IE11 Not Supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

State Conservation Entity Looks to Improve Earthquake Early Warning

In an Invitation for Bid, the California Department of Technology is seeking technology to assist the California Department of Conservation in enhancing how earthquake data is generated and reported.

The aftermath of an earthquake.
This story is limited to Techwire Insider members.
This story is limited to Techwire Insider members. Login below to read this story or learn about membership.
The state technology department, acting on behalf of a key conservation entity, is seeking a solution that will improve earthquake early warning.

In an Invitation for Bid (IFB) released Sept. 7, the California Department of Technology (CDT), Statewide Technology Procurement (STP) acting on behalf of the California Department of Conservation (DOC) seeks to procure the technology that will elevate the existing earthquake early warning technology from a “triggered” to a “real-time” system. Among the takeaways:

  • In a “one-time procurement of the approved goods,” STP seeks, generally, “IT equipment (seismic recorders/accessories and cellular modems ... hereafter referred to as ‘(Strong Motion Instrumentation Program) SMIP Telecom Equipment.’” The state’s current SMIP relies on “various seismic recording stations” statewide that “record seismic activity and send seismic activity data to a server at the California Strong Motion Instrument Program (CSMIP) Data Center.” This data lets the program create earthquake maps of the state that enable state and local governments to advise first responders on earthquake response. However, the existing SMIP system is a “triggered” system — meaning the recorders it relies upon don’t send data back to the server “unless the shaking magnitude is high enough to pass a threshold” that activates the recorder. When that happens, the recorder “pulls the data from the buffer and creates a file” — which is sent into the SMIP server, which then processes the record of the earthquake.
  • CSMIP is required by state law to “instrument, maintain, monitor, and process strong motion data” obtained from seismic stations and structures. Under contract with the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) and the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD), it “obtains information and maintains instruments within several ground response and hospital stations.” State emergency responders use the recorded data and long-term, it improves “structural seismic design,” making buildings more earthquake resistant.
  • The entities’ business need here is to upgrade the state’s network to a “real-time” system with “recorders sending seismic data to the CSMIP server continuously” so that when an earthquake happens, the program’s data center already has “the entire data so the segment of record that corresponds to an earthquake is available immediately.” This, the state said, will enable quicker response and “generate and disseminate seismic products to CSMIP customers like Cal OES, Caltrans (the California Department of Transportation), OSHPD, DWR (the California Department of Water Resources), etc.” This conversion, per the IFB, will be done “by procuring equipment (recorders, accelerometers, modems and associated cabling) to upgrade an existing station to a real-time recording station or create a new one.” The purchase request includes telecom equipment for three projects, the state — hospital instrumentation, the earthquake early warning project, and CSMIP instrumentation.
  • Equipment needed is three 24-channel Obsidian Recorders and associated cables; and 48 KMI ES-U2 EpiSensor Uniaxial Accelerometers and associated cables, for “hospital instrumentation,” according to the IFB. There’s also 70 4-channel Obsidian Recorders and 70 cellular modems for earthquake early warning. And there’s nine 16-channel Obsidian Recorders, six 12-channel Obsidian Recorders, one 32-channel Obsidian Recorder, one 8-channel Obsidian Recorder; and 35 cellular modems for CSMIP Instrumentation.
  • The contract is for a one-time procurement, and its anticipated value is not stated. Written questions are due by 5 p.m. Wednesday; answers will come Sept. 22. Bidder contact information is due by Sept. 20. Bids are due by 5 p.m. Oct. 4 and will be evaluated through Oct. 11. The contract is expected to be awarded Oct. 15 and executed Oct. 18.
Theo Douglas is Assistant Managing Editor of Techwire.