirs and civil infrastructure. DAS can complement and supplement conventional seismic sensors and arrays already used across a wide range of disciplines.

The DAS Research Coordination Network (RCN) has four main goals:

  1. Identify applications of DAS and develop a network of potential DAS users.
  2. Train a community of DAS users in the acquisition, handling and processing of DAS data.
  3. Identify needed technical development (engineering and scientific).
  4. Identify major challenges and next steps for supporting DAS science beyond the RCN.

The proposed DAS RCN will use the mechanisms of workshops and short courses to engage a range of potententially interested groups. Workshops will focus on producing white papers in areas of science applications, data management, and future technology developments. Short courses will provide hands-on instruction in DAS-specific subjects such as data analysis, data management, and best field practices. The RCN is proposed for three years, after which it is expected that DAS will become permanently incorporated into new or existing facilities, and the community will become self-sustaining through community-wide facilities and professional societies. This research coordination network is supported by funding from the National Science Foundation under award EAR-1948737.


Left) Map of a subsection of the ESNet Dark Fiber Testbed in West Sacramento, California. Right) Example earthquakes recorded by the Sacramento Dark Fiber DAS array, a subset of the ESNet Dark Fiber Testbed. From Ajo-Franklin et al., Scientific Reports, 2019, DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-36675-8.


Opportunities for Participation

The DAS RCN plans to gather community input through a variety of methods.  A DAS mailing list is available through the IRIS Message Center at: https://ds.iris.edu/message-center/topic/das/ to provide a forum for discussion and for announcements of events, workshops, meetings, or other opportunities in the DAS community. Please consider joining us at one or more of the following events to provide your input and get involved.


Upcoming events:

Past events:


Steering Committee

Comments are welcome, and we encourage you to get in touch with the steering committee members with any suggestions, questions, or concerns. Queries can also be directed to das-rcn@iris.edu.

Herbert Wang University of Wisconsin-Madison Co-PI
Scott Tyler University of Nevada, Reno Co-PI
Robert Woodward IRIS Co-PI
Jonathan Ajo-Franklin Rice University  
Matt Becker California State University, Long Beach  
Dante Fratta University of Wisconsin-Madison  
Mark Hausner Desert Research Institute  
Zuyuan He Shanghai Jiao Tong University  
Charlotte Krawczyk GFZ-Potsdam  
Yingping Li    
Nate Lindsey FiberSense  
Eileen Martin Virginia Tech  
Whitney Trainor-Guitton SeaOwl Energy (Total)  
Zhongwen Zhan Caltech  
Lucas Zoet University of Wisconsin-Madison  
Danica Roth Colorado School of Mines  
DAS RCN Steering Committee Meeting Reports
2020: March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October  November

2021: January  February  April


Working Groups

We are currently organizing Working Groups to prepare resources for the DAS RCN, such as bibliographies and meeting notices, and to write brief reports on the state-of-the-art in different topical areas. Please reach out to the working group leads to get involved.

Data Management Jerry Carter (IRIS) jerry.carter@iris.edu
Energy Technologies and CO2 Monitoring Julia Correa (LBL) and Ariel Lellouch (Stanford) juliacorrea@lbl.gov and ariellel@stanford.edu
Earthquake and Array Seismology Ray Willemann (AFRL) raymond.willemann@us.af.mil
Urban Seismology Biondo Biondi (Stanford) biondo@sep.stanford.edu
Instrumentation Kasey Aderhold (IRIS) and Zuyuan He (Shanghai Jiao Tong University) kasey@iris.edu and zuyuanhe@sjtu.edu.cn
Machine Learning Eileen Martin (Virginia Tech) and Whitney Trainor-Guitton (SeaOwl Energy [Total]) eileenrmartin@vt.edu and whitney.trainor-guitton@external.total.com
Engineering Infrastructure Dante Fratta (University of Wisconsin-Madison) fratta@wisc.edu 
Hydrology Scott Tyler (University of Nevada, Reno) styler@unr.edu
Geomorphology Danica Roth (Colorado School of Mines) and Claire Masteller (WUSTL)

droth@mines.edu and cmasteller@wustl.edu

Cryosphere Luke Zoet (University of Wisconsin-Madison) lzoet@wisc.edu
Volcanic and Seismic Hazard Monitoring Lotte Krawczyk (GFZ Potsdam) lotte@gfz-potsdam.de
Marine Geophysics Nate Lindsey (FiberSense) nate.lindsey@fiber-sense.com 
Geotechnical Matt Becker (Cal State-Long Beach) matt.becker@csulb.edu 
Early-Career DAS Network (Pigtails) Nate Lindsey (FiberSense) nate.lindsey@fiber-sense.com 
Research and Development Test Sites Andreas Wuestefeld (NORSAR) Andreas.Wuestefeld@norsar.no 


Structure of a fault damage zone and trapped phases from a local earthquake as recorded by a fibre-optic cable on Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland. From Jousset et al., Nature Communications, 2018, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-04860-y.


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